The R35 GT-R has always struggled to wed two seemingly opposing ideals: GT, the long-haul luxury missile. And R, the lap time-mauling, physics-twisting animal.
But now that Nissan has created its halo Nismo GT-R for those who scoff at things like ride comfort and luxury, it’s allowed Nissan to explore more of the GT side of the GT-R with its MY14 update.
Once upon a time, the GT-R felt like it had tensed biceps for springs and solid rods for shocks. That’s changed with the new car.
For MY14, Nissan has revised the GT-R’s front swaybar spring rates and electronic damping control to “reduce load fluctuations between the four wheels”. The goal was for the suspension to be better at keeping tyre and bitumen kissed together, but it’s also resulted in a better ride.
It’s also quieter thanks to new active noise cancellation in its Bose stereo (fairly common tech in new cars these days). Nissan has even revised the placement of sound deadening to reduce driveline whine.
It’s all very grown-up, indeed – and it works. The GT-R now rides over city streets in such a way as to not incur the chagrin of any non-enthusiast passengers.
And for low-speed stuff, Nissan has also adjusted the brakes to make them less aggro, and the steering to be lighter. The result? A GT-R that’s much easier to live with.
There are cosmetic changes, too. The MY14 scores new headlights, and tail-lights incorporating two sexy, solid rings of red. Meanwhile you can have your GT-R in a new crimson exterior red, or with an ivory leather interior (either good or ghastly depending on your tastes).
To drive, the GT-R is as berserk as ever. Full-throttle is frightening in the wet. It’ll wriggle like it’s rear-wheel drive with wheelspin in first and second gears. I drove the MY14 in the wet and if I’m honest, it was more frightening than enjoyable.
Unless its standard Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GTs – which look like semi-slicks – have a bit of heat in them, it’s difficult to feel the limit (and feel confident) belting along a twisty Aussie backroad.
It also still feels a bit too stiff to properly deal with a bumpy Aussie road at speed. These are things not normally an issue, unless you’re in a 1740kg car with 404kW, that does 0-100km/h in 2.7 seconds. We’ll have another go in the dry and get back to you.
So... elephant in the room. Where the hell is the MY14 Nismo, Nissan Oz?
MY14 NISSAN GT-R
Engine 3799cc V6, DOHV, 24v, twin-turbo
Power 404kW @ 6400rpm
Torque 628Nm @ 3200-5800rpm
0-100km/h 2.7sec (claimed)