Here’s some simple chemistry for you. Take three letters, in this case GT-R, and mix them with one iconic word, Porsche for instance, and you get a very explosive rivalry.

The Nissan Skyline GT-Rs of old never really seemed to upset the supercar establishment that much, provoking nothing more than knowing nods that they were potentially “as fast as a Porsche or Ferrari” from motoring hacks and fans of Japanese cars.

So what has changed? My money, or at least some of it, would go on the way the GT-R looks.

Follow most forums on the latest Porsche-baiting run around the Nurburgring and there will normally be at least one person who resorts to insinuating that the GT-R’s looks only appeal to people who don’t use vowels in text messages.Read about Nissan's latest GT-R 'Ring record

Autocar's verdict on the Nissan GT-R

But although the previous generation Skyline GT-Rs were almost unashamedly Max Power, the latest one, in my opinion, is a nice looking car.

It’s big but well proportioned, has more than a hint of Ferrari 612 Scaglietti about the rear three-quarters, and has some interesting touches such as the vented front wings.

It’s not as beautiful as a 911 GT2, but it is a proper sports car, unlike the bespoilered Tokyo taxi look of GT-Rs of old.

Forget what people say and have a good look at the big Nissan - it is difficult to say it is a bad looking car.

Couple this to the crushing, almost unfathomable, performance of the GT-R, and it suddenly becomes a very desirable piece of kit.

Porsche probably didn’t care when it looked like an extra from Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift because it knew its customers wouldn’t be drawn to it no matter what it went like.

Now it has genuine road presence, it is a lot more enticing than previous GT-Rs, and a lot cheaper than the competition.

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