2009 Nissan GT-R: Nashville to LA, Part 1: Picking Up Godzilla
August 05, 2008
It's late afternoon in Franklin, Tennessee, when the airport shuttle van deposits me at Nissan of Cool Springs. The shuttle driver had trouble finding the place on his Garmin, which is odd since the dealership has been open for a year. Still, it looks sparkling new here. I look for our white 2009 Nissan GT-R on the showroom floor but learn it has already been moved to service for last-minute checks.
After I hand over all the paperwork and, more importantly, the big check for $73,165 (and 2 cents), I'm shown into the immaculate service reception area. It ends up being a dramatic moment because the room is empty all except for our GT-R.
I meet Matthew, a master Nissan service technician, who has taken all sorts of additional coursework to prepare for this day -- the sale of the very first Nissan GT-R at Nissan of Cool Springs. He's ready to give me a complete tutorial on the car, but I end up being a know-it-all student since we've already driven this car. He does tell me that Nissan is recommending owners idle the engine for two minutes after each cold startup for the duration of the car's working life.
Instead, we drive over to the new Nissan Americas building, which conveniently is only a half-mile down the street from Nissan of Cool Springs. In addition to working on high-end performance cars, I learn that Matthew owns a Harley, which he rides in a pack on cross-country road trips. Cool. I also notice that the dual-clutch transmission is shifting a little more quietly under part throttle than the pre-production models we sampled.
After getting a few photos in front of Nissan's brand new headquarters (the GT-R's home away from its real home in Tochigi, Japan), I drop Matthew back at the dealership and hit the road.
There are 37 miles on the odometer. And I don't have to be back in LA for 4 days.
Erin Riches, Edmunds Senior Editor