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Thread: My R35 GTR Review

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    Member Clement's Avatar
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    Default My R35 GTR Review

    As a couple of people asked me for reviews after driving the R35 GTR at Buttonwillow I figured I'd do a detailed writeup.

    First of all many thanks to my friend Richard Ge for offering me to drive his GTR. The GTR had been one of my favorite cars for a long time, especially the R32 and R34. I've been reading tons of reviews and watching videos of the R35 and it's a dream come true to finally drive one on Buttonwillow.


    VR38DETT Engine:
    Flat torque curve, very usable and controllable power, good throttle response for a twin turbo engine.


    Borg Warner GR6 Twin Disk Transmission:
    Seamless shifts resulting in uninterrupted power delivery and acceleration. Mid corner up/down shifts will not affect the stability of the car, this gives the driver more freedom for gear selection compared to traditional manual.


    Brembo Brakes:
    I braked early (70% maximum braking power) for all corners and they seemed to do a good job slowing down the heavyweight, no fade for the whole session. Braking force is linear to the amount of pressure applied.


    Dunlop SP Sport Tires:
    Fairly consistent grip for street tires if you're not pushing that hard.


    Chassis:
    I have the most praise for the GTR in this aspect. Nissan engineers did a good job for placing the transmission at the rear. The car feels absolutely composed in accelerating/braking and left/right transitions. Very stable through mid speed corners like Riverside and the Sweepers at Buttonwillow. Easy to flick it left and right at Cotton Corners. Hides its weight very well. But still, a few hundred pounds lighter should do wonders for this car.


    Suspension:
    Understeer at low speed corner entry like the Cotton Corners at Buttonwillow and cannot be eliminated with trail braking. Understeer at all corner exits, but itís a common problem for 4WDs.
    Could use a more aggressive alignment for Buttonwillow. Stock alignment is more suited for high speed tracks like Laguna Seca and Big Willow, it's expected because the car was developed at the Nurburgring. Tire pressures could also be adjusted.


    ATTESA 4WD:
    This is my first time with 4WD on the track and I don't have experience to fully utilize the 4WD Traction it provides. Definitely felt the RWD bias having an edge at corner exit.


    Overall:
    Excellent BALANCE in ALL aspects. I felt very relaxed driving the car and didn't feel like I was going fast at all. A good race car should be predictable, thus allowing the driver to focus on his driving and not worrying about losing control, this is also the best part about the R35 GTR. The fun factor might not be as high as FR/MR/RR cars, but this is a time attack machine that rewards the traditional slow in/fast out technique. Do everything perfect and you get the expected result. You can still get crazy with this car, I tried to do a braking drift at Cotton Corners and the tail end would start to step out, as I didn't carry enough speed, the front wheels will start to gain traction and pull the car straight.

    With my limited 4WD experience, relaxed pace, summer and afternoon heat, passenger and traffic it still did a 2:04 on Buttonwillow #13 Clockwise. Official record is 1:56.9 for BW#13 CW.

    The weight has to go down a lot. I hope they'll cut as much weight as possible with the VSpec and go under 7:20 at Nurburgring.


    Questions:

    1. Electronics are all set to RACE Mode but I felt like there is Traction Control kicking in. I wonder if this is the 4WD System itself or there is some way to disable the Traction Control completely?

    [Addendum] I verified from my other GTR owner friend that VDC was on when I was driving. Apparently if you turn VDC off YOU WILL LOSE YOUR WARRANTY!

    No wonder I felt constrained going in and out of corners. I'm now 100% sure that the GTR is entirely capable of doing 1:56.9 @ BW and 7:29 @ Nurburgring in stock trim!!!

    2. What is the proper way to fully utilize the 4WD grip at corner entry and exit? Brake in a straight line and throw the car into the corner and let the 4WD do all your work, then allow more space for the car to push out at corner exit? Trail brake to help with corner entrance grip and keep the momentum going?


    Lastly thanks to my friend Ray Lok for the beautiful pictures with his new telescopic lens!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 384954519_26fn2-o.jpg   384954859_pzejx-o.jpg  

    384954879_v9tzs-o.jpg  
    Last edited by Clement; 10-09-2008 at 03:45 AM.

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    great review... when you borrow the car again and run a 1:56.9 I'll believe it....

    n
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    What's Traction Control? 600RR_Rocket's Avatar
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    Hey Clement...nice review! You should post that video you have up on Facebook here...it was kinda cool to watch that Berlina S2K following the GT-R around the sweeper.

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    FIA WTCC/Formula D Driver MiataCharles_Hong_Kong's Avatar
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    NICE review Clem! Yeah post that video on facebook here, it'd be cool to watch ! haha

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    Corners > Straights JDMxDB8's Avatar
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    Awesome review!

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    dirty smack talker hakeem's Avatar
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    Good writeup. As discussed in another thread, I don't think 1:56 is a realistic time for a 'showroom stock' GTR Some of the times we are seeing now (including your 2:04) appear to be more in line with what a 4000lb 480hp car should be doing.

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    FIA WTCC/Formula D Driver MiataCharles_Hong_Kong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hakeem View Post
    Good writeup. As discussed in another thread, I don't think 1:56 is a realistic time for a 'showroom stock' GTR Some of the times we are seeing now (including your 2:04) appear to be more in line with what a 4000lb 480hp car should be doing.
    Trust me, clement really was babying it, 2:04 was absolutely "cruising pace" ,he didnt even hit the redline coz the owner riding next to him told him not to! So I hope you would never use his 2:04 time to justify or do comparison, he posted the time for the sake of showing how the GTR can match some heavily mod cars time(2:04) without even hitting redline, taking it easy, + that he was not used to driving 4wd, no cutting curb and pushing, VDC on, etc... can still do. It just shows how much more the car has on the table.
    Last edited by MiataCharles_Hong_Kong; 10-09-2008 at 09:53 AM.

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    dirty smack talker hakeem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiataCharles_Hong_Kong View Post
    Trust me, clement really was babying it, 2:04 was absolutely "cruising pace" ,he didnt even hit the redline coz the owner riding next to him told him not to!
    I guess the only way to settle this is to actually have someone in a stock GTR run close to the 1:56 time. Of course no one will, because the car is new and they are 'babying' it

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    FIA WTCC/Formula D Driver MiataCharles_Hong_Kong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hakeem View Post
    I guess the only way to settle this is to actually have someone in a stock GTR run close to the 1:56 time. Of course no one will, because the car is new and they are 'babying' it
    If I had money to buy one, I would push it to the max on my first track day out in a heartbeat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hakeem View Post
    I guess the only way to settle this is to actually have someone in a stock GTR run close to the 1:56 time. Of course no one will, because the car is new and they are 'babying' it
    thas what I have been saying for 2 months now... I wanna see it, i dont wanna hear what it 'should' do...

    steve millen in a factory supplied GTR does NOT count..... a normal dude in a US spec dealership bought GTR break 57 at BW... bone stock.... that counts.

    I do find it funny that in order to run a quicker time you have to essentially turn off VDC and VOID YOUR WARRANTY.. that is just crazy. I think there are currently 3 new GTR's in the US that have $20k in gearing damage that NISSAN will NOT cover because the owners had VDC turned off 'too much'..... i dont care if the ****er runs 54's....

    I smell a class action lawsuit coming for false advertising....
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    dirty smack talker hakeem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nils View Post
    I do find it funny that in order to run a quicker time you have to essentially turn off VDC and VOID YOUR WARRANTY.. that is just crazy. I think there are currently 3 new GTR's in the US that have $20k in gearing damage that NISSAN will NOT cover because the owners had VDC turned off 'too much'..... i dont care if the ****er runs 54's....

    I smell a class action lawsuit coming for false advertising....
    This is another reason that we will never see a 1:56 from a stock GTR; no owner is going to want to void their warranty by turning VDC off, which I assume you have to do to actually go fast.

    Sucks because the car is great, I have driven one around town here for about 30 minutes and it is a blast with incredible torque and response.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MiataCharles_Hong_Kong View Post
    If I had money to buy one, I would push it to the max on my first track day out in a heartbeat.
    yea, and you would loose your warranty instantly.. so when your $20k tranny breaks YOU would have to cover that cost out of your own pocket.

    so add that to your purchasing budget right off the bat.....
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    FIA WTCC/Formula D Driver MiataCharles_Hong_Kong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nils View Post
    yea, and you would loose your warranty instantly.. so when your $20k tranny breaks YOU would have to cover that cost out of your own pocket.

    so add that to your purchasing budget right off the bat.....
    yea, might as well. lol

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    dirty smack talker hakeem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiataCharles_Hong_Kong View Post
    yea, might as well. lol
    Just carry a briefcase packed with $20k in 5 dollar bills with you at all times, ready for the inevitable.

    BTW Nils, where did you hear about the owners who were having transmission troubles? I want to show it to my friend who has a GTR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hakeem View Post
    I guess the only way to settle this is to actually have someone in a stock GTR run close to the 1:56 time. Of course no one will, because the car is new and they are 'babying' it
    what are you talking about, Mr Millen had done it!

    if you don't think USDM R35 can do it, maybe you can believe JDM R35 can do it!

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    when i saw this test in Japan at Motegi raceway, with VDC on and off driven by Tsuchiya, there is only about 1s difference on a 2 min track, i guess with VDC on, 1'58~1'59 should be reasonable?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hakeem View Post
    Just carry a briefcase packed with $20k in 5 dollar bills with you at all times, ready for the inevitable.

    BTW Nils, where did you hear about the owners who were having transmission troubles? I want to show it to my friend who has a GTR.
    here is one...
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    same dude on a gtr forum..... I find this very interesting how nissan advertises performance numbers that are only acheiveable by voiding the warranty...

    http://www.nagtroc.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=25361

    from same thread....

    'I just did a quick look at the fine print of the warranty info.
    http://www.nissanusa.com/pdf/techpub...09_GTR_WIB.pdf

    Nissan will not cover damage due to misuse of:
    Operating the vehicle with VDC off, except when rocking vehicle when stuck in mud or snow. '
    driving cars n stuff....

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    Quote Originally Posted by nils View Post
    Nissan is in trouble for sure! this is USA!

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    dirty smack talker hakeem's Avatar
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    That is pretty sick. I guess his point is valid:

    I know we shouldn't launch the car but why own it if you cant use this function, don't sell a car that goes 0-60 in 3.4 sec if the only way you can achieve this speed is to void the warranty

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