Our initial plan for review was a live blog of the experience. But writing while driving is bad and wrong, so here is our delayed Nissan GT-R, the first of its lineage to be officially sold in Philippines.
We eagerly approach the “Katsura Orange” car and discover-after some inappropriate fondling-that the flush door handles open front to back instead of up. This confuses several people. This is probably aerodynamics. The interior is marketed as a far cry from the cheap digs of the original 2007 model. It does feel appropriately plush and modern but we forget all about it when the 570hp VR38DETT twin-turbo V6 growls to life. If we learned anything from the late Paul Walker, it’s that cool car guys can name engines and not mistake a pizza variant for one.
The titanium exhaust is quiet and unobnoxious as we poke along through traffic. Approaching a hump possessing near 90-degree edges caused our bums to clench tightly but we are pleased to report that the GT-R cleared every incline and badly constructed speedbump we encountered without a scratch.
Idling at a stop, we notice a slight… burning smell? Oh my God! We should never have attempted to drive a supercar in traffic — it’s about to self-immolate for sure because cars like these were “never meant to be driven this way!” Internet haters are about to be vindicated with pictures of Godzilla on fire in Manila. But we actually just left the aircon on “fresh air” mode. Putting it to recirculate solves things and at no point did the GT-R threaten to grenade itself. Ha! Suck on that.
The second star of the car, after its supercar-level engine, is the transmission. There’s no way to miss it because it makes a distinct constant whirring drone. Welcome to life with a sequential transmission! Sequentials don’t allow direct selection of gears. Instead you must row through them one at a time, which is where also having a dual-clutch is handy.
If it’s your first time to encounter one (most likely), it sounds like the gearbox is actually outside the car and you forgot to close the windows completely. At low speeds, the gears occasionally gachunk into place like comical toy cogs. The trade-off? zero to 100 in 2.7 seconds. And basically invisible gearshifts when you’re running hard, which is when it really matters anyway.
When opening up the GT-R on blessedly empty roads, the many layers and problems of your life peel away until all that is left is the rapidly approaching lights on the horizon and a stupid smile on your face. This is where we stopped processing the car and just appreciated it as a masterpiece of Japanese engineering.
And then the car spoke to us.
Literally! The infotainment system suddenly chimed in with “In 200 meters, speed camera.”
RIDES LIKE: A well-restrained land missile
FEELS LIKE: Having the biggest stick in any car fight
LOOKS LIKE: (If it’s coming up behind you) Fear yourself