“Hey, Mommy, is that a race car?” a little girl asked her mother as I drove through the school pickup line in a 2021 Nissan GT-R. I want to tell her yes, it is. But it’s also my daily driver this week and I’m going to wring it out and see what it feels like behind the wheel. Godzilla has arrived at my door with a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 and I’m ready to ravage some cities.
I’ll be driving this supercar for the next three days. What do you want to know about it?
This is actually my first time with a GT-R; my friend Josh had a week with it last summer and I had serious pangs of car envy over the photos he posted online. The one I’m driving now has the same specs: the GT-R Premium starts at $113,540 and is $121,040 as tested, including a premium interior package and premium paint that tacks on several thousand dollars to the total. At that price, it is on par with the Lexus LC 500, which feels very different. I’m a huge fan of the LC 500h; it’s gorgeous inside and the hybrid gets more than 600 miles of range.
Not so much with the GT-R. It guzzles high-octane fuel like crazy. The Monroney shows 16 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway, and that feels about right. Driving from Austin to San Angelo yesterday, I passed through oil-rich country on the way to the lands of Friday Night Lights and using cruise control felt like cheating. It shifts incredibly fast and gets up to speed quickly with 565 horsepower and 467 pound-feet of torque, easily handling Texas’ fastest roads.
The GT-R and I have had several hours’ worth of quality time together so far, but I'm looking forward to more. Some highlights I’ve picked up so far:
-- Top speed is 220; unless you’re in the next Fast and Furious movie that’s not a good idea for public streets (but I guarantee people have tried it).
-- The gauge cluster displays turbo boost, oil temperature, and pressure; acceleration Gs, turbo boost, and throttle position; and chassis dynamics like cornering and overall Gs and brake pedal usage. This is a lot of fun for dataheads.
-- The GT-R doesn’t have the superb Zero Gravity seats like the Altima, Maxima, Kicks, Rogue, Murano, and Titan, but the side bolsters gripped me while I was driving and it felt great. If I were taller and had broader shoulders, it might not be as comfortable.
-- It roars like an angry bull charging a toreador. This car has an acoustic windshield, insulation throughout, and active noise cancellation, but it's still fairly loud inside. You can adjust the exhaust sound if you like; I prefer it on the loud side.
-- If you’re looking for interior storage, there isn’t much. This has mesh door pockets with offer some expansion and a very small bin in the center console. However, the trunk is surprisingly roomy and deep. A week's worth of groceries for a family of four would easily fit inside or maybe two bags of golf clubs.
-- Supposedly, the GT-R seats four, but that’s only if the people in the back seat are tiny with matchstick legs. I’m 5’5” and there was not much room behind me with the driver’s seat in position.
-- The premium Bose audio system is good and Apple CarPlay much appreciated (there is no love for Android users in the GT-R). Its infotainment system is fairly intuitive but an upgrade to the user interface would elevate the interior significantly.
I have a few more days to get to know this beast, and I'm happy to answer questions. What do you want to know about Godzilla 2021?
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