Thursday, April 26, 2018
Business

The Daily Drivers: The 2012 Nissan GT-R Premium

We had only a few days to test the Nissan GT-R, rather than the week we usually get, but that was long enough to tease us into wanting much more. (Memo to Nissan: The newly released 2013 GT-R would be nice for a week.) So these are our initial impressions, and this is a car that makes big ones. Its nickname, after all, is "Godzilla."

Appearance: The brutish GT-R screams superhero more than supercar, with a look that would be at home in a Transformers movie; even the front fenders that encase the 20-inch alloy wheels seem to telescope from the body. Nissan says the car's body creases help create down force, funneling air to the tuner-car-worthy spoiler. There's nothing subtle about the rear view, either, which is dominated by large quad tailpipes.

Performance: When Peter got behind the wheel, his first thought was: This car is an unrefined beast. Especially at neighborhood speeds, the GT-R's dual-clutch, 6-speed sequential transmission is noisy. It's a bit startling, as you hear and feel every click and clatter in the shifts. Peter once took a hot lap in a race car and the sounds of the GT-R, including the whine of its 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6, brought that experience back. That engine, by the way, is hand-built by one person, start to finish, and delivers 530 horsepower that pins you back in the seat. (The 2013 model has been tweaked to produce 545.) The paddle shifters are large and easy to grip, and they are column-mounted, which we think makes more sense — they don't turn with the steering wheel. The GT-R's ride feels planted because its all-wheel-drive system, which starts with 100 percent torque to the rear rubber, can send power to the front wheels to improve handling. The engine sits back in the chassis for better balance. Just as important as speed is the power to stop, and the GT-R's huge rotors and Brembo brakes confidently halt the supercar. You can adjust the suspension, shift time and stability control from switches on the console, but we found the ride stiff in our limited driving. It almost feels like you are letting down the GT-R by driving it in commuter traffic.

Interior: The GT-R seats four, but only if you put small kids in the back. The front sport seats are well-bolstered, as you would expect in a performance car, and the well-laid-out cabin has a mix of soft-touch surfaces and carbon-fiber accents. But the real show is the adjustable video-gamelike navigation screen that displays parameters such as G forces and lap times. The interface was designed by the developers of the popular Gran Turismo series, which is fitting because the GT-R is an icon to gamers.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture Vibe: It sounds and feels like a race car.

Electronics: Like video games? Crunching numbers? This is your car.

Trunk: It's not huge, but it's fairly deep and usable. See, Honey, it's practical!

Lyra Solochek Design: Simple, chiseled and unpretentious.

Performance: Breathtaking acceleration, exhilarating handling.

Price: It's relatively inexpensive for a supercar.

The bottom line: The GT-R grew on us and became one of Lyra's favorites. (We'd love to wind one out.) So who is a fit for the GT-R? The tech-loving gearhead who wants supercar performance without a six-figure price (almost).









     
     
Comments
Yelp search results reflected racist stereotype that Asian American restaurants serve cat and dog

Yelp search results reflected racist stereotype that Asian American restaurants serve cat and dog

A strange thing happened when typing "dog menu" into the restaurant ratings website and app Yelp. It automatically generated suggested searches. There were dog massage, hot dogs, pet groomers. Also: "dog meat." But it got more disturbing. Take Yelp...
Updated: 11 hours ago
As more emotional support animals fly on U.S. airlines, Congress eyes new ways to tighten the leash

As more emotional support animals fly on U.S. airlines, Congress eyes new ways to tighten the leash

WASHINGTON — With hundreds of thousands of emotional support animals taking to the skies on U.S. airlines, Congress may start pulling a tighter leash.Two new legislative options emerged this week to address a hairy issue for American Airlines, Southw...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Duke Energy announces new Florida leadership

Duke Energy announces new Florida leadership

ST. PETERSBURG — The head of Duke Energy Florida is leaving his post to take a new role with the utility’s parent company June 1, the company announced on Wednesday.Harry Sideris, 47, was appointed this week to serve as vice president and chief distr...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Comcast challenges Murdoch with rival bid for U.K.-based Sky

LONDON — U.S. media giant Comcast on Wednesday offered $30.7 billion for Sky PLC, topping a bid from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and setting up a bidding war for Britain’s biggest satellite TV company.Comcast said it would pay approximately $17...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Pasco County

Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Pasco County

TRINITY — Pasco County will be getting its first Sprouts Farmers Market, the organic grocery chain announced Wednesday. The new store will open at the Village at Mitchell Ranch on State Road 54 and Little Road. Officials with the speciality st...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Circle K launching own gas at eight Hillsborough locations

Circle K launching own gas at eight Hillsborough locations

TAMPA — Circle K is converting the gas station portion of eight of its Hillsborough locations to Circle K fuel. Previously, the fuel was provided by other brands, such as Shell. The new Circle K branding also brings with it the Canadian-owned conveni...
Published: 04/25/18
Florida leads other hurricane-prone states in quality of its building codes

Florida leads other hurricane-prone states in quality of its building codes

Florida has the strongest residential building codes among 18 coastal states, according to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. Florida’s rating is 95, almost three times higher than lowest-ranked Texas. Other states wit...
Published: 04/25/18
Study: Tampa Bay homes in once ‘redlined’ neighborhoods worth half those in other areas

Study: Tampa Bay homes in once ‘redlined’ neighborhoods worth half those in other areas

Times staffRedlining’ — banks’ refusal to make mortgage loans in certain areas — still has a huge effect on housing values even though the practice was banned 50 years ago. According to Zillow, a Tampa Bay house in a once-redlined area is worth less ...
Published: 04/25/18
Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opens first Tampa restaurant, Nebraska Mini-Mart grab-and-go coming soon

Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opens first Tampa restaurant, Nebraska Mini-Mart grab-and-go coming soon

NOW OPEN: TEX-MEX CHAIN CHUY’SThe Austin, Texas-based Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opened its first Tampa restaurant on Tuesday, giving away free Chuy’s for two for a year to the first 50 customers. I know, we missed it, it’s a bummer, but we can still visit...
Published: 04/25/18
Clearwater looks to move out of City Hall to speed up Imagine Clearwater waterfront redevelopment

Clearwater looks to move out of City Hall to speed up Imagine Clearwater waterfront redevelopment

CLEARWATER — Elected officials have talked about relocating City Hall from the downtown bluff for a good 30 years. Now there’s a jolt of urgency to actually do it.Voters backed a referendum in November that essentially greenlighted the $55 million re...
Published: 04/25/18