2009 Nissan GT-R: Jetting off to Vegas
October 06, 2008
The first time I really laid into the GT-R was merging onto the highway Saturday morning. The absolutely effortless acceleration and jet-like engine aria were astonishing -- I giggled for a good 30 seconds. Sadlier was dead on when he described it as like driving a plane. Actually, the last time I felt such a sensation was on a small private jet.
So when I drew the GT-R for the weekend, I immediately changed my plans and jetted out for 24 hours in Las Vegas.
Given the fact I live farther away than Jacquot does, I knew I couldn't touch his absurd time from the week before, but on a Saturday morning I figured I could at least set a new record for myself. Averaging around -- mph and keeping pace with other cars, I got from Santa Monica to the Luxor in 3.5 hours. And what a few hours it was. Once you clear the god-awful Los Angeles freeway surfaces, the GT-R's Comf suspension setting becomes less ironic and I could actually enjoy the ride. The seats I initially lamented for pinching a little too much and not offering adjustable bolsters like in the G37, actually became wonderfully comfortable as the drive went on. My girlfriend (who is basically half my size) concurred that the seats were excellent.
Other than the suspension, I couldn't ask for a better Vegas car than the GT-R. Reason one is the turbo-6 doesn't blink at the countless inclines. Reason two is the ability to blow past the ExpeTahoeBurbans and dimwitted Priuses that diligently cling to the left lane. This was a bigger deal on the way back Sunday with much heavier traffic. Although I hate passing on the right (since it's not so legal), they leave you little choice with their complete lack of lane discipline. 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.
And yet with such speed and fun, I managed 19.78 mpg over the whole trip (one tank each way, 18.5 mpg there, 21.4 back). That's pretty darn good considering I only got 20.2 mpg out of a Dodge Journey on the exact same journey three weeks ago. JDP could also only manage 17.1 mpg out of the R8 on the much flatter trip to Phoenix.
Given all this and the fact it has a useful trunk and lots of entertainment options, the GT-R is a phenomenal road trip car...as long as the road's good enough for Comf to actually mean Comf.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 8,318 miles
(I'll have some more GT-R trip stories this week over on Thoughts from the Curb)