Not for Crybabies - 2009 Nissan GT-R Long-Term Road Test

2009 Nissan GT-R Long-Term Road Test

2009 Nissan GT-R: Not for Crybabies

November 28, 2008


Every time the 2009 Nissan GT-R's dual-clutch automated manual transmission rattles and clicks while cruising around town, it reminds me of the sounds made by a racing-type, non-synchromesh dog-ring gearbox. And when someone whines about this intrusion by the mechanical workings of the car, I'm happy. It means there's one less crybaby fascinated by the GT-R - and one more person who will find his way to the Lexus SC 430 that he deserves.

There's no sense complaining about the GT-R's ride quality. Or its shift action. Or the noise that the transmission makes. Or the way the rear wing looks on the rear deck. Or the way fuel will puke out of the gas tank when the rear differential has been heated up by hard use. Or even the fact that you're on your own when it comes to warranty coverage when you engage launch control for a fast getaway.

The Nissan GT-R is a fast car. It doesn't make excuses for being a fast car. It doesn't try to pretend it's a limousine or a minivan, a crossover or a commuter. It's exactly the automobile we've been asking for, a hard-bitten performance car.

It is not for crybabies.

If you're not up for the compromises in your comfort and welfare while driving this automobile, then you should be driving something else. It's a mystery to me that the GT-R should get so much stick for its eccentricities. It is as if the car is being forced to pay a psychological price for its affordable market price. Because it costs less than a Porsche 911 GT2, there are those who expect it to be as user-friendly as a Subaru WRX.

For me, the Nissan GT-R is a pure track car that through some sneaky legislative loophole is allowed to carry a license plate. It is a sports car, a civilian version of the Nissan-sponsored GT-R that just won the championship in Japan's Super GT racing series (pictured above). The GT-R is a racing car for the street, not a 480-hp Lexus. Its eccentricities are part of the price you pay.

The only way the 2009 Nissan GT-R could be better would be if it, you know, occasionally caught on fire.

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, @ 13,500 miles

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