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2012 Nissan GT-R

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Published on Mon, Sep 12, 2011

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

2012 Nissan GT-R

THE CARS OF ENTOURAGE In honor of the last season of HBO’s Entourage, LA Car is presenting The Cars of Entourage—its series of reviews showcasing the cars and the magic of this award-winning program. Next up: The Nissan GT-R. We are talking about the Nashville, Tennessee-based Nissan company’s flagship, known in other parts of the world as the Skyline GT-R, the R35 or Godzilla. Here, it’s simply known as the GT-R. John Grafman reports. By John Grafman The meek will inherit the earth, or so it’s said. But, they certainly won’t earn a spot as an agent at the Miller Gold Agency on HBO’s Entourage. You can ask Lloyd Lee, Ari Gold’s whipping boy, about that. It’s not an easy work environment dealing with egomaniacs, and actors with self-esteem issues. So Lloyd’s solution: When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Rex Lee as Lloyd, and Jeremy Piven as Ari (Claudette Barius/HBO)

Those that keep close track of the show know that Lloyd is a bit more complex than we might otherwise believe. While he yearns to work his way up the corporate ladder and a bump in pay, he’s by no means hurting. Living in pricey Beverly Hills isn’t a struggle, as he has family money to fall back on. The personal assistant to Ari can likewise afford an upscale vehicle. Not too long ago, Lloyd was making the rounds in a tuned Hyundai Tiburon. But, that was when both Ari and Lloyd left their former employer in search of something better. In the last episode we see Lloyd is leaning green with a Chevy Volt. Still, we have to wonder if that isn’t his “second” car. Perhaps the street racer image might seem a bit out-of-step for the mild mannered PA. However, this isn’t as strange as it might seem, as everyone needs some way to blow off a little steam from a hard day at the office.

Adrian Grenier as Vincent, Kevin Connolly as Eric “E”, Kevin Dillon as Johnny “Drama” and Jerry Ferrara as Turtle (clockwise from top left) (Claudette Barius/HBO)

But, that was then, and this is now. With a raise and a new title as an agent, Lloyd doesn’t need to feel guilty about finding a new set of wheels in addition to something eco-friendly. So we have to ask the question, what would Lloyd drive? Being the “need for speed” is already apparent, especially in making screenings all over this sprawling city, it seems something sporty should be on the wish list. Flashy is also perfectly acceptable. Hell, if he can drive a tweaked Hyundai, he can drive pretty much anything. Price isn’t really an issue. However, being the sensible man that he is, don’t expect Lloyd to buy anything pricier than his boss’ ride. Checking all the right boxes leaves just a few choices. Taking into account this is LA, where unmolested/unmodified Bentleys are hard to find, locating a car that spins heads around is essential.

2011 Nissan GT-R

The answer is abundantly clear: The Nissan GT-R. For a few lucky owners, the Nissan model offers the bold looks and rarified nature similar to a Lamborghini or Ferrari. The difference is the GT-R can be bought for far less money. The rest of the population that can’t pony up about $100K can enjoy the thrills via virtual reality on the Gran Turismo series on Sony’s PlayStation for far less. But, I have to say, and I’m sure Lloyd would agree, it’s just not the same. This super car that was born and assembled in Tochigi, Japan. Nevertheless, the styling is well received here with wide smiles and approving nods. The wild bodywork is not just for show either. This has a functional rear underbody diffuser of carbon fiber, front “aero-blade” fenders with functional vents, aerodynamic front underbody cover, and integrated, flush mounted aluminum door handles.

2011 Nissan GT-R

A brief gaze at the stats read like those of a supercar. 530 Horsepower, 448 pound-feet of torque, mid mounted/front engine, with an aluminum block and head, 9-t- 1 compression, dual exhaust, all-wheel drive, dual-clutch sequential six-speed rear transaxle, magnesium paddle shifters, gear pre-selection, and even nitrogen-filled tires. Unique to the GT-R giving it an underdog status is the twin-turbo V6 that’shand-assembled in Yokohama. The last time we saw any super car come with anything shy of eight cylinders was the Acura NSX (sorry fans, but the Mitsubishi Evo doesn’t make the supercar cut). Unlike the Honda product, there is no limitation on horsepower from the powers-that-be in government or at the company. Like the other super cars of late, this Nissan skips the manual transmission in favor of a dual-clutch sequential six-speed rear transaxle, magnesium paddle shifters, and gear pre-selection. This features a carbon composite driveshaft, Configurable Shift Control, Traction Control System with Limited Slip, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Snow-mode function, and Hill Start Assist (HSA).

2011 Nissan GT-R

What does this really mean? This has a well-deserved rep. The GT-R has the goods. The twin-turbo has very little lag, and it’s really smooth. The rush the GT-R provides can put a smile on anyone’s face. There is always more power and getting to triple digit territory is too easy. In spite of the flash, and technology this packs, the GT-R is not intimidating to drive at all. Of course, this leads to only more bad behavior. The gears click up or down in a forceful manner even when in automatic mode. The downside to near instantaneous up and down shifts is a bit of a snap. It’s hard to be smooth, but the trade off is worth it. Add to that the howling exhaust note differs from the low bass tones of most other exotics. The Brembo six-piston monoblock calipers up front (four-piston in the rear), full- floating, vented and drilled rotors bring the action down in a hurry. The massive brakes consume all area provided by the wheels. This is how a brake set-up supposed to be!


Another trick feature is the Bilstein DampTronic, computer controlled, adjustable shocks. The suspension along with the power and traction are controlled by a three-position switch readily accessible on the center console. All the requisite features for complete domination are included. It’s how Nissan design and engineered key parts so effectively that make this a standout drivers car. You don’t have to be a PA like Lloyd to love the functionality of the onscreen displays. The multi-function display system with 11 pages of information is simple to use, intuitive control unit allows for swift switching between screens for the audio, phone, gauges, and performance indicators. Besides being useful the graphics look impressive. Making this more interactive is the readouts that indicate the g forces in acceleration and braking and cornering. Nissan thoughtfully has an onscreen playback feature that lasts well past the last corner taken, keeping safety paramount. The GT-R sings the body electric: Bose® audio system with 11 speakers (9 speakers with 2 subwoofers in rear center armrest area) mounted in aluminum die-cast panels, AM/FM/CD with MP3/WMA playback, Music Box® hard drive, and vehicle speed sensitive auto volume control. HDD-based The navigation system, 7.0-inch color display, touch screen functionality, XM NavTraffic® with real-time traffic information, and XM NavWeather. Of course this comes with Bluetooth® hands-free phone system, which is a must for the PA on the go. Audio can also be streamed wirelessly as well.

2011 Nissan GT-R

Even the eight-way power adjustable, leather/synthetic suede front seats uses a one mouse-like control knob on the side that fits the modern/tech theme. Also in keeping with the sport theme, the seats accommodate a four-point safety harness. Sure, this has bold styling, and insane power. There is no doubt that this car can find a happy home in West Hollywood or out at any track. And in this town you can never have enough power, either at work or while having fun. For more information on Nissan products, go to

2011 Nissan GT-R

SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2012 Nissan GT-R Price: Base $89,950, as tested $91,230 Engine type: Twin Turbo 3.8-litre V6, DOHC, 4 valves/cylinder, CVTCS, aluminum Block / head EPA mileage estimates City/ Highway: 16/23 Horsepower: 530 @ 6,400 rpm Torque: 448 pound-feet @ 3,200-6,000 rpm Drive configuration: Mid-mounted front engine / all-wheel drive Transmission type: Dual clutch sequential 6-speed rear transaxle, magnesium paddle shifters, gear pre-selection Suspension Front: Independent double wishbone aluminum, integral tube-frame structure, six-point mounting, Large-diameter hollow stabilizer bar, Bilstein DampTronic mono-tube shock absorbers, computer controlled, 3-position driver adjustable, Progressive rate (non-linear) springs, High-accuracy alignment, fully adjustable Rear: Independent m, ulti-link aluminum suspension, integral tube-frame structure, six-point mounting, aluminum upper/lower links (spherical bearing design), Large-diameter hollow stabilizer bar, Bilstein DampTronic mono-tube shock absorbers, computer controlled, 3-position driver adjustable, Progressive rate (non-linear) springs, High-accuracy alignment, fully adjustable Wheels and tires: Front: Standard: 10-spoke RAYS® aluminum-alloy forged, premium dark (near black) finish, Dunlop® SP Sport Maxx GT600 ultra high performance run-flat tires F: 255/40ZRF20, R: 285/35ZRF20 Rear: 10-spoke RAYS® aluminum-alloy forged, premium dark (near black) finish, Dunlop® SP Sport Maxx GT600 ultra high performance run-flat tires F: 255/40ZRF20, R: 285/35ZRF20 Brakes: Front: Brembo six-piston monoblock calipers, full- floating, vented and drilled rotors 15.35” x 1.3”, Rear: Brembo four-piston monoblock calipers, full- floating, vented and drilled rotors 15.0” x 1.2” Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) , Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) Overall length: 183.1” Overall width: 74.9” Overall height: 54.0” Curb weight (lbs): 3,829

(John Grafman)

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