Shoemaker Shuns New Nissan GT-R
You may recall this most excellent dispatch re: sourcing a new Nissan GT-R at list price. It was penned by TTAC car reviewer and bon vivant Jay Shoemaker. Since writing the epistle from the "budget supercar front," Shoes managed to source the beast. As the headline attests, it all ended in tears. At my request and considerable risk to his rep, Jay has allowed us to publish his email on this abortive venture. [Note: no flaming the rich guy.]
"I was successful in finding a way to acquire one of the first US GTR's at MSRP. I had to pull strings to accomplish this, but I suppose that is what strings are for. Anyway, Nissan USA gave me a nice letter of introduction and I flew to Tokyo last week to see and sit in the GTR (I did not get to drive it). As a prospective owner, I hated it; the external appearance is too boy racer and the interior is pretty much basic Nissan with one or two extra leather pieces. It gave me claustrophobia to sit inside it and was terribly uncomfortable. So after all I went through, I came home and cancelled my order. I suppose I should regret that I will not have the opportunity to drive one of the first U.S. GTRs, but I have never liked Nissans, don't like V6 engines, don't like turbocharged engines in general and definately don't like the idea of 20-inch run flat tires. Next month, I am off to Germany to pick up my Audi R8 at the Neckarsulm factory and drive it on the Autobahn to console myself."
R8 is a posers car, a brand builder, R8 has no supercar soul. Even the engine isn't uniqe or special world-first for Audi, it has been used for couple of years in a 4 door sedan. Any true supercar is built around its engine, the engine has to be very special and extraordinary, a fresh introduction and a landmark technology achievement for the car company. GTR is a racetrack legend and has history to prove it, everything about this car is unique. GTR has street credibility and racetrack cred. A true supecar. Engine is unique, Gearbox is unique, 4WD system is unique, suspension setup is unique(different settings etc.), worlds first 4WD with gearbox placed near the rear axle etc etc. R8 has nothing on the GTR :) R8 is the most un-unique supercar wannabe - basically built with the pieces from the VW-Audi already existing parts shelf. A supecar by nature is something very unique, not a platform for sharing existing parts (technologically important parts which contribute to the car's nature) from lower positioned cars from the same company. Come on, the readers and writers of this site are the sharpest edge of automotive fanatics in the english speaking world today, if anyone than you should understand what I'm saying :)
Boy racer is probably an accurate description. This is the 2nd instance where I've heard the interior left a lot more to be desired. Hard to believe this mythical legend is falling already.
But Jay, if you grew up with Sony Playstations and Honda hatchbacks you'd love this ride! I'm still skeptical of the GT-R and the import-tuner style doesn't appeal to me, but I'll know for sure when someone compares it to a C6 Z06. Neither car has the interior to put Porsche on notice, but (for now) we do know the Z06 blows its competition in the weeds.
Falling already? GTR's interior uses same grade materials than other similary/high priced Nissan/Infiniti models. Evo Magazine R8 chasing GTR on the road: What of the R8, the dynamic benchmark for mid-engined cars? "I'd probably have had an accident if I'd tried any harder to keep up" says a grim looking Meaden. In fact, you find yourself short-shifting or soft pedalling the throttle to give the Audi a chance to catch up so you can see how hard it's trying. The game has moved on. Autocar UK: Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjwJl4t-DF8 Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzEivL1Kruo Baby Veyron:)