So we finally got a GCC-spec Nissan GT-R
I asked for a GCC-spec Nissan GT-R back in March, after it seemed every magazine had driven it. Four months later and we finally got it from Nissan Middle East. I had lost all enthusiasm for this car by then and was ready to show my displeasure in the review. But slipping into the driver’s seat for the first time, putting it in gear and then pressing the accelerator pedal, the first thing I said was… “WOOOAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! WHAT THE HELLLLLL!?!?!?!”
Even if you absolutely hate Nissan in general, the GT-R sure can make an explosive first impression, and we’d say the hype surrounding this car is warranted.
The GT-R is pretty big for something that is supposed to be a nimble sports car. We can only imagine why it has to be big enough to dwarf most other sports cars, and even some trucks.
It fits fine in any parking space, although with the lack of rear visibility and no parking sensors, backing out takes some care. Seen here, parked in front of my former A-levels school, who could’ve imagined that one day I’d cruising in a GT-R, even if temporarily.
Given its size, it is still not the most practical car though. The low front bumper already had curb damage, the 20-inch wheels had curb rash, and the luggage compartment is good enough for maybe one small suitcase.
The GT-R seems to come with some sort of semi-slick tyres with minimal grooves. Our test car already had more than 9000 km on the clock, and these tyres seemed to show it too, although it didn’t matter in the drive as much as we thought it would.
The golden brakes are massive, and feeling them in action from above 200 kph was an even bigger stress on the human body than the acceleration.
Entering the car itself offers up a premium feel, with a pop-out door handle only seen in Aston Martins before, but Nissan one-ups the overpriced Brits by having “intelligent” keyless entry, with the key never leaving the pocket.
And hands-free it should be, because our tester had an annoyingly massive keychain and leather pouch that causes a bulge in pant pockets. Slipping the key out of the pouch revealed the same keyfob that is used in the Nissan Altima, except with a GT-R logo.
The semi-leather seats are tight and sporting, and the driver’s seat is adjustable every which way, although it doesn’t go high enough, likely to preserve that stupid “bathtub” feel inherent in most sports cars.
The rear seating area is no more useful than in a Porsche 911. There is absolutely no rear legroom, although Nissan thought it appropriate to add a single open cupholder between the rear seats, just in front of the big subwoofer.
The main gauges take some time getting used to, as the zero marker for speed is in an unusual position.
The LCD touchscreen computer, taken from Infiniti, has 10 additional Playstation-style displays to show all sorts of information about acceleration, braking, AWD power-distribution, various temperatures and other info that you’d never have time to look at while actually driving, unless you figure out how to download it later. Even with all this, there is no navigation system in our tester.
We also noticed distinct cost-cutting measures in cabin materials. The dashboard starts off with stitched leather. Then upper parts of the central console has soft-touch plastics. The area around the shifter consists of harder plastics with a rubbery texture. And panels in the rear seating area are completely made of economy-car hard plastics. We would’ve figured that a car that costs as much as a Porsche 911 Turbo would have an interior to match. An extra Dhs 100,000 premium over the marginally-behind Chevy Corvette ZO6 nets only a marginally-better interior.
In an unplanned development, we secured a new Ferrari F430 Spyder, no thanks to the Italian company, and proceeded to have our most elaborate photo-shoot yet, using a professional photographer. I even got some brief seat-time in the Ferrari and noticed the difference between the GT-R and the F430 right away, which should make for a short but interesting comparison story.