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Special Report: GTRBlog.com First Drive Impressions and Photos

January 17, 2008

Saturday 12th January 2008 –

What a night… let me explain…

Met up with my friend Shin-san on Friday night after a long day at Tokyo Auto Salon. I had called him and asked for a ride to Daikoku-futo Parking Area, a well known hang out for fast cars about 40 minutes out of Tokyo. I knew he had an R35 GTR but I hadn’t seen it yet. We met at 9pm in Shibuya and I was in awe to see the new GTR parked downstairs when he came to pick me up.

I got in and was instantly impressed with the car. I had sat in many R35’s before but sadly none of them were running at the time, Ginza Gallery and Auto Salon cars only. The rattle of the clutches and the quiet burble of the twin turbo V6 had me anticipating great things of the night ahead.

Inside of course is full of gadgets and I was quickly playing with the MFD while Shin navigated some tight streets with construction zones to get some fuel closer to the freeway. The touch screen is a great setup and is a lot easier to use than the R34 GTRs button layout. Navigation is also built in and will automatically flip between navigation and MFD when the next turn is approaching.

While this was happening though I didn’t even notice the bumpy city streets and the ride was a lot nicer than I had expected after reading some of the Australian motoring journo’s feedback. I can only wonder if they knew how to put the car into comfort mode or if they were just blindly driving it in R-Mode…

Nothing is perfect however and the navigation system got us lost when it guided us to a closed down fuel station. A few turns later we were in Roppongi and decided to block traffic for an impromptu photo.

GTRBlog Drives the R35 GT-R - Parked in Roppongi, Tokyo


With that out of the way we could get some fuel nearby at a local Jomo station. The bowsers are located in the roof here to save space on the ground.



While filling up I got a good feel for the aesthetics of this car. It is a premium package in dark grey completely stock with all options minus the rear view camera. The big giveaway is the drilled brake rotors. The interior is black leather and is amazing to sit in and smell. The car is big and imposing and gets a lot of looks on the street.

When we got done there I got a pretty big shock when Shin handed me the attractive looking GTR keyfob and let me take the wheel. I quickly took him up on it before he could change his mind but as soon as I did so I had a nagging doubt on just how the hell I was going to back this brand new R35 GTR out into Tokyo traffic.

That quickly passed though as I realised that this new GTR is actually a amazingly easy car to drive. Large rear view side mirrors and actually useable rear view mirror inside help. Unlike both the 33 and 34 GTR which suffer due to the wing elements – adjust them at all and bye bye rear vision. Then there’s the lack of a big heavy clutch making everyday tasks so easy – you really can daily drive this thing.

I started off in auto mode and barely drove the thing at all. Lots of traffic lights made getting used to the car easier as I had a decent amount of time. Before long though I switched to manual mode where it stayed the rest of the night. The gearbox really is a dream. Everything people have been saying about it is true. Blasting up through gears in R-mode or sedately potting around town in regular mode changes are swift and smooth and you’re never off boost if your pushing it through a gear change.

Down shifts are fun too and I was constantly looking for places to shift down. Hearing that V6 motor blip it’s own throttle to shift down a gear is like listening to great music.

As for how it goes in a straight line. Fast. Never driven anything quicker. It just pulls and pulls and pulls. Even when you think it really shouldn’t be fast it is. Say 5th gear doing 100 on the freeway touch the throttle and instantly you feel good torque, nothing like driving an previous GTR. 3rd gear out of a toll booth, foot to the floor, back wheels lose traction for a tiny fraction (snow tires were fitted to this car) of a second and away you go. Left to it’s own devices the GTR will shift up at the optimal RPM point but this can be turned off. The only complaint is that it’s over so quickly reaching the limiter before you can blink.

Around corners the car felt exceedingly well planted. Body is flat through fast turns and inspires a lot of confidence. There’s just not enough corners around for me to really push it through but what I did I loved.

Anyways we eventually arrived at Daikoku PA where we found a friend to park next too.



We hung around checking out cars at Daikoku until midnight when the police kicked everyone out as they do and Shin let me drive the GTR back to Shibuya taking the Wangan Freeway.

The car is a real gem and I don’t know how I can go back to my GTR now i’ve driven one.

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