I was recently given a Nissan GT-R to test drive for a weekend. And it’s fair to say it was the most fun I have ever had driving!
Pulling up to my pick up location alone at an airfield one dark evening, I transferred my belongings from my current car into the GT-R. Unable to stand back to admire my ride for the weekend owing to the complete blackness of night, I simply opened the door of the GT-R and slid into the driver’s seat. Sitting much lower than accustomed to in my SUV, I could just about see over the steering wheel. Taking a moment to comprehend the enormity of supercar that had been bestowed upon me – without even knowing how to drive it – I turned the engine on to hear to most beautiful roar bellow out of the exhaust.
Now it felt real – all alone in the dark and the first time sitting in the driver’s seat of a GT-R, I had to figure out how to drive this exquisite machine by myself. I had been warned beforehand of the GT-R’s innate tendency to fly at even the touch of the accelerator. Shifting the gear stick from park to drive, I released the handbrake and nervously accelerated forward. Oh boy…this was certainly going to be a FUN weekend!
Creeping slowly out of the car park and over the humps of the lane leading out of the airfield, I had forgotten which way to turn at the end of the lane. Frantically trying to retrace my route, I picked left – and soon regretted it. In the darkness of the night, I was heading down a tight narrow windy country lane, unsurfaced, with the odd pot hole on route and little stone chips flying everywhere. With my hands gripped to the steering wheel and my eyes open wide glowering out ahead of me, my heart began to beat faster at the prospect of bursting a tyre or seeing the glow of lights heading towards me. Praying that neither of these possibilities would happen as there was no chance of turning back now, I reached the main road. Parking on the side for a moment, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Now with the street lamps illuminating the night sky, I could see around me for the first time at the magnificent cockpit I was sitting in.
Thrilled at the thought of riding around in this fine automobile for a weekend, I headed straight for the motorway and up the M1 for 90 miles. To begin with, I was cautious, taking the GT-R at a steady speed unaware of its full capabilities and my own limits. The night sky was filled with dense fog, holding me back from ‘putting my foot down’. It would not have been wise to put the GT-R through its paces if I could not see out far in front of me. I must say, I enjoyed the feeling of authority as cars moved out of the way as the GT-R appeared behind them, as though its presence was understood as a position of command.
Arriving in my destination city, I was now much more comfortable in this beast, than when I had begun my journey 2 hours earlier. The growl of the engine echoed harmoniously off the houses as I drove down suburban streets. Parking up, my family came out to welcome the GT-R to our home for the weekend. It was greatly admired and within minutes I was off again around town giving thrilling test drives to my passengers.
As time passed, I became more confident with experimenting with the GT-R. With a 0-60mph in 2.9 seconds, the 3.8 liter twin-turbo V6 engine certainly left cars trailing at the traffic lights. Each time I approached the lights, I wanted them to turn red so I could feel the insane force of being pinned back in the Recaro seats, as the GT-R raced forward. Eventually figuring out how to correctly launch the supercar, a long dead-end road in the early hours of the morning provided a perfect testing ground of spinning wheels and quick acceleration. But watching the indicator fall rapidly in the fuel gauge was the most painful experience with having to fill up 3 times over the weekend –never mind, it was definitely worth it!
I loved the roar of the engine, the double taking of people admiring the GT-R as I whooshed past and the insane feeling of being pinned back as I launched forward. But most of all, I loved the feeling of motivation and dedication that maybe, just maybe, one day I could have one longer than a weekend.