Quick, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when I say “Godzilla?”
For most it is the star of childhood monster movies that feature horrible voice-dubbing. For the true auto enthusiast it means one thing – Nissan GT-R.
I took delivery of a 2012 GT-R for Super Bowl weekend and despite a few little things, this is one SUPER car.
GT-R is the North American version of the Skyline GT-R, Nissan’s answer to the likes of Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and ZR-1.
The 2012 model GT-R generates a modest 530 horsepower and 448 lb. ft. of torque (both up from previous models) from a twin-turbo’d 3.8-liter V-6 powerplant, and those figures will rise yet again for the upcoming 2013 GT-R.
All that power is delivered to the rear transaxle ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system via a paddle-shifted sequential six-speed dual clutch transmission with automatic and manual modes. For optimum weight distribution and maximized handling capability the gearbox, transfer case and final drive are all located under the rear of the vehicle, which also makes for some interesting sounds during your drive time when you don’t have the stereo system blaring.
Located in the center dash console are three switches that control your driving experience. Each offers normal, special, or “R” modes and they control transmission shifts, Bilstein DampTronic shock absorbers, and vehicle dynamic control. Braking duties are handled by oversized Brembo full-floating drilled rotors featuring performance brake pads and calipers.
For 2012, Godzilla sees updated exterior and interior styling in addition to the power increases. Body components include a blend of steel, die-cast aluminum and carbon fiber. GT-R now receives splashes of carbon fiber in the cockpit as well.
In addition to the standard tach/speedo combination gauge package in the driver’s instrument panel the GT-R offers additional useful instrumentation via the center dash mounted, video game-inspired multi-function display. Drivers can select from a variety of display modes that provide instant feedback of what the car is doing.
Despite so may track car-like features found in the GT-R, Nissan has built a vehicle that is very much a daily driver. The GT-R is not overbearing or uncomfortable – quite the opposite – and offers all of the amenities we have become spoiled on including Satellite radio, navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and a very nice Bose premium audio system.
Once you get the seat, steering wheel and column, and mirrors adjusted to your liking you will need to set aside a bit of time for familiarization with the controls and gauges. The GT-R takes a bit of time to get used to simply because of how much content is offered.
Whether heading out on a dinner date with your significant other or cruising to the track for a playdate with fellow gearheads, “Godzilla” is a great way to roll. This car delivers some of the best bang for the buck. It produces supercar numbers at the track while being one of the very few to not only be priced under six figures but also not be straddled with a gas guzzler tax.
Our 2012 Nissan GT-R Premium model rolls from 0-60 mph in under 3 seconds and costs just a tick over 91 grand, with fuel economy figures (like they really matter) of 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.
“Go, go Godzilla!”