Amazing. Incredibly fast. An engineering marvel. Those are the thoughts I had in the first two minutes of driving the Nissan GT-R. Like a Corvette, the GT-R has a certain feel about it that is unique to the car.
Nissan made some nice changes for the 2012 model, and picked up an additional 45-horses, boosting the GT-R to 530-horses. Just for the record, that’s 530-horses out of a 3.8-liter SIX CYLINDER engine. Twin-turbos give the GT-R an incredible boost that results in 448 lb.-ft of torque that pins you to the seat when you stomp on this beast. Perhaps the best part besides the raw power is how Nissan’s all-wheel drive system digs in when you do a “launch” from a dead stop.
Nissan says it will do 0-to-60 in 2.9 seconds. After several tries, I never got it below 3.1 seconds, and had runs of between 3.1 and 3.4. After 4 tries, the GT-R will force you to let it cool down for a couple of seconds before you hit it again. I am always interested in how well really fast cars can stop, and the GT-R has huge Brembo brakes that do a super job in shutting the car down completely from all speeds.
This car has a six-speed automatic transmission, which has a manual mode with shift paddles on the steering wheel. When driving with the automatic, the transmission shifts erratically and feels uncomfortable. When you shift the car yourself, it is much smoother and more responsive, and frankly much more enjoyable to drive.
The interior of the GT-R is nice with a mixture of leather and suede, and it has nice accents of brushed aluminum. The dash is easy to read, and the instrumentation is as good as any car I have ever been in. Although the GT-R is larger than most people think it is, weighing in at almost 4000 pounds, the backseat room is extremely limited, as is the headroom. Someone over 6’ tall will be touching the headliner.
GT-R comes well-equipped with navigation, Bluetooth, and great Bose stereo system, steering wheel controls, and dual power heated seats. Outside, you get 20” painted alloy wheels, and a great looking spoiler on the rear. For 2012, Nissan added some halo lights in the front spoiler that gives the car a beautiful look.
For all the wonderfulness of this car, I have to say I have never been in a car that rides any rougher than this one. There is a control on the dash for comfort mode, and that for sure helps SOME, but still it is a rough rider for sure. That is the price you pay for a car that handles as well as this one. I would not trade a more comfortable ride for lesser handling, but you feel every pebble in the road.
The Nissan GT-R falls into the super car category for me. For what goes into this car, the price is amazingly low although out of reach for the vast majority of people. This is just an amazing machine with stupefying acceleration and mind blowing handling. If you have a need for speed and a fat bank account, this is your car.
What I liked most: Acceleration, handling, and looks!
What I would change: Give me a 6-speed manual!
Fuel Economy: Rated at 16 city and 23 highway. I’m getting 14 overall.
2012 GT-R in a few words: Crazy fast incredible engineering marvel of a car.