Nissan GT-R – comfortable cruiser to cruise missile

Nissan has split the GT-R range into two very different avenues

Nissan has split the GT-R range into two very different avenues - Credit: PA

Nissan has a soft option for the awesome GT-R but it hasn't gone soft on its bargain supercar.

What's new?

Nissan has split the GT-R range into two very different avenues – the hard-as-nails £125,000 Nismo version to satisfy track-day addicts, and this, the newly-softened standard car at £78,020. The idea is that by softening the suspension, this model will be more GT than R but, with four times the power of an average family hatchback, it's hardly a pussy cat.

Myriad graphs from Nissan show just how much more effective the 2014 GT-R is at keeping its wheels on the ground more often and, far from having taken the edge off the driving experience, the alterations have transformed it into nothing short of the most devastatingly-effective real-world GT-R ever.

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Looks and image

The GT-R's styling may not look the most aerodynamic but, thanks to some remarkable technology, it cuts through the air like a swallow. Its image, if the never-ending stream of turning heads and flashing camera phones is any guide, is as potent as ever. The GT-R's legendary brutality commands awe from everyone who sees on it, and the new vermillion red paint job does no harm either.

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Space and practicality

The boot opens like a laundry basket – you have to lift back the lid and drop your wares into it from the top. There's actually quite a lot of space in there for luggage but, since the rear seats are all but useless, it's not like the GT-R will need to excel at carrying pushchairs.

Inside the lushly-appointed cabin, figure-hugging sports seats are swathed in high-quality materials including optional full leather. You won't find anywhere to put everyday bits and pieces though so make you wear something with pockets.

Behind the wheel

The new ride quality, particularly cruising at speed, is a revelation. Where the 2013 GT-R was skittish and edgy at speed the new model is astonishingly stable and, on relatively well-surfaced highways, comfort levels in the suspension's softest mode are almost at Bentley levels.

But this is still a GT-R and transforms from 'cruise' to 'missile' in the flick of a couple of aircraft-style toggle switches. The engine becomes ferociously responsive and the slight turbo lag explodes into a monumental surge of turbocharged acceleration that leaves most other cars trailing into the distance.

Corner exit grip from the hi-tech four-wheel drive system is incredible too, finding untold levels of traction. But within the formidable levels of grip the new GT-R can be adjusted and balanced through corners just by using the throttle, giving it a level of confidence-inspiring malleability owners have never enjoyed before.

Value for money

At £78,020 the GT-R is hardly priced in everyday family car territory, but for the sheer capability on offer against rivals costing almost twice the price, it is something of a bargain. It's now an involving, raucous and intoxicating driving experience, which boosts its X Factor sky-high and increases its perceived value for money.

Who would buy one?

This monster machine is built for people who want an everyday supercar to take their other halves out for dinner and cover mileage in comfort and refinement with the ability to switch to full Banzai mode when they get to their destination. The GT-R has certain charms that not even its arch-nemesis the Porsche 911 Turbo has and, all financial considerations aside, the 2014 model makes a stellar case for itself. Prepare to want one.

This car summed up in a single word – monumental.

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