We will have more time behind the wheel tomorrow, so check back then for further impressions, but we thought you’d like some initial thoughts as soon as we had them…
Nissan has certainly succeeded in its aim of reducing NVH. From the first time you apply full lock to manoeuvre slowly out of a parking space you notice that there is no longer the old graunching and grumbling of tightly wound diffs. Part of me misses it, but it did sound very agricultural, so I can understand why it’s been banished. On the Autobahn the GT-R still rips up to 150mph with utter disdain, feeling beautifully stable at big speeds. However, there is far less tyre noise encroaching into the cabin and a long journey would be a much more pleasant experience than in the old car. The ride too feels like an improvement, particularly in comfort mode. It’s no limo, but the jarring edges have been rounded off the impacts, meaning that you don’t wince if forced to drive over a pothole.
Subscribe to evo magazine
The cabin is a mixture of the familiar (the dials – I still love the way the instrument binnacle moves with the steering column as you adjust it) and the new in the shape of the bigger infotainment screen, carbon on the transmission tunnel and the new steering wheel. There is also a new knob down near the bright red starter button that mimics something like BMW’s iDrive controller. It still isn’t the sort of cabin that will delight aesthetes, but it brings everything up to date and with the extra leather it feels a bit less utilitarian.
When you start pushing the MY17 GT-R it feels slightly less aggressive in its set-up than before. The front end feels a little softer on turn in and when you get on the throttle the transition to oversteer is smoother and more progressive. You can still feel the car juggling the power and you tend to drive it through slides with quite minimal steering correction, but it feels less abrupt and edgy now in the way the ATTESA E-TS manages the torque between the wheels.
On circuit (we had a handful of laps round Spa) the GT-R’s more refined demeanour made it more approachable and easily manageable. It felt calmer mid corner and more predictable in the way it moved around. It’s perhaps a smidgen less raw and doesn’t feel quite as freakishly agile but it felt easier to get more out of the car, particularly through the ballsy fast corners that Spa has in abundance. It certainly didn’t feel any slower and I enjoyed it enormously.