2009 Nissan GT-R: Nashville to LA, Part 3: R35 Survives a Storm
August 07, 2008
As soon as I cross the Missouri-Kansas state line and enter the toll section of Interstate 70, the 2009 Nissan GT-R and I are driving through a pretty terrific thunderstorm.
There's not much hail, fortunately, so the bodywork takes no welts. The flash flooding is considerable, though, and at times visibility seems like it's not more than a few feet in front of the Nissan's nose. Motorists are pulling to the shoulder. And the GT-R's Bridgestone Potenza RE070Rs, particularly the rears, are hard-pressed to find traction. I reduce speed (a lot) but still find myself countersteering every other minute. I don't know if I'd call these tires great in the wet. But given how much water is on the road, this isn't a fair test.
Finally, the storm is over and we enjoy this post-nuclear sunset near Topeka while waiting at the toll plaza. After nightfall, I roll into Hays, Kansas, planning to grab a room at one of its many chain motels. But everything is booked up by summer vacationers. I end up with the very last room at the Best Western in Waukeeney, KS, which is about 45 minutes farther west. Clearly, not everyone has put their summer travel plans on hold due to high gas prices.
I see a lot of husband-and-wife Harleys during my road trip west, but this is the only one with a side car. After they complete their pass on this stretch of I-70 just west of Columbia, MO, this couple politely moves to the right lane and he gives me a thumbs-up. (The camera is zoomed in this pic, so my following distance is more conservative than it appears.)
Before leaving Missouri, by the way, I give our Nissan GT-R one last fill of 93 octane, its preferred drink, according to the label on its fuel door. From here on out, it will have to make do with inferior 91.
Tomorrow, we'll cross into Colorado and find some twistier back roads.
Erin Riches, Edmunds Senior Editor @ 1,567 miles