Why the new Nissan GT-R is everything that's wrong with Nissan right now.
Nissan is a company that has been known in the past as one of the best manufacturers when it came to enthusiast vehicles, driving innovation to the horizon of what’s possible and beyond. Look at all the Z cars, the old Skyline’s, the 510’s, etc. Nowadays it seems that the manufacturer simply cannot keep up with it’s legacy.
The R35 at the very start of its life in 2007 was much lower on power than what it is now, sure, but back then it was absolutely groundbreaking. It boggled people’s minds, and while the styling took a few years for most to appreciate fully, it certainly was a force to be reckoned with. At the same time, this is where the problem started. Because the hype for the car was so great, and because it populates the centre of every car forum and fanboy’s heart, Nissan decided that the car should continue existing. There have been improvements and new editions over the years, culminating in the “new” 2017 GT-R.
This car, however more powerful it is, shows everything that’s wrong with Nissan, and here are my reasons why:
The VR38 twin-turbo V6 is a nicely conceived engine, no doubt about it. But it’s been in existence in the little intricately different forms for the past 10 years, ever since it went into production around 2007. 10 years later, we need something new. In the age of downsizing, Nissan could’ve been the hero and pulled out a V8-powered GT-R for the enthusiast market, or tried a different variation altogether. They chose to stick with the V6 and up it in power over time, but upgrading the power immensely has not been an issue for the tuning community. Sorry Nissan, we’ve been making your GT-R’s into 1000+ hp beasts for a long time now; not sure we need your bumps anymore.
The chassis is no issue here, mind you. But everything else needs to change for the better and more interesting. Engine’s just one example. Nissan’s too scared, or just doesn’t bother, to put out something that’s TRULY exciting… Which brings me to my next point….
We like the exhilarating driving experience. We live in it and breathe it as car enthusiasts. We take the interiors out of out project cars to make them lighter, install bucket seats and take air con out. But it seems Nissan decided to go in the other direction. Apparently the new GTR is a “quieter, more comfortable” car. While I like the styling cues that are updated (and this is where my strong personal opinion may come under attack), but I wouldn’t care for the GT-R to be more comfortable. The GT-R is already a usable supercar, and making it more comfortable is a waste of money and engineering potential. WE want excitement in our lives. We want to feel the joy of childhood, and driving cars helps us do that - to feel intrinsic joy. Sometimes that means that the cars we drive are a little crazy and beastly. Extra comforts add weight, and can sometimes numb the actual driving experience (think of that statement what you will, but I’m quite firm on my stance for this).
So Nissan… please, make the GT-R at least upgraded in the crazy, more exciting direction. We don’t want a luxury cruiser. We want fun. Or make an R36 if you don’t want to mess with the current platform.
Nissan made a phenomenal range of cars under the Z badge, in all forms and sizes since Datsun up until around 2009, when the 370Z came out. The problems with that car is another story (like the VQ37’s slightly floppy nature), but lots of people loved the car. Maybe Nissan should put in effort to put out another Z? There’s much room for an update there, with maybe slapping on a single turbo for a little more excitement, etc. The ideas are endless. The formula for a great enthusiast car is out there, and Nissan could use the formula to create another Z car to really bring excitement back into the brand. Maybe they’re too scared it’ll take away from the GT-R sales? If it is offered in the right price range, I don’t see how that would be a problem.
What do you guys think? Should the R35 die out, and be replaced with another model? Should Nissan offer a wider range of exciting enthusiast cars?