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The One....A Year in Review
One year ago this week on a cool October morning surrounded by family and friends and a Nissan camera crew , I had the privilege to watch as the first GTR NISMO ever built for the US rolled off the delivery truck. I was honored to be selected to become the owner of and share in this historic event marking the introduction of the NISMO GTR into the US market the same year NISMO marked its 30 year milestone . If that wasn’t enough I came home to an additional surprise of a completely made over garage courtesy of Nissan to celebrate the occasion and be a home for such a special car Nissan dubbed “The One” In the following months I have had plenty of time to appreciate what makes the GTR NISMO so special driving it in many different situations. In this first year I have taken it on mountain drives through the Blue Ridge Parkway competed in various autocross events, had many a Friday night at the drag strip all culminating with a full on track day where it felt most at home. If I had to sum up the car in one word it would be 'Precision"
The GTR NISMO was introduced 6 years into the lifecycle of the GTR in the US. In that time the GTR has seen constant refinement. Having owned benchmark years of the GTR in 2009 then 2012, Ive gained a good sense of this constant improvement. The NISMO just as a 2015 model itself is smoother, and more refined than previous years. Then with the performance minded improvements added on it becomes the ultimate expression of the R35 platform. In my time driving ive noticed that while the larger turbos producing 50 additional horsepower is noticeable, the suspension and chassis improvements are the real stand out here. The steering feel is light but tight so the front end perfectly responds to any micro adjustment you make that leads to very subtle steering inputs going a long way. That would pay off on the track which I will get to in a minute.
First up lets talk about what most car enthusiasts immediately want to know.. how quick is it? I wanted to know myself and spent the spring and summer doing a lot of acceleration testing. My results were very solid. I was able to obtain and consistently recreate 2.7 0-60 runs. At a drag strip I averaged a low 1.6 60ft time with a handful of launches dipping into the 1.57 range
From there I saw sub 7 second 0-100 times with a personal best of 6.69. In the 1/4 mile I achieved a best time of [email protected] Being in the 10 sec range the ET was good but I feel there is still a tenth or more left on the table. The extra power and nature of the larger turbos begin to show itself here as while attempting over a dozen 1/4 mile runs the GTR constantly trapped very high 126 to even a mid 127mph. I then logged a half dozen 60-130 pulls all being in the 8.6 range putting the NISMO close to a half second faster than a comparable stock DBA GTRs. This was again done in warm humid ambient temps so I feel as with the 1/4 mile there is a tenth or so left to extract in this area or measurement.
These numbers while solid and consistent are not leaps and bounds faster than some of the best recorded data weve seen from the standard GTR .My conclusion is while the numbers show acceleration from a standstill is yes similar to other GTRs this speaks more to the excellent traction of the platform in general and that the GTR NISMO was designed purely as a race track focused tool. The improved upper range power shows the focus has been clearly placed on overtaking and higher speeds in straightway parts of said tracks. The GTR NISMO makes peak power at 400 RPM higher than the standard version this combined with the personality of the larger turbo the power curve feels more like a surging wave of power to redline than the sudden blast the GTR is known for.
This brings me to the highlight thus far of ownership. In July I attended the 7th Annual VIR Track day GTRLIFE does with our friends at Forged Performance. throughout the event I was able to put down some really solid controlled safe laps in the NISMO. These laps brought out for the first time the very best of the NISMO. I felt as an intermediate driver I was at times close to 9/10ths of my ability in the car in certain sections. Going back to my key word, “Precision” was on display as the inputs were effortless and the lack of understeer was the most striking element of the day.
The extra power available in the higher RPM range was evident as entering the high speed backstretch at roughly the same speed I saw on average a 6-7mph increase in speed by the time I reached the same braking point. This was a noticeable improvement. the NISMO seemed to exit corners at a higher rate of speed as well which was partly due to the power and partly to the ability to easily get the nose of the car pointed in the right direction.
(thank you Patrick for all the photos and support from day 1 )
My racing background is mostly in Autocross so by habit I tend to over use the brakes and attack every turn as a single obstacle rather than seeing the bigger picture. The NISMO seemed to almost be forgiving with this style and I was shocked to go back and watch my videos of my laps to see how uneventful it looked and how little steering input the car needed from me to get around the track. This NISMO is all about balance as its not the highest powered car out there or lightest or uses the newest technology but the sum of its parts comes together to produce a totally confidence inspiring feeling behind the wheel even at speeds of 160mph. The car felt very planted at those speeds and I felt as if the aero package was doing its job.
My favorite part of the day was seeing the optional NISMO Titanium exhaust change color to the beautiful blue and purples the material is known for. My car being the #1 NISMO for the states it underwent an additional 70 miles of quality control. Nissan waited to install my titanium exhaust after this testing to ensure it was pristine and factory fresh. I felt earning the color change myself on track was like a rite of passage.
I admittedly havent daily driven this car much logging just 2500 total miles in a year of ownership with 1000 of those miles coming within a single month of ownership for break in purposes.The collector status and serial number plaque on the wall did factor into this decision to limit the around town driving a bit more than I anticipated. As a solution I did ended up purchasing a matching black Juke NISMO RS as a daily driver and garage companion.
(Thank you HYPRPWR for the most amazing shoot ever)
In what little day to day street driving I have done I have found the car to be very similar to the standard GTR as the seats and overall cabin carry a familair feel. the exception would be the stiff suspension and pinpoint steering causing the car to follow imperfections in the road in an exaggerated manner. The turbos do not feature any noticeable lag and the TCM improvements actually make the NISMO a pleasant experience when driving on streets. No real negatives in having the NISMO as a livable car other than the NISMO specific NR1 tires seem to wear at an even faster rate than the standard Dunlop even though this car features only a small change in negative camber vs the standard car.
This year has been a whirlwind starting with the delivery last October.I would like to thank everyone on GTRLIFE/NAGTROC. The success of this site and owners club in the US is one of the things im most proud of. I would also like to thank Carl, Jeff and everyone who had a hand in this at Nissan & NISMO. The car itself is special in its own right as an important part of Nissan history in the US, but the biggest part for me is to be able to walk out to my NISMO garage 1 year later and still know that my efforts and role in the GTR community was appreciated. Partnering with Nissan, "The One" has enjoyed a constant presence on their social media channels helping to keep visibility of the GTR and NISMO brand high.
I cant wait to see where the second year of ownership takes me!
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