April 30, 2013 9:38 PM  |  Posted By: David_Yu
Rated 3.3 out of 5.0 by 9 members  |  26 Comments  |  14126 Views
Related Categories: Fast Fleet blog

Odd one out?

Is the GT-R a supercar?

That’s a question that crops up occasionally in my mind as I get invited to participate in yet another supercar event. Of course that should in itself, answer the question, because if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be asked to bring Stealthzilla to such events.

On the other side of the coin, sit “badge snobs” who automatically dismiss the GT-R simply for being a Nissan and therefore by default, incapable of being a supercar.

Personally, I’m torn. Having owned some bona fide supercars, I have to admit my definition tends towards the mid-engined, 2 seater with outrageous looks, performance and noise. One that is impractical, “exotic” and definitely not designed for everyday use.

And yet… Every time I drive Stealthzilla, I still get that tingle I used to get when firing up my F355 Spider. Or my F430 Spider. It helps that despite it being capable of being an everyday car, my GT-R is only reeled out occasionally and always for fun.

It has to be said that the standard item is far too quiet and the interior arguably too bland to engender any sense of occasion, but that is exactly why I’ve modified mine to suit. As for the looks; although chunky Godzilla lacks the low, svelte appeal of a Ferrari 458 Italia, it does have massive presence and still attracts an almost-embarrassing amount of attention on every outing. And even four years later, I still love the planar surface details, particularly when supernaturally highlighted by the matte clear wrap and of course as Captain Solo said, “I’ve made a lot of special modifications myself”…

Obviously, when it comes to performance, even the most ardent traditional supercar fan will grudgingly admit that the GT-R, particularly a lightly modified one like Stealthzilla, will match or beat anything this side of a £270,000 Aventador in a straight line, and positively eat them for breakfast around a circuit with corners.

There is something deeply, satisfyingly amusing about being able to do that in a car coming from a humble badge, that can seat four with luggage and be amongst the safest cars on the road in all weather conditions. Whether or not it fits your personal definition of a supercar, there is no denying the GT-R is a super car.

supercar, or not?

Pics taken at the Dodgeball Rally preview event at the Rizonjet hangar, Biggin Hill.

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Janon at 5:21 AM December 1, 2014

Wow so many dbags on this comment stream. Capt Caveman being the most classic example.Pretends to have formed an opinion based on real world experience, then by the end careens off into a drooling virtriole filled rant.Horrible steering? Clunky? Lousy gearbox? Yeah ok... Youre a jack ass clearly.Its fine to think the GTR isn't a supercar, but its not fine to be a moron.Not one professional publication comes NEAR your BS imaginary assessment of the GTRI'd love to meet you on a track though and show you how 'heavy and clunky' the car is at speed. That is if you can bear to be out of that oh so exotic Boxster S for a lap or two. And assuming you can even find your way TO the track. I think its just two exits past the Starbuks. oh and there is no such thing as "GTR mode" oh and at the track i dont eat tires any quicker than i did in my NSX. oh and did i mention youre an idiot? actually i think i did.

DrLinson at 11:16 PM July 18, 2013

It is a great car, amazing engineering and obviously fantastic performance but it is not a supercar. The fact that people keep talking about it being only 80k says it all, this is not an exotic car, it is an amazing car but it does not fit the definition of a supercar.

Captain_Caveman at 6:33 PM June 10, 2013

Oh, and it's just too big and heavy too, and in 'GT-R mode' absolutely wipes out all four tyres in a few hundred miles, in my experience.

Captain_Caveman at 6:30 PM June 10, 2013

...Is the GT-R a supercar?No. Absolutely and unequivocally not.A 'supercar' is more than simply being fast. It has to be special, too - that's the "super" part of the equation; truly a cut above almost any other car. The clue's in the name...The Nissan GT-R is a truly impressive beast; no-one could possibly deny that. I know, because I've driven both a stock one (which was still utterly astonishing and left my little Boxster S absolutely for dead), and a heavily tuned example, which managed to smoke a GSX-R at the lights for heaven's sake. In the dry.Yes, they are truly incredible things, but I'm sorry - once you get used to the incredible 'destroyer of worlds' performance trick (which admittedly does take some getting over), you're left with a big, heavy, clumsy car with over-light, feedback-poor steering, a nasty, clunky paddleshift 'box, a tacky, garish interior and about as much personality as 'Comedy Dave' off the radio.I was very glad to get back into my "slow" little Boxster.

GTRHK at 1:46 PM June 2, 2013

driving my 08 GTR get a lot of respect especially if you have a loud exhaust and thats good enough for me. my super car.

Rotrexman at 3:08 PM May 21, 2013

eugenux - not quite sure why you think I'd liken a 2.5 ton SUV to a supercar as I personally don't like them, but as said we all have differing opinions as to what a supercar really is. The fact is that an R35 will seriously embarass a so-called thoroughbred in many situations. As far as I'm concerned, that definitely helps to earn it the supercar tag - especially at under £80k !

Pycraft at 1:05 PM May 17, 2013

No, I don't think it's a supercar. Why? Because I think "supercar" is a term for the non-car-obsessed fraternity. To us, I assume, a great car is a great car; a "supercar" is one which people think bestows godlike abilities (or at least status) on the owner.So I don't think a Nissan could be a supercar, because at the very least, you have to explain what the car is. "I drive a Ferrari" requires no explanation. Something that is "super" can't ever be mundane. Porsche's can't be super when you see so many of them around, and Aston is headed the same way (I see one a day, on average). A supercar has to be something you see a couple of times per year.It also has to look like nothing else. It can't remotely look like something "normal". Last time I saw a Diablo parked up, door open, it looked like a flying saucer had landed. Mid-engined will always win this one, because front engined will always look more "normal".I guess quite simply, wold Athena have made posters of it?

markc555 at 11:38 AM May 17, 2013

Great car but not a "Supercar".

Lucky2BHere at 5:55 PM May 15, 2013

Of course it is! Anyone who says otherwise, hasn't driven one. All this yapping about how it doesn't have the same emotional effect as a Lambo has only a bit of truth to it. No doubt, many of the others are very sexy looking, and sound like the gods are their very source of motivation, but one drive in a GTR will have you damned giddy and you'll never see it the same again. It is not your daddy's Nissan and has an mighty impressive presence all it's own; regardless of the badge and the pricing.

Mr Pisch at 9:42 AM May 14, 2013

nice article Mr Yu

eugenux at 6:35 PM May 10, 2013

@rotrex:it was my opinion based on what you have said(your criteria of what a supercar is); in my book, a 2,5 tonne SUV for obese americans, will never be a supercar;for you, it seems the contrary. IMO, a supercar should make you vibrate inside; a murcielago does that for me, an aventador..any lamborghini actually. the same is with ferrari(i chased once a giallo modena 458 about 3 km through town just to look at it in motion and hear that engine/exhaust. i also stood near a GT3 for a whole hour just looking at it, just admiring it. a supercar should not be defined just by the numbers. anything(on 4, 3 or 2 wheels) can be made to go to 300kph and acc. in less than 4 sec; that, may be 20-30% of what a supercar is. the rest of it though, is pure emotion.., not adrenaline rush.., emotion. And i am sorry, i really like GT-Rs, i would buy one if i could, but it will never excite me as much as a true supercar(because, in my mind, the GT-Rs, are simply "jumped-up STIs or EVOs, not supercars)

IanO at 3:25 PM May 8, 2013

You can't even use the dictionary definition to help - Oxford says a Supercar is "a high-performance sports car" which the GTR certainly is, whilst Collins makes it "a very expensive fast or powerful car with a centrally located engine" which the GTR isn't. My vote would be anything in the 200mph club is a Supercar, regardless of badge, engine location etc.

Gonk at 10:41 PM May 7, 2013

"Obviously, when it comes to performance, even the most ardent traditional supercar fan will grudgingly admit that the GT-R, particularly a lightly modified one like Stealthzilla, will match or beat anything this side of a £270,000 Aventador in a straight line, and positively eat them for breakfast around a circuit with corners." "Is the GT-R a Super Car?" Yes.

Rotrexman at 8:47 PM May 7, 2013

eugenux - newsflash ! That's just your personal opinion. We're both entitled to give them & neither of us is right or wrong.

pilouil at 4:24 PM May 5, 2013

When the first Honda NSX was introduced it competed with the Ferrari 348, not the 328.

Bunta at 2:05 PM May 5, 2013

I consider both the GTR and LFA to be supercars. They rock mofos!

LAX at 12:29 PM May 4, 2013

The same questions came up on the comparisons btw Honda NSX vs Ferrari 348.. Guess which one functions, still today, with or without a normal service?? Yes The Honda NSX! Just do a normal service approx £600 and drive away :-) One appreciate those kind of things a rainy or snowy morning in december..;-) and YES the Nissan might lack a bit in fun factor compared to the McLaren 12C or the Ferrari 458 Italia, BUT it cost less than half the money in comparison. The McLaren MP4-12C is a GTR with rwd even though it's percentage wise much faster in a straight line comparison. 0-186 mph the McLaren does it in (MY013) 25 sec vs Nissan's MY013 does it in 45 sec!

dudeluk at 2:16 PM May 3, 2013

I noticed, as in saw and heard(!) a GT-R on the road just the other day and judging by how many heads it turned I was thinking that it was just as exotic as the next supercar. The interior may be a bit bland and it may be a little too affordable for a super car, but I certainly love the sight of one just as much as any other so called supercar. So no worries, we love the GT-super-R!

Samoht at 10:08 PM May 1, 2013

Journalists used to ask a similar question about the 911 Turbo - quick and capable enough to be a supercar, yet somehow too compact, too upright, too practical to be considered equivalent to a Countach or Testarossa. In many ways the Skyline is in the same category as the 911, especially as the latter has matured into a 4wd super-GT over the past decade. Personally I wouldn't count either as true supercars, yet I find them, especially the GTR, equally fascinating as a 458 or MP12-C, thus I'm glad they are lined up together at 'supercar' events.

articulatedjunk at 4:17 PM May 1, 2013

It's definitely more super than the absurd Porsche thing photobombing that first picture.

Jimmy Choo at 1:21 PM May 1, 2013

I think David means "lightly modified compared to what it will end up like when my wallet is empty".

pilouil at 12:53 PM May 1, 2013

"Lightly modified" with 717 hp vs the original 485 hp - exactly in the same way that the McLaren P1 is a "lightly modified" MP4-12C, having the same engine (and cell) and 916 hp vs the original 625 hp... in both cases that's about 47% power increase.

eugenux at 12:37 PM May 1, 2013

Rotrexman, do you consider a Brabus B63-620 a supercar?(because, by your standards: performance, all weather capability, overtaking capability, spacious inside and confortable, it should be...correct? well, isn't and neither is the GT-R! ;)

CCC4U at 12:16 PM May 1, 2013

I suppose the question is: Were there any unmodified GTRs at the event. Yours may be classed as supercar due to the large amount of power, the wrap and details you have added to it!

Rotrexman at 9:03 AM May 1, 2013

Sorry, I disagree. Shame on you Mr Yu - of course the R35 is a supercar ! Not a hypercar in the vein of a Ferrari F50 or Carrera GT, but a genuine performance machine. What other car for so little money (relatively speaking) can match it's rivals ? On a wet day, some so called supercars are an absolute liability. The R35 laughs at such silliness, it's capable in any weather. When I took some friends out in my old R33, they were actually quite shocked at how spacious, comfortable & practical it was - not just the ridiculous ease with which it overtook. The R35 is up where it belongs !

eugenux at 12:15 AM May 1, 2013!, a super-fast car, yes!, but a super-car..not really-no!

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