July 24, 2009
The Nissan GT-R, specifically its DTE (distance to empty) trip computer, is a liar. 431 miles on this tank? Only if after 330 miles the transmission breaks and you need to get towed another 100. Consider this: The 2009 Nissan GT-R has a 19.5 gallon fuel tank and according to the EPA averages 18 mpg. Do the math and you get a maximum average range of 351 miles. But what if you're only doing highway miles? The EPA rates the GT-R at a whopping 21 mpg. Again, math tells us that you've got 409 miles to go. We've managed a maximum tank of 337.4 miles in part due to the lure of the throttle, and in part due to the crazy, hyper-paranoid DTE meter. Here's what it did to me at the tail end of a road trip:
I pass a gas station 88 miles from home and check the meter. It says I've got 99 miles left on this tank and the needle is squarely on the 1/4 mark. Perfect! Cruise is set to 75 and I roll on by only to see, as I'm passing the exit, the number drop to 86 miles left. That's less good. Drop speed to 70. Not a mile later watch the number sink to 72. Another mile passes and I'm looking at 63 miles to empty and then seconds later-- as I'm getting my pen to write all this down-- it drops to 58. By the time I pull into the next gas station, 4 miles from the first one, the gauge reads 41 miles to empty and the needle has plummeted below the E. When I filled the tank it only took 13.428 gallons.
Now I was in familiar territory and could have risked it, and probably should have, but to have a meter this wonky, that's this inaccurate, really rubs me the wrong way. I'm a hypermiler using the definition of one who likes to go as far as possible on a single tank. I hold numerous office records for max tank distances. I do it with the Long Term Cars and I do it with my own cars. It's fun. It's not fun when you can't trust your gauges. Fail.
Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 25,310 miles
May 26, 2009
I snagged the GT-R for the long weekend -- score! Figuring that Saturday and Monday would be bad days for L.A.'s already notorious traffic, I limited those days to running errands and running down to Long Beach to play tennis, respectively. The real quality time would be spent Sunday, taking a day trip with my girlfriend to Santa Barbara, with stops at Calabasas (for Supercar Sunday) and Camarillo (for the outlets). I got my car fix at the former (saw everything from Jay Leno's 192? Bugatti racecar to a mint '67 Shelby GT 500) and some new Nike kicks for my gf at the latter.
Right about now you're thinking "Yeah, yeah, that's all very nice...what about the GT-R?"
January 12, 2009
....because otherwise I'd never reach my destinations. Our longterm 2009 Nissan GT-R still draws a crowd at every fuel stop.
I've learned to be efficient when refueling--get out quickly, have card in hand, avoid eye contact and return to the seat ASAP. It's the best bet when looky-loos are about.
Once cornered, though, does politeness suggest I engage them and risk prolonging my stop, or should I be curt and risk being the "a-hole driver of [your brand here]?" It's always a quandary for me.
This morning, it didn't matter. I was a relegated to bystander in my own conversation. Today I learned all about Raoul, who was refueling his Lincoln LS when I pulled up in the GT-R.
Raoul's a longtime Nissan fan who had never heard of the R35 GT-R. Didn't know the first thing about it. However, his curiosity was piqued when he spied its edgy lines and Nissan badge. He's well-versed in the R32-R34 Skylines and furthermore recounted his love for Nissans (he's owned eleven) which among them count three Z-cars, four 510s and two pickups.
I also learned that Raoul still owns various muscle cars stored at his mother's place, that he used to street race back in the day, plus his age and marital status. Fifteen minutes later, I realized I'd hardly put a word in edgewise.
I'm not annoyed, though. It was cool to see the GT-R rekindle the automotive passions of Raoul, the guy who just needed to get some gas on the way to work.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor at 15,619 miles.
October 06, 2008
The first time I really laid into the GT-R was merging onto the highway Saturday morning. The absolutely effortless acceleration and jet-like engine aria were astonishing -- I giggled for a good 30 seconds. Sadlier was dead on when he described it as like driving a plane. Actually, the last time I felt such a sensation was on a small private jet.
So when I drew the GT-R for the weekend, I immediately changed my plans and jetted out for 24 hours in Las Vegas.
Given the fact I live farther away than Jacquot does, I knew I couldn't touch his absurd time from the week before, but on a Saturday morning I figured I could at least set a new record for myself. Averaging around -- mph and keeping pace with other cars, I got from Santa Monica to the Luxor in 3.5 hours. And what a few hours it was. Once you clear the god-awful Los Angeles freeway surfaces, the GT-R's Comf suspension setting becomes less ironic and I could actually enjoy the ride. The seats I initially lamented for pinching a little too much and not offering adjustable bolsters like in the G37, actually became wonderfully comfortable as the drive went on. My girlfriend (who is basically half my size) concurred that the seats were excellent.
September 26, 2008
It appears that our GT-R is back on form. Thanks to a little help from our Escort 9500i radar detector it set down a nice baseline for future OC to Vegas time trials yesterday morning. How does 266.3 miles in two hours and 54 minutes sound?
Actually, we did nothing of the sort. Only irresponsible hacks who care little about the safety of others would do something like that. So cool it with the comments.