2009 Nissan GT-R: Not Really Inconspicuous
January 05, 2009
This past week has been my first time behind the wheel of our Nissan GT-R. Before I started driving it earnestly, I thought that maybe -- just maybe -- the GT-R and I would be on the down-low. I mean, the GT-R's from a mass-market automaker, isn't red, isn't low to the ground and doesn't scream "exotic!" or "male member enhancer!" in the traditional sense. Maybe people would just mistake it for a G37 coupe or something?
Alas, that hasn't been the case. I live north of our SoCal offices in Fresno, Calif, which isn't too far off from being the "Midwest" of California. Even if people don't know what it is, they recognize it as something special. Having a GT-R here is like having Scarlett Johansson move in next door to you.
And this is probably how three prepubescent boys on their bicycles felt as they swirled around the GT-R yesterday after I had parked it at the local supermarket...
The boys seemed pretty knowledgeable about it and were taking pictures with their cellphones. I recognized one of them, Brian, who lives down the street from me. I was thinking about what it would have been like when I was about 10 or so to have an "exotic" appear out of nowhere. On a whim, I told Brian to call his parents and get the OK for a quick ride in the GT-R.
As he was getting in, he was saying, "This is so cool..." I gave him a quick rundown of the GT-R and queued up a display screen for him that shows turbo boost, throttle position and speed. Then we headed out of the parking lot.
I asked Brian what the fastest car he had ever been in was, and he said, "Umm, I dunno. A Mercedes, I guess." "Well, Brian, this is going to be a bit faster than that." I matted the throttle and the GT-R blasted down the road, without launch control but still very much on full afterburner. "Whoa," is about all that tumbled out of Brian's mouth.
I did it once more for affect and then brought him back to his friends.
There's one memory he probably won't forget in a long time.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 15,064 miles