2009 Nissan GT-R: Redline! Redline! Redline!
January 27, 2009
Not long after Ferris Bueller charms Cameron out of the keys to his dad's prized Ferrari (cue the Yello song "Oh Yeah"), you can just barely pick out Ferris shouting "Redline! Redline! Redline!" as he mashes the throttle and bolts out of the frame toward downtown Chicago.
This morning, it was me doing the throttle mashing. But my exclamation "Redline! Redline. Redline ... Redline?" was not one of pure exuberance; I was counting the damn things.
That's right, our 2009 Nissan GT-R has four redlines. At least. And that's not including any temperature or pressure gauges.
Of course the twin-turbo V6 engine has a redline, and it's 7,000 rpm. But the GT-R also has redlines for steering (0.5 lateral g, as shown above), braking (0.4 longitudinal g) and acceleration (0.3 longitudinal g.)
Snapping any kind of picture at all of what happened when I exceeded 0.5 lateral g wasn't easy in the pre-dawn hours of my commute. Slow shutter speed + 0.7 lateral g = blurry photo. But at least you can see that the g trace-line turned red.
The trace resumes its normal white color as soon as the g level drops back down below 0.5 g a second or two later. This car isn't even close to breaking a sweat or squealing a tire at 0.5 to 0.7 g. Heck, the GT-R's limit is upwards of 0.95 g.
The massive 6-piston fixed caliper brakes that'll stop the car from 60 mph in less than 100 feet brakes will trigger a redline at 0.4 g -- a level your mom might exceed if she catches a late yellow light.
And you only get 0.3 g of acceleration before that electronic "tsk, tsk" kicks in. Heck, the GT-R used-up 0.1 g of that while parked due to the slant of my driveway.
This all seems rather silly. If you exceed the engine's redline, you'll blow something up. So there's a rev-limiter to help keep you and your wallet out of trouble. Fine. No arguement there.
But these dynamic redlines seem like a layer of lawyer-excreted material added over the top of a gimmicky videogame display. Besides being set arbitrarily low, they're too far out of the normal line-of-sight to be of much use. If anything, I think these redlines will have the opposite effect:
"Watch this. Bet you I can keep it in the red all the way through this off-ramp." or "Watch this. Let's see if I can accelerate in the red all the way up this ramp on-ramp."
Never mind the fact that there's no way to freeze the screen or record your stats to look at later for legitimate uses such as analyzing your GT-R's performance at a track day. You've got to get your buddy to snap a picture while you're in the middle of it.
I mean, who would DO that?
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 16,302 miles