No matter what you call it, the GT-R, or “Godzilla” to its loyal fans around the globe, still has the muscle to beat anyone on and off the track. Despite the presence of newer and sleeker super cars, the GT-R remains the Alpha Male, the dominant of its species. Despite its age, Godzilla is still devastatingly fast and it continues to loom large over its rivals.
The 2019 version is a high-performance beast whose heritage can be traced back to the original Skyline GT-R from 1969. As it ages gracefully, subtle changes could be seen throughout the car. The exterior has been noticeably tweaked, the interior upgraded, and refinement measures were made with the chassis undergoing revision, and the peak power of the twin turbo 3.8-liter V6 dramatically increased.
An ordinary Joe would not notice it, but Nissan altered the front bumpers, the hood, the DRLs and the grille design. Nissan engineers pointed out that extending the front spoiler by a few millimeters improved downforce, drag reduction and cooling properties. This latest iteration of the GT-R cuts through the air like a Katana blade, cleanly and efficiently.
Nissan’s performance car has gone soft on purpose. Make no mistake about it, the GT-R still has the grunt, but it is now quieter and comfortable to be driven on a daily basis. Unlike the previous GT-Rs, this latest iteration is more comfortable and behaved from specially developed springs and a custom-developed Bilstein DampTronic dampers, balancing out the ride on and off the track. The cabin has improved much over the years, although the fundamental layout has carried over. The horizontal layout of the dashboard is new with the instrument panel wrapped in nappa leather. The center screen is larger, and a display command panel is added unto the center console.
Exterior styling and performance
Nissan engineers revealed that not much has been done to the exteriors except for the rear wheel well that is more aerodynamic. “We only made minimal changes which are in tune with the long running and gradual improvements of the car over its lifetime,” a Nissan engineer said.
The most visible remodeling is visible on the car’s “V-Motion” grille that is larger and was designed to improve cooling efficiency. Nissan also revised the front lip spoiler and bumper design to add more downforce. “The hood has been tweaked also with more pronounced character lines and has greater ability to handle high speeds,” the Nissan engineer added.
On the sides, the aero blades with the GT-R logo improves airflow on the sides as it visually compliments the massive 20-inch RAYS Engineering wheels that feature a 15-spoke design. Improvements are also evident on the rear bodywork with functional vents next to the quad exhaust tips, and a noticeable higher beltline makes the car look wider. The rear bumper is a design feature adopted from the NISMO model for better airflow.
“These changes make the GT-R more stable at high speeds while maintaining the same 0.26 coefficient of drag,” explained Dax Avenido, Nissan Philippines’ marketing guru.
Priced at P7.350 million, the GTR is a bargain-priced performance monster that can kick Italian or German asses. For this model, Nissan added 20 more horses to the engine, which means 570 bhp of Nippon muscle going your way if you dare challenge this metal beast.
“We also revised the ignition timing control and increased the turbo boost for more crazy power,” saids Avenido with a naughty smile.
On a clear straight road up in Antipolo, I tried the launch control on R mode. The feeling was like being shot out of a cannon, with me holding on for dear life at the steering wheel as I let the GT-R do its thing. It was orgasmic, just like sex really. The good thing about this car is that it stops on a dime, thanks to the Brembo six-piston front and four piston rear brakes.
I had the GT-R for a couple of days and the car had its share of people flashing the thumbs-up sign, and adoring glances as Nissan’s finest flew pass by. Another surprise is that this model can actually accommodate two kids and forget about adults hitching a ride at the back because the sloping roof line will not allow it. It’s a small compromise since you really don’t need anybody with you during track days, right?
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