This past week I received arguably one of the best birthday gifts to date, twenty four hours with a 2013 Nissan GTR and a GoPro to document it.
I'll address the logistics first. My girlfriend booked the rental through Club Sportiva, an exotic car club/rental venue with a few locations in California. Picking up and dropping off the car was easy as can be and included a quick overview of the status of the car, a test drive with an employee to learn all the functions/toys and signing my life away in the event the car is involved in an accident . Pricing is not the greatest; although I would recommend purchasing extra mileage up front (it's also cheaper). We opted for 175 miles instead of the usual 100, which was well worth it.
For those that know the SF/Bay Area, I took the car on a jaunt out to Santa Cruz via HWY 9, bear creek rd and Skyline Blvd. There I was able to test the handling and acceleration in speeds of 30-?? Mph (… use your imagination) on the very sharp corners and changing elevation. The car handles like it is on rails. That phrase is commonly abused, but I found myself nearly flying out the window before any sign of traction control kicked in. It was like a roller coaster and I desperately needed a break for lunch and breath of fresh air after an hour of twisty roads.
After lunch we set out on HWY1 Northbound towards SF/Half Moon Bay. For those that know it, HWY1 is a scenic road alongside the Pacific with lots of sweeping turns and immaculately maintained pavement (in some locations…). With more open space, I set the car to race suspension and race AWD drivetrain management. The car really livened up at that point; provide a much stiffer and more controlled ride while better utilizing the turbo boost and not demanding upshifts. I did a few rolling 4-60mph sprints and one launch and man this car glues you to the seats. That WOOOOSH feeling is intoxicating and I pulled more than a few high-speed passes in the opposing traffic lane. In more than one instance, I saw people waving and grinning from ear to ear as I passed them, egging me on. Where it really astonishes, is in the 35-90mph range that goes by in the blink of an eye. Literally. It takes off like a space shuttle.
The car is such a joy to cruise in, easily picking up speed and hugging the corners. I assure you; you will hit your personal limits before the car even begins to break a sweat. I won't comment on a top speed, but as you can imagine I had this rental on a weekday and moments with absolutely zero traffic for miles. This space shuttle achieved liftoff.
Around town, the car is rather docile and provides a smooth ride (relative to the FRS) with a definite sense of occasion you want in a car like this. Downshifting and blipping the throttle brought smiles to all around me and I was happy to provide that thrill. Only true gearheads understand this car, and for that you avoid some of the Ferrari/Lambo/Porsche hate since it looks rather commonplace for some people.
Now to address the negatives. The car doesn't feel as fast as it is. My FRS feels fast putt-putting around at 45-60, and that is part of the charm of it. The GTR gets you into trouble quickly and without even realizing it. It also isn't as loud as I would have liked. I tend to prefer a more raw, burble-like exhaust.
I'll leave you with a GoPro video of a few select moments in the trip. I apologize since I just received this GoPro and this is my first video, sans mount, etc. I will definitely get more views/perspectives and outside car footage next time! Make sure to set it to HD. Let me know if you have any more questions, I'm happy to answer all I can.