Passed a Nissan GT-R last night
I took a walk to Cambuslang last night, and passed the same Nissan GT-R at least six times.
Despite a number of changes over the years, Clydeford Road is still a bottleneck, so anywhere near ‘peak time’ travel and it turns into a car park so, although it whizzed past me under the M74 bridge, it wasn’t long before I caught up with ahead of the first roundabout on this road – and walked past it at least six times after I started counting.
This particular beast is a 2009 Nissan GT-R Black Edition, and has one of those intriguing registrations that makes you want to tap the window and ask what it refers to.
But the main thing it brought to mind is that while it may be a very clever and very fast car (even if not a wise choice for cyclists, as Chris Hoy crashed one he was given to drive at Goodwood a few years back, despite all the handling computer it has), the engineering is no that impressive.
While supercars and top end sports cars twenty years its junior can approach its performance, they do so with fairly normal servicing routines and none of the expensive exotic material and fluids demanded by this car.
This Nissan is more like a Ferrari. I’ve just read about a collector who bought an 80’s Ferrari and found it had just had a in excess of $20,000 spent on two engine services, since it failed after the first one. In the 90’s I know one company owner who bought a new Ferrari as a treat, and spent the first year fighting to get the company to cough up a new transmission after his failed… and he got a bill for £30,000 to replace it as they said he broke it, so not warranty.
The original article I read about the GT-R has gone now, but I found an excerpt:
an oil filter for $6.95, six quarts of Mobil 1 Synthetic oil for $9.38 per quart. All pretty standard. Then you get to the GT-R-specific automatic transmission fluid. The lists price? $114.98 per quart. Yup, you read that right. Want to know how many quarts it takes? How about 10 quarts! Luckily, Edmunds Inside Line only needed eight and they got their tranny juice at a discount — only $84.24 per quart. But that still helps them get to a horriful (yup, there’s that new made-up word again) price of $2,009.67
Then there’s more owner’s stories I’ve read about mandatory parts changes and services based on time, even if the car doesn’t turn a wheel during the interval. And then brakes at $1,000 per corner.
All seems a bit silly to me.
And makes such as BMW and Mercedes (and other Germans) look cheap, if you had been thinking they were expensive compared to more ordinary marques.
And to think, I once baulked when told I should replace my water pump (then £140) at each 10,000 mile service (and this was on a 155 mph 1980 car).
If really want to choke on you breakfast, I suggest you dig up the ‘Cost of ownership’ for a Bugatti Veyron!
There’s a nice hint in the background of this pic – “The all-new Audi A5“.
Sorry Nissan, your GT-R may be very nice and very clever, but I’m willing to bet you could probably have been even smarter and designed it with less exotic parts and materials, made it more reliable and cheaper to own as a result, and lost little performance.
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