Since 2007, the supercar-slayer dubbed ‘Godzilla’ has destroyed reputations and cemented a place in the hearts of car enthusiasts by combining fiendishly clever technology with brutal performance. And the Track Edition that you see here takes some of the uprated suspension parts used on the fearsome Nismo version, including retuned dampers and springs, while under the bonnet there’s no additional power, but revised injectors and software tweaks release more power at low revs.
The exterior of the GT-R has changed little over the last few years and with good reason. It’s impossible to miss on account of its chiselled flanks, signature quad taillights and unmissable rear wing. The Track Edition adds some delicious black-finished alloy wheels to the mix; it would take just a couple of decals to make it look ready to race. The GT-R’s public image is borderline untouchable. It’s the poster car for a generation raised on Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport, but it has the firepower to back up that reputation, too. Legendary is a term a little overused these days but if anything qualifies then the GT-R does.
There are no changes to the cabin in terms of its layout, so the space on offer is relatively modest. Up front you have body-hugging sports seats with the understandably wide transmission tunnel, so you’re relatively snug once inside. In the rear, it’s possible to squeeze an adult in, but it is best restricted just to children. However, there’s a pay off in boot space, which is surprisingly generous.
From the second you pull away, the GT-R Track Edition leaves you in no doubt about its credentials. Even in its softest setting the suspension is firm, the gearbox is noisier on account of its robust design and the controls are chunky in their operation. It might have a wealth of computer systems helping you out but it is still a physical car to drive. But the overwhelming sensation you get from the GT-R is speed. This may be a relatively heavy car but the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 is the definition of relentless; whatever your current speed, as long as the engine’s spinning above idle there’s fearsome acceleration available with barely a pause as the dual-clutch gearbox fires in the next ratio. The suspension changes don’t make their presence felt unless you start to push hard, wherein you’ll discover that wheel control is improved, making the GT-R track your chosen line ever more closely. The grip available is huge and likely to be more than you would ever need on the road. On track there’s far more scope for exploring its stratospheric limits, but even there it is probably more capable than you are.
The GT-R in Track Edition guise is pricier than the standard car, but more crucially it costs less than the Nismo version. It does without many of the Nismo’s trick parts, notably the carbon fiber body and more powerful engine, but importantly you get the gorgeous alloy wheels and uprated suspension, which you’ll benefit from more of the time. This is unquestionably an expensive car, but there are slower rivals costing tens of thousands more.
The Track Edition will appeal to someone looking for more than bragging rights, though; it’s an incredibly mountain-road weapon, but is also more than capable of tearing up a track day, and if you choose not to do so it’s a waste of the additional outlay.