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Steering, suspension and comfort

You only have to look at the Nissan GT-R’s lap time around our dry handling circuit – only just shy of the Ferrari 430 Scuderia and Porsche 911 GT2, despite its inferior power-to-weight ratio – to realise that it has one or two tricks in its handling bag. Traction is just one, but then you would expect that from the GT-R’s broad tyres and all-wheel drive

More than any other element, what gives the GT-R its staggering pace is remarkable stiffness, not just in the suspension set-up but the shell construction. Over bumpy roads and even in its Comfort setting – softened from the Japanese spec – the ride is reasonably busy.

The GT-R’s lap time is only just shy of the Ferrari 430 Scuderia and Porsche 911 GT2

Although the body is moving around, you can sense the rigidity in the shell. On a smoother surface and with the suspension either in Comfort or R mode, the GT-R can use this rigidity to generate incredible lateral grip.  

Although the GT-R excels on almost all road surfaces and conditions, and is, for a heavy car, impressively agile through slower corners if you’re prepared to bully it a little, it is more at home on wider roads and through sweeping corners.

The steering takes a little getting used to; at 2.6 turns lock to lock it is quick and relatively lightly weighted, but it is exceptionally accurate and communicative when the limits of adhesion approach.

The changes incorporated into the Track Pack subtly enhance the GT-R package to make it more playful at the limit; ideal for those wishing to regularly use their car on a circuit. The extra brake cooling has genuine benefits, with the non-carbon rotors refusing to fade after sustained track abuse.

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Whether from behind the wheel or standing by the roadside, it is impossible not to be anything but blown away by the sight or feel of a GT-R on maximum attack; its ability to grip and channel horsepower to the road is quite astonishing. The trouble is that to get the most from it you really need to be on a track; use anything more than 40 per cent of its capabilities on the road and you’re travelling way faster than you should.