This has been a car that I’ve been lusting over for so long that even after all these years of seeing it around, I still drool over it whenever I run into one. So when Varun at Longhorn Racing Academy allowed me to take their 2014 Track Edition GT-R out for a spin, I couldn’t be happier…well…only until I had to stop driving it and hand back the keys.
I’m a diehard stick-shift guy because driving automatics are so boring that if those were the only cars left to drive, I would have to look for another passion. Not to mention the fact that I fall asleep every single time I drive an automatic.
Little did I know that some day I might actually be ok with driving a car that just has two pedals instead of three. With the GT-R, I realized that I really don’t need to shift and here’s why.
You see – when you go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds, you become so absorbed in the tremendous acceleration that you could care less about shifting. There is just no time to push the clutch pedal in and move a lever – it all happens so fast!
Just be sure to flip all switches to “R-mode”…
….then just grip the steering with both hands as tightly as you can and scream “aaahhhhhhh“. Don’t bother looking at any of your gauges on the dash because the acceleration is so quick that it would take you too long to look at your dash and process things you’re seeing.
And then, slow down to a stop and do it all over again!
Luckily, I was able to experience this on the track and after being out there for a while I realized that the GT-R is the perfect car if you’re the kind of person that doesn’t necessarily want to master track driving. The GT-R is the car for you if you just want to visit a track every so often to blow off some steam from a job that you hate because your co-worker, Tim, won’t ever stop talking. Noise-canceling headphones can only do so much.
There are so many millions of calculations being made every second while you’re driving this advanced piece of electronics, that it really is the exact opposite of the wholly analog ’71 Porsche I drove not too long ago. You will welcome the help that the GT-R provides you the minute you feel like you might losing the 545 hp monster around a turn where you didn’t quite judge the apex of the turn correctly. This can totally happen to you if you keep thinking about how you would like to duct-tape Tim’s mouth shut – there is no way you would be in the right state of mind to accurately follow the racing line.
The point is that you don’t need to have a deep expertise of track driving to enjoy high speeds GT-R thanks to all of the algorithms doing all the work for you.
But NO – do not do this..both hands on the steering wheel folks!
I don’t think you’ll enjoy the GT-R all that much if you just want to drive it around town because the car is generally harsh, unrefined and noisy with a drivetrain that sounds like it’s about to fall apart.
When I first started up the car, there was so much mechanical rattling and other weird rattling noises emanating from the rear that I thought that the car was on its last legs after being completely torn up by LRA participants.
Apparently the noises are normal.
Aside from all the pots and pans clanking, you may be disappointed with the car’s relatively cheap and spartan interior.
Unfortunately, the exhaust noise isn’t spectacular either. It doesn’t sound like what you would want out of a car like the GT-R.
Sure, the multi-media interface was designed by the creators of the famed Playstation racing game, Gran Turismo, but it still doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s not the kind of luxury you would expect in a car that is more than $100K when purchased brand new.
But, who cares about the interior!? Just floor it whenever possible and have a smile on your face that will last for days. That’s why the car exists anyway!
You won’t really know what a sub 3 second 0-60 time can really mean in terms of sheer happiness until you hit open pavement. You might think “oh whatever, it’s not a big deal”, but…oh...yes it is.
This track-edition 2014 GT-R is just an astounding beast of a machine that gives you all the thrills four wheels and an engine can provide. I would love to own a GT-R to provide some much needed stress relief from time to time. There is no better way, really!