It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a GT-R - 2009 Nissan GT-R Long-Term Road Test

2009 Nissan GT-R Long-Term Road Test

2009 Nissan GT-R: It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a GT-R

January 08, 2009


I've been looking over our 2009 Nissan GT-R posts recently and have noticed a frequent theme. Here are some quotes from my esteemed collogues:

"'s so fast that you can almost believe those signature round taillights contain afterburners or JATO rockets, or something." (Dan Edmunds)

"Stupid-fast." (Edmunds)

"It sounds like a plane." (Sadlier)

"...the acceleration at speed is amazing. If you mash the throttle on the freeway ... you're just gone. And you find yourself quickly going crazy fast." (Austria)


"Relentless." (Kavanagh)

"[It's a] seamless and ceaseless flood of speed, a sensation magnified by the car's apparent indifference to the absurd digits being wiped by the speedo needle. No drama. Just speed." (Kavanagh)

"The absolutely effortless acceleration and jet-like engine aria were astonishing." (Riswick)

"After giving them a brief opportunity to get the hell out of Godzilla's way, I yell out "Shake and bake baby!" and like a pilot pushing down on the throttle at take-off, nudge into the GT-R's jet engine. Holy crap it's fun." (Riswick)

Yes, the GT-R really is superman (or Godzilla) when it comes to providing effortless speed. Here's my take on why so many of us have described it in this way:

Pervasive powerband
09nissangtractr34[1].jpg The twin-turbo V6's 480 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque seemingly reside everywhere. It's not like a high-revving Honda or BMW M engine, where all the power (and fun) is up high. Nor is it your typical domestic V8 that's all guts-and-glory down low but packs it in by 6,000 rpm. No matter what rpm you're at, the GT-R is ready.

Dual-clutch transmission
If you think about yourl shift speed with a manual transmission, there's that half-second (or whatever it is) pause of acceleration as you change gears. With the GT-R, there's no respite of action. Tug on the right shift paddle and the next gear clicks in, locked and loaded. The GT-R never lets up.

Yes, it sounds like an airplane
Well, sort of. There's that lower speed whine that Sadlier referred to. But when you get on it, there's some V6 snarl, too, plus a smidge of what sounds like tradtional Nissan VQ. The GT-R's soundtrack isn't silky, nor is it thrashy. Think mechanical more than organic (if any engine could be described as organic-sounding). I will say it's not a sound that tugs at my heart -- I'm not going to be revving the GT-R just to hear it. But it is distinctive.

Oh, and the Nissan GT-R is fast. Faster than a speeding bullet.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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