8th Generation Honda Civic Forum banner
  • Hello Everyone! Let us know what you would spend a $50 Amazon gift card on, HERE For a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!
Not open for further replies.
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

660 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
By Edmunds.com

And no, this is not a repost. The link also has a Video Test.

Full Test: 2009 Nissan GT-R

We know you want the numbers and we're not going to waste your time. Neither is Nissan. Its 2009 GT-R hits 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, quicker than the last Dodge Viper, Corvette Z06 and Porsche 911 Turbo we tested. Keep your foot pinned, and after another tap on the upshift paddle it will clear the quarter-mile in 11.6 seconds at more than 120 mph.

We know this because we've just returned from Japan where we tested a privately owned GT-R on an airstrip outside Tokyo. The car we tested was a Japanese-spec example with 1,500 break-in kilometers on its odometer. It's owned by Japanese journalist Jun Nishikawa and packs the same hardware the U.S. car will get: a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 that generates at least 473 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque. It had the same six-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox and the same adjustable dampers which, by now, you've read plenty about.

What you likely haven't heard about is this: launch control. Despite its bold 3.5-second 0-60-mph claim, Nissan has been keeping this little bit of technological wizardry a secret. Test a GT-R in the homeland, however, and the need for confidentiality is quickly overwhelmed by the need for speed.

Controlling the Launch
Activating the GT-R's launch control is a matter of configuring its transmission, dynamics control and damping adjustments properly. The transmission and damping switches must both be set to the R mode and the VDC must be switched off completely by holding the VDC-R button down for a few seconds. Then it's just a matter of pinning the brake with your left foot and wooding the throttle with your right, not unlike the technique used to produce a tire-shredding burnout in that '85 Camaro you drove in high school.

The result, however, is quite different. The computer holds the engine at 4,500 rpm and waits for you to lift your left foot off the brake pedal. When you do the GT-R produces the most crushing acceleration of virtually any production car in the world. Our test was conducted on a fairly low-grip surface that produced lots of rear wheelspin before the GT-R's sophisticated all-wheel-drive system engaged the front wheels and it thundered down the track. Its 3.3-second 0-60-mph run and 11.6 at 120.9 mph performance make the GT-R the quickest car we've ever tested.

It's even quicker than the Porsche 911 Turbo Tiptronic, but not by much. The German hits 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and blasts through the quarter-mile in 11.6 at 118.5 mph. Due to their lack of all-wheel drive, the Dodge Viper and Corvette Z06 are held back by traction limitations. Despite its 600-hp V10, the last Viper coupe we tested reached 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and finished the quarter-mile 11.8 at 125.3 mph. The Corvette Z06 isn't even close. Once impressive, its 4.1-second 0-60-mph run and 12-second quarter-mile at 121.8 mph are now well off the pace, which is why Chevy is creating the supercharged Corvette ZR1.

In an effort to preserve its drivetrain and relations with the owner, we only activated the launch control twice, but with a few more attempts to calm the violent wheelspin, the numbers would likely have been even better.

Leave the launch control off and the tranny in R mode, and the car is still sick quick. Sixty mph arrives in 4.0 seconds and the quarter-mile disappears in 12.3 seconds at 120.6 mph. All our testing was completed using manual shifting.

World-Class Braking
It requires 15-inch rotors, six-piston Brembo calipers and sticky Bridgestone Potenza RE070R rubber to bring a 3,836-pound GT-R to rest from 60 mph in only 104 feet. That's only 1 foot longer than the Porsche 911 Turbo equipped with the $8,800 ceramic composite brake package. It's also the same stopping distance as the last Dodge Viper we tested and 2 feet shorter than the Corvette Z06.

Experience tells us that the GT-R's conventional iron rotors aren't going to endure abuse as well as the 911 Turbo's ceramic brakes, but in a one-stop scenario like this, we have no reason to doubt them. With a solid, effective and intuitive pedal, braking confidence is high. Plus, we're guessing future versions of the GT-R will get brakes as advanced as the Porsche's.

Predictable, Accessible Handling
Our makeshift test facility at the AMI Airport near Tokyo didn't allow room for lateral acceleration testing on a skid pad. However, we did set up our standard slalom for comparison. Again, we were somewhat thwarted by the less-than-ideal surface, which had unavoidable painted lines crossing the course.

This served as an opportunity to witness the GT-R's striking at-the-limit composure. Blasting across the bumpy painted lines between cones, you get the sense that this is truly a special car. Its chassis remains composed and it goes exactly where it's pointed despite the ugly surface. There's none of the puckering that comes with driving a Vette or Viper this fast through a slalom. Nor is there the sense that the rear-mounted engine of a 911 Turbo is eventually going to find its way to the front.

The GT-R is versatile, with plenty of control latitude, and the difference between the limit of grip and the limit of control is huge. It's probably the most easily controlled car we've slid sideways between the cones. More importantly, its abilities are far more accessible for the average driver than those of its competition.

At 72.9 mph, it's quicker here than the Z06 and 911 Turbo but can't quite match the huge-tired Viper (74.2 mph). Still, it will be interesting to see how these numbers compare when all three cars are tested at the same place and time.

The Best Part
Perhaps more impressive than the GT-R's brain-cell-punishing acceleration or its stellar handling is its price. At just under $70,000 it's within reach of the upper middle-class enthusiast who insists on spending disproportionate amounts of his income on a car.

Plus, it will take an average driver and hurdle them into a realm of speed they couldn't buy with a 911 Turbo. It's world-class fast and relatively cheap. And that's a hard combination to beat.

3.3 seconds for 70k car that heavy is ridiculous!!!!
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Not open for further replies.