2012 Nissan GTR review

* Latest version of Nissan GTR driven * Increased power, revised suspension * Rear-view camera and new hi-fi system...

2012 Nissan GTR review

What is it? This is the latest version of the supercar-crushing Nissan GTR.

Amazingly, the Nissan GT-R has been made even faster and better to drive neither of which was exactly a glaring deficiency of the outgoing version. The 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 has been tweaked to boost power, and the suspension has been revised to offer improved agility and handling.

Interestingly, the suspension is now mildly different on the right-hand side to the left, so as to accommodate the extra weight of a driver.

There are also minor visual differences inside and out but you'll be hard pressed to notice them. Spec changes centre on the addition of a rear-view camera as standard and an uprated stereo.

What's it like to drive? Unsurprisingly, the Nissan GT-R is still blisteringly quick and the double-clutch gearbox is sublime.

The extra poke isn't that obvious in most conditions, although the GTR feels even more urgent at the upper limit of the rev range. The trouble is, when that comes you are going at silly speeds so it's best reserved for the autobahn or the track.

It's on a circuit where we suspect you'll really notice the chassis changes, something we didn't get a chance to confirm. However, on the road, it remains one of the greatest B-road-munching weapons available. Where you can take exceptional liberties with the four-wheel drive chassis' electronics and devour bends and roads at speeds which are unfathomable to even most other performance cars and do this in all conditions.

There is a compromise, of course, and that is a very firm ride quality, which becomes downright uncomfortable when you're not pressing on and the road is broken up. It is, at least, a highly capable high-speed cruiser.

What's it like inside? Virtually the same as before, which is no bad thing. You sit snugly in the car and it's easy to place on the road, considering that it's so long and wide. There's the same huge number of digital readouts showing all manner of info too, including lap-times and G-forces. However, it's all so logical and well-planned that's it useful rather than being messy or overwhelming.

This is also still a seriously practical car, considering its performance. The rear seats are ideal for kids or used as extra luggage space and the boot is excellent.

Should I buy one? Yes. Even though the GT-R's price has crept up because of Japanese exchange rates, it's still a bargain given its abilities: Porsche 911 Turbo performance for Carrera 2 money, if you like. As a high-speed track monster it's almost without equal, but you do really need to work out whether you are prepared to live with some of its vices of refinement and running costs before you take the plunge.

Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Aston Martin V12 Vantage

What Car? says