October 31, 2012 4:43 PM  |  Posted By: David_Yu
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Related Categories: Fast Fleet blog

The first (and only) major demerit I noticed on driving my GT-R away from the forecourt back in April 2009 was the punishingly harsh ride. Even in Comfort mode, the dampers always seemed unnecessarily hard in bounce and coupled with the OEM Dunlop runflat tyres, the result was borderline unpleasant on broken surfaces.

I’ve always been of the opinion that good handling does not have to mean hard riding. In fact if you understand that the main job of a suspension system is to keep the tyre contact patches in touch with the road surface, then it’s obvious that you need the right level of compliance to keep them there when on a bumpy surface.

Conversely on smooth tracks and especially when using grippier tyres like the Toyo R888s or Michelin Pilot Super Sports, it became clear that Stealth Zilla wasn’t stiff enough in roll, as it would adopt noticeable angles of lean and was not as agile as I would have liked on tighter corners and under rapid direction changes.

Now I am well aware that Mizuno-san’s GT-R development team have spent countless hours and thousands of laps at the Nurburgring Nordschleife constantly refining and tweaking the suspension, and indeed the “enhanced” DBA-R35 model that started with the 2011 model year has got a more compliant and yet sharper handling setup than my 2009 model’s.

So without having to stump up the £20k-£30k cost to change to trade up to a 2011 or 2012 model, is there a way to get the 2009 to handle as well or even better and combine that with a better ride? Buy issue 178 of evo magazine to find out…

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David_Yu at 11:17 AM November 14, 2012

Hi Chinto, yes the 2011 model has a far more compliant suspension. I always have the maximum negative front camber possible dialled in and that helps a lot with front end sharpness and feel. The new suspension that is going to be featured in the next issue of the magazine, 178, improves turn-in further.

Chinto at 10:08 AM November 14, 2012

You are very familiar with the GT-R as well as other supercars. I would like to hear your opinion on this: I loved the GT-R to bits - extraordinarily fast on any road in any weater, easy to drive, and with a very communicative and adjustable rear end. However, I found the front end to be vague and "heavy", meaning that it was hard to judge what entry speed I could have into corners, a problem that was very prominent in tight, slow hairpins. Is this an impression you share? By the way: I found the 2011 GT-R's ride perfectly acceptable :)

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