September 25, 2009
Yesterday, a low tire pressure light flashed up in our long-term 2009 Nissan GT-R's instrument cluster. I punched up the tire pressure display to determine the offending tire. Okay, left rear. I looked for a nail and found a small one in the middle of the tread. Yay for technology.
But I checked the other tires, you know, just in case. That's when this tire check got a lot more exciting.
Here's the inside of the left front tire:
July 07, 2009
There aren't too many things I dislike about our 2009 Nissan GT-R but after riding in it for over 800 miles I finally found a couple things.
1) It has the most annoying high-pitch squeaking which we have determined comes from the panel where the CD player lives. It kinda sounds like when you first insert a disc into a CD player -- you know, that high-pitch squirrelly noise -- but loud and continuous. We found that if we press the panel, the squeaking stops a bit until the imperfect road and the GT-R's stiff suspension set it off again. At one point, I just kept my hand pressed against the panel until my fingers hurt. It was just so annoying! However, I did notice that this squeak doesn't occur all the time, like during my short commute to work.
2) OK, this is more the nav's fault than the car's but when we were looking for the nearest gas station, the nav lead us to closed gas stations three times in a row. We finally just resorted to staying on a major road and driving three miles out of our way until we came across one. And when we were driving through McKittrick in Kern County in dire need of a restroom, the nav lead us to Chevron...oil rigs. Arrgh!
Other than that, I still contend the GT-R is a fine road trip car. Really comfortable seats that cradle you, satellite radio and responsive cruise control.
On an unrelated note, during a quick Starbucks stop in Salinas on the way back, I looked out the shop's window as I was waiting in line and watched a little bird jump into the just-parked GT-R's searing hot vent. It disappeared for a brief second while I bit my nails, and then emerged triumphant with a big, fat dead bug in its beak. In the picture, it's perched getting ready to jump further in. It must get a lot of food hanging out at that Starbucks right off the 101.
June 16, 2009
In addition to its unreal sense of speed, smarty-pants twin-clutch transmission and sheer Godzilla presence, our long-term 2009 Nissan GT-R is notable for its displays.
It has so many. And many of them feel like they're straight out of a video game -- which is no surprise since Kazunori Yamauchi of Gran Turismo fame did consult on their design to the point that Nissan felt obliged to have Sony's Polyphony Digital logo flash whenever you switch over to the multifunction meter.
Though I don't use the displays for entertainment during normal driving, I like that I can nearly always find the information I'm looking for by sifting through the menus (though one turbo-obsessed passenger noted the lack of an exhaust gas temperature display). So here's the tire pressure monitor. Yep, monitors are federally mandated equipment now, so no big deal.
But this particular screen was so easy to get to and it kept me honest: The cold spec for all four tires is 29 psi, so there's no way I could have willfully parked the GT-R in our garage this morning without topping off that right front tire. Now it's done. And I feel better.
April 28, 2009
Explaining forced induction to a youngster is like explaining the joy of motorcycling to your wife. Words don't work. You need first-person experience.
So after explaining supercharger/turbocharger boost to my 10-year-old son a couple weeks ago (with minimal success) I decided it was time for a first-person experience. Strapped into our Nissan GT-R's passenger seat I dialed up the custom LCD screen that displayed brake and throttle application, plus boost level, speed and G-force tracking.
After a short reminder of what the boost gauge was tracking ("This is the amount of air pressure being pushed into the combustion chamber.") I told my young Padawan to watch the throttle position and boost gauges. "You'll see the throttle gauge suddenly go from zero to 100 percent, and then you'll see the boost gauge follow. You'll also notice a change in the GT-R's forward momentum."
Like I said, talking about forced induction is one thing. Seeing it visually displayed on a gauge while simultaneously feeling it throughout your body is something else.
I'm happy to report that when it comes to understanding the benefits of forced induction my son definitely "gets it." And unlike the wife's opinion of motorcycling, he's not terrified by it.
Next on the lesson plan: Why lateral G-forces are cool.
Thank you, Nissan, for the helpful visual aids
Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief @ 19,223 miles
March 14, 2009
Sorry for the super shaky video but my passenger was breakdancing while she was shooting this for me. If anything you can hear what the car sounds like at 70+ mph and see how "bouncy" the ride is.
If the screens are flipping by too fast for you, what we scrolled through, after the jump...
The functions and their descriptions thanks to gran-turismo.com.
Custom view 4 which we customized to have transmission oil temp, engine oil temp, coolant temp, boost, speed and acceleration pedal.
Acceleration: Shows the history graph of acceleration in the last 20 seconds. Has a turbo boost pressure gauge and level of accelerator opening.
Braking: Shows the history graph of deceleration in the last 20 seconds and speed as well as brake fluid pressure gauge.
Steering: Shows history graph of turning Gs in the last 20 seconds as well as speed and steering angle gauge.
Gear Position: Shows engine map indicator. "The current gear and the driving condition during shift up/down is displayed by the color which changes dynamically. The changes in color indicate a higher fuel economy as it turns blue, and more towards acceleration as it turns red." Current speed and gear position are also displayed.
Fuel Economy: "The ECO (fuel economy) level for the last 20 minutes is displayed in 10 levels. The upper small palette shows section fuel consumption gage, and the lower palette shows the current ECO level."
Stop Watch: Shows time measurements during driving. Main box shows section time which can be recorded with a button on the steering wheel. Also shows current speed and total measured time.
Driver's Notes: Ours was blank but this shows the MARK list, "which records intersections and highways that have been passed through automatically." It also displays the fuel gauge, remaining distance to drive and the distance already driven.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor
February 12, 2009
The smart key on the Skyline R35 partially puked last night. I wasn't able to unlock either door with the door mounted switch -- I had to use the remote key, which worked fine. The car started up, no problem, with the key in my pocket. Mike knows about it and will monitor.
This my first time to drive it after the reprogramming, and I got some wheelspin last night. I got away from a few stoplights somewhat quickly, but didn't floor the pedal, and the traction control came on. I definitely felt some wheelspin - I think maybe more than before the reprogram(?) But I have to check with Josh on this.
Oh yeah, the photo above has nothing to do with this blog. It's just an archived Jacobs shot that I didn't want to go to waste. It's suitable as a screensaver, don't you think?
Albert Austria, Sr Vehicle Evaluation Engineer @ 16,909 miles
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.)
October 29, 2008
Seriously Nissan? 80-grand. Automatic transmission, keyless entry, iPod integration, NAV with real-time traffic, but no automatic headlights? It seems trivial, but I had them in my '95 Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe and they should be present here, too.
Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant
October 01, 2008
Shook hands with Godzilla last night, and had a brief, but enjoyable visit. This thing's good. I only experienced two freeway on-ramps to get just a hint of the handling, but it sticks like glue through the turns. If you probed the limits on a public road, you may find yourself on your head. The steering is good, but not great. But the acceleration at speed is amazing, the fastest I've ever experienced. If you mash the throttle on the freeway, there may not be a downshift but there's no drama; you're just gone. And you find yourself quickly going crazy fast. As Dan said, the speedo's useless, but there is a nice digital speed display so you can confirm the traffic citation.
September 04, 2008
There's an infomercial I've watched a few thousand times for some counter top oven thingie. The guy says the contraption is so easy to use, you just "set it and forget it".
I wish our long-term 2009 Nissan GT-R followed this philosophy. Every time I climb in the car I have to put the suspension in Comf (there are three settings) and the transmission in R (Race, it also has three settings). I usually leave its stability control system in its default setting, which does not display a light (it also has three settings).
This sucks. If I owned the GT-R I would want the car to remember how I like it to be set up. I would want to set it and forget it. But as it is, I have to go through the same ritual each and every time I jump in the car. Running errands on a Saturday, I can futz with those toggle switches a dozen times in just an hour or two.
It's quite annoying. I just ran up to the cash machine you stupid car, can't you remember I want Comf?
Scott Oldham, Edmunds Editor in Chief