Track Tested: 2013 Nissan GT-R Premium

There's just no such thing as a bad day at the test track with Godzilla. Jaded much? Not after you see a Nissan GT-R lay down numbers that just shouldn't belong to a 3,900-pound car.

For 2013, the GT-R gains another 15 horsepower and another 15 pound-feet of torque, plus yet more transmission refinements and a retuned suspension. As you'll see, these modest updates didn't translate to better straight-line performance compared to the 2012 GT-R Black Edition we tested last year (although, our 2013 GT-R Premium test car proved more finicky, shutting down its launch control when it decided its drivetrain bits had gotten too hot). But this car is still as quick as the last 911 Turbo we tested, even if the Porsche logs a faster trap speed.

Similarly, the suspension retune didn't net any measurable improvement in the slalom. But how many other cars can beat its slalom speed? Let's see: Dodge Viper (74.2 mph), Godzilla Black Edition (74.7) and 997 Porsche 911 GT3 (75.3).

In short, this car is still incredible.

First Drive: 2013 Nissan GT-R

Vehicle: 2013 Nissan GT-R Premium
Odometer: 4,593
Date: 11/20/11
Driver: Mike Monticello
Price: $95,000 (estimated)

Drive Type: Front engine, four-wheel-drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed dual-clutch automated manual
Engine Type: Twin-turbocharged, DOHC 3.8-liter V6
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 3,839/234
Redline (rpm): 7,000
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 545 @ 6,200
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 463 @ 5,200
Brake Type (front): Two-piece, ventilated cross-drilled rotors, six-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): Two-piece, ventilated cross-drilled rotors, four-piston fixed calipers
Steering System: Speed-proportional, power rack-and-pinion power steering
Suspension Type (front): Independent double wishbones, coil springs, driver-adjustable three-mode variable dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, coil springs, driver-adjustable three-mode variable dampers, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): P255/40ZRF20 97Y
Tire Size (rear): P285/35ZRF20 100Y
Tire Brand: Dunlop
Tire Model: SP Sport Maxx GT 600
Tire Type: Summer, asymmetrical
Wheel size: 20-by-9.5 inches front, 20-by-10.5 inches rear
Wheel material (front/rear): Forged aluminum alloy
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,892 (55.0% front/45.0% rear)

Test Results:

0-30 (sec): 1.3 (2.3 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 2.0 (3.2 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 3.1 (4.3 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 2.9 (3.9 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 4.4 (5.7 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 11.1 @ 123.3 (12.1 @ 122.1 w/ TC on)

30-0 (ft): 26
60-0 (ft): 106

Slalom (mph): 73.7 (73.7 w/ ESC on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 1.01 (0.99 w/ ESC on)

Db @ Idle: 51.0
Db @ Full Throttle: 81.7
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 71.3
RPM @ 70 mph: 2,500

Tester's comments:

Acceleration: Fast but finicky. Sometimes would lose power after the 1-2 shift, and after 5th or 6th run, refused to activate launch control. But when it works properly and makes full power, it's alarmingly quick. Launch control brought revs to 4,000 rpm. Quickest run in "A" letting the computer make its really fast shifts itself. A great launch meant all four tires spinning. Manual shifting via column-mounted paddles. Blips throttle on downshifts. Will hold gears to rev limiter.

Braking: Erratic stopping distances, but incredibly stable and secure stops. Pedal is firm but expected it to be even firmer. First stop was 111 feet. Best stop was sixth (out of seven) at 106 feet. Worst was third stop at 113 feet.

Skid pad: Lots and lots of grip here. Oddity that clockwise direction was just ever so slightly quicker than counter-clockwise. Modulating throttle didn't do a whole lot to alter the car's attitude.

Slalom: Downright amazing through the slalom. Quick, precise steering and lots of grip. It's almost easy to go this fast. Getting on the throttle early around the second-to-last cone would bring the tail out nicely. "R" VDC mode with some ESC ability proves just as effective as turning it all off.