What’s it like to drive Nissan’s GTR at 250km/h at The Bend?

Yesterday I had a fairly unique opportunity to get being the wheel of a Nissan GTR Nismo as part of the Nissan Juke Nismo Australian launch activities. Australia’s newest...

Yesterday I had a fairly unique opportunity to get being the wheel of a Nissan GTR Nismo as part of the Nissan Juke Nismo Australian launch activities. Australia’s newest race track, ‘The Bend’ provided the perfect opportunity to showcase the stunning performance of the vehicle.

The GTR Nismo edition is a supercar, good for 441kW from its 3.8L twin turbo V6 engine, it’s top speed is listed as 315km/hr, while we ran out of road before we hit that, we did manage around 250km/hr down the straight. With that much power, planting your right foot delivers the power and it just never stops. Pulling gear after gear on the advanced flappy paddles on the back of the wheel, the car just kept pulling till we reached the braking markers.

When you stand on the brakes, the massive 4-wheel disc brakes – 390mm front and 380mm rear. Bolted to the discs are big 6-piston front/4-piston rear monobloc calipers and man do they work. As you bury your foot hard into the brake pedal you feel serious negative geforces through your body as the car pulls up in what feels like a distance that defies physics. After some big hard braking events over a few laps in anger, we took some time to cool them off before handing over to the next driver. The cars basically repeated this all day long and the brakes were absolutely up to the punishment.

While the car is undoubtedly quick, probably the thing that makes you smile the most is the ridiculous speed you can take through corners and that amazing soundtrack. Being all-wheel drive and having some special Nissan suspension smarts, the car just feels planted and the only thing that protested was the tyres as they squealed across the new surface of The Bend.

It’s kind of crazy this car is allowed to have number plates on it, being street legal you could go pickup the milk and bread, but if you’ve done well in life and can afford the some $300,000 for one, then make sure you do it justice and take it for a run on the track, you won’t regret it. 

The performance and handling of the GTR is accompanied by an aggressive body kit to help with aerodynamics, but also looks the part too. 

Nissan brought some help to the track, in the form of Supercar drivers Chris Pither and last year’s Bathurst winner, Luke Youlden as well as LMP3 driver Garnet Patterson

Each run in the car, I got better, largely thanks to the advice coming from the passenger’s seat. While I’ve driven race tracks a few times before and many times on the Sim at home, having the tips from the pros, made significant improvements to my driving. While our laps of The Bend weren’t timed (wish they were), I know I was seconds faster after the 12 or so laps around the circuit. 

The first few laps were really learning the circuit, as it contains a few blind corners and a couple with late apexes. Hitting the marks for braking and turn in, along with applying throttle, brakes, and steering input smoothly was really the big improvement areas.

While I’m not a race car driver, in that amazing car, on that awesome circuit, I sure did feel like one. 

Thanks to Nissan Australia for the opportunity and thanks to the professional drivers for the tips. 

Now here’s an amazing sizzle reel of highlights from the Nissan event. 

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.
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