Tested: Nissan GT-R

PopSci.com.au went along to Eastern Creek raceway to test drive the Nissan GT-R

PopSci tests the Nissan GT-R at Eastern Creek raceway: PopSci.com.au

There’s a certain amount of joy a car nut gets when they hear that they will be test-driving one of the fastest production cars available in Australia at a racetrack. That joy is then multiplied by two when the car nut happens to be a former editor of a motorsports magazine. It’s multiplied again when he discovers that Nissan is about to let him take to the track in four Nissan GT-Rs (one at a time of course), for three laps each, without the need of an instructor and with only one real instruction: “If you injure yourself it’s your own problem”.

Just so we are all on the same page, Nissan had just placed the PopSci editorial team in the driver’s seat of a GT-R that has 375kW of power at 6400RPM, 588NM of torque at 3200-5200RPM, a 3.8 litre V6 engine and a top speed of 314kph. It also does 0-100kph in a little over three seconds. No biggie then, after all, we all driver super cars to work ever day (an MY08 Honda Civic and a MY08 Honda CRV are super cars, right?). Helmet on, time for a ride.

There are buttons and dials everywhere, the car is more like an aeroplane cockpit than a car cockpit. As you settle into the drivers seat you notice that, just like Nissan say, the instruments and the wing mirrors are all in line and at the same height for easy viewing while still paying attention to the road. The windscreen is pretty high up though, so you almost have to peer out over the steering wheel. But Nissan have been telling us all day, this is the car for anyone, anywhere, anytime. So we ignore the buttons and see if we really are able to pull this monster out of pit lane without needing a mechanical engineering degree.

When the track is clear we get the green light, and just as Nissan say, anyone can drive this car… to some extent. Shift into drive, choose whether you want clutchless manual or automatic, and you’re off. After using full automatic for a while we change to clutchless manual using the paddle shifts on the back of the steering wheel. The feel and smoothness between changes is far better than anything the automatic can deliver. But this car is capable of so much more. And that’s where not everyone will be able to really appreciate it. You would need a racetrack and some serious driver training to push this car to its limits.


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Like I said before, that is one hell of a sweet ride! There aren't too many cars that I would be dying to get inside and drive, but this is certainly one of them.

Are there any other tracks apart from Eaastern Creek where you can test drive performance cars?

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