Photos: Karthik A Nair
It wouldn’t be new if I start this specific article with that ‘Since my childhood’ phrase. Because as we all know, the GTR is one of the world’s favourite cars since the time your Grandpa was born! And people are still craving to own that 3.8 litre hand built V6 which is a supercar slayer down the straight line, and the way it puts power down on corner exit with gecko like grip is unlike anything else this side of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
I have always felt I am blessed in many ways. Especially on occasions like driving the GTR around hometown for a full week. Ask any car guy around the world, they will be dreaming about the so called ‘Godzilla’. This one guy who owns a Range Rover approached me asking about the GTR the other day seeing my Instagram stories followed by a number of kids around town.
So for all the kids around town, here it is, my Godzilla aka GT-R story!
People who are reading this, we all know how special the GT-R is. Looking back into a bit of a history, the GT-R can trace its lineage all the way back to 1957 named as Suginami. The first real Skyline GT-R was originally offered as a four-door saloon in 1969 before the two-door coupe was introduced in 1971. Nissan introduced new models: R31, R32, R33 and then came the R34 – the most famous and legendary GT-R ever built by Nissan and is instantly recognizable as we have seen in The Fast and The Furious as Brian O’Conner’s ride of choice.
The R34 was also the tuner’s wet dream, as they were able to pull out around 800hp from that engine pot. Now in the all-new avatar, GT-R is still a living legend! The design now looks sharper and timeless. The car has redesigned aero bits like the front and rear splitter, new air dams in the front bumper. The tail still looks menacing with the trademark quadruple tail lights, fixed spoiler and overall, the GT-R looks like a spaceship which is ready to be deployed. The exterior design will make you understand why it is called the Godzilla!
The GT-R is famous for the way it puts power down on corner exit with gecko like grip. The GT-R’s all-wheel drive system uses a rear mounted transaxle which sends 50 per cent of the torque to front wheels, which helps improve the dynamics of the car. The result is, is a car which runs behind lap times and no matter how fast you drive, you can’t really find dead flies on your side windows.
Yes, each and every single VR38DETT V6 engine is hand built and hence there will be a small variation in power figures. However the maximum power output from the 3.8 litre V6 will be between 570hp and to extract the most, it’s always better to use 97 octane fuel.
Another old school charm? Overall if you look at the interiors, you will feel it is tech-laden enough but believe me, there is something missing. We need a better infotainment system, better seats and toggle switches. There are some noticeable lovely bits too, like the entire instrument cluster moves along with the steering when adjusting, and the rear seats are surprisingly comfortable and spacious for a two door supercar.
The titanium exhausts are quite silent, unexpected from this brutal monster. Instead what I expected was an unmerciful roar with which I can wake up my neighbours with. What we get from the stock exhausts is that shrieking top end and lovely turbo whistle!
Call me mad, but I want you people to know that I have never driven such a performance oriented car like the GT-R. The GT-R is a beast; tuners will give you a supercar slayer if you have enough pennies to shell out. The point here was about efficiency and if you keep it as a secret, I will tell you how far you can drive the GT-R in one litre of fuel. If you turn on the toggle switches to R mode, the GT-R will offer you 2.5 kilometres and if you drive in comfort mode, the farthest you can go is 8 kilometres.
Being in a GT-R feels special. The GT-R is a way better crowd puller than a Huracan and by driving one; you are carrying a larger bit of legacy. The GT-R is powered by a 3.8 litre V6 engine mated to a dual clutch automatic transmission which works on around 570hp and 637Nm of torque. However as always, Nissan hasn’t claimed the 0-100kmph figures; we hit a ton within 3.3 seconds with the launch control. The Bilstein DampTronic suspension offers better ride quality as per Nissan, but for everyday use, I felt the Huracan offered better ride quality when used in comfort mode. Honestly we haven’t tried the full potential of the GT-R. We better take the GT-R to the race track real soon, hopefully without getting our pants wet.
Looks like a spaceship, pulls crowds better than a Lamborghini, holds on to tarmac with amazing weight distribution and definitely one of the most lovable cars around the globe, the GT-R is a supercar slayer by all means. If only Nissan can offer us a better key that doesn’t look like the Micra’s.
Michelin saw the 2018 MotoGP™ World Championship kick off in very similar style to last season’s epic encounters as Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) battled to a last-lap decider in Qatar before the Ducati mounted rider emerged as the victor.
Starting from fifth on the grid, Dovizioso settled into a smooth and fast rhythm, as Saturday’s pole setter Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) initially led into the first corner and then headed a fast group of 10 riders for 16 of the first 17 laps, before coming under pressure from Dovizioso on lap 18. The Italian on a Ducati shod with a medium front compound tyre and a soft rear, seized the advantage and took over at the front, with Marquez - using a hard front paired with a soft rear - close behind in second. With thoughts of some of last season’s great battles between the two still fresh, the crowd hoped for more of the same and were not disappointed as Marquez used his Michelin tyres to the full extent to get the drive and make a pass on his Italian rival. He briefly led, but Dovizioso came straight back and took the upper-hand in the push to the line to seal victory by a mere 0.027 seconds. Close in third was Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), who celebrated signing a new two-year contract with his team on Thursday, by taking the final podium place.
Zarco took pole position on Saturday, when the Frenchman broke the longest-standing best-lap record on the current calendar. It had stood since 2008, when Jorge Lorenzo posted a time of 1’53.927 using Michelin qualifying tyres on the fairly new Losail circuit. Zarco’s time was 0.247 seconds quicker than the previous record, on a less grippy and aging surface made even more difficult by the dusty conditions. Fellow front-row position riders Marquez and Petrucci also bettered the previous best lap, with all three using tyres with the same compounds that featured in today’s race, again showing the wide performance attributes of the MICHELIN Power Slicks.
Conditions at the 5,400m Losail International Circuit had been difficult all weekend as high winds blew sand from the surrounding desert on to the track surface. This increased abrasiveness, but it didn’t hamper the performance of the MICHELIN Power Slick tyres as the whole field produced a spectacle of close racing.
Following home the top-three was Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) as he had the honour or First Independent Rider for his fourth place. Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) took fifth and on the way set the record for the fastest speed at Losail, with a stunning 351.9Km/h, demonstrating that both grip and drivability are important factors of the MICHELIN Power Slicks. Sixth went to Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), seventh to Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), with early pace-setter Zarco in eighth. The top-10 was rounded out by Andrea Iannone (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) and Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) respectively.
Michelin’s next MotoGP journey will be to head south over the Equator and travel to Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina, as the paddock moves to sample the delights of Latin America as round two of the MotoGP World Championship takes place on Sunday 8th April.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team:
“I am so happy today because my feeling with the bike and the tyres throughout the weekend was very good and they worked really well during the race. This is a circuit where you must save the tyre, due to the nature of the track and I saved mine until the last four laps and did the fastest lap then. I couldn’t create the gap and was surprised to see Marc there with me at the end, but overall I am really happy.”
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“What a great race to start the season and congratulations first to Andrea for the taking the win and to the other guys for a great show. The wind this weekend created an extra ingredient that we were not really expecting and it blew a lot of sand on to the track, making conditions much worse than when we were here at the test recently. This, allied to having day-time practice sessions and evening ones - where temperatures were very different - made tyre choice for the race a more complicated affair. The riders all went for the soft rear, which was the new compound, we introduced in the winter tests and all the riders liked it, so that was important for us. We had a complete mix of all three compounds for the front, which again emphasised the choice we can supply to all the people to give them different options and this was underlined with the fact that the three bikes on the podium were from three different manufacturers. We were pleased with the performance during the race and the tyres helped to produce another exciting weekend. This was highlighted with Johann’s stunning pole lap on Saturday that was a very old record that was set on qualifying tyres, so to see it broken on our race tyres was very pleasing.”
Announces new aggressive motorsport direction from 2018
“To develop iconic Indian rider for National & International Championships”
2018 is set to be a cracker of a motorsport season. Going full throttle to expand motorsport in India, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. announced its biggest directional shift in motorsport from 2018 season.
Globally Honda is synonymous with Racing with a glorious history of iconic riders since 1959. In India, Honda 2Wheelers made its debut in motorsports a decade earlier in 2008.
For the first 10 years (2008-2017), Honda 2Wheelers India’s motorsport direction was to ‘Promote Fun Culture in India’ with focus on nurturing, developing and giving professional platforms to Indian riding enthusiasts. And now in 2018, Honda has announced its new direction ‘To develop iconic Indian rider for National & International Championships’ which encapsulates Honda’s aggressive vision to nurture and develop Indian riders of international stature.
This is the first time that Honda is promoting Indian riders in an Indian team in international motorsports arena. The IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team by T Pro Ten10 will see two promising Indian riders - second-timer Rajiv Sethu and the rookie Anish D. Shetty battle it out with 23 other Asian riders in the Asia Production 250cc class. The marquee SuperSport 600cc will see the team’s third rider, 23-year old Japanese rider Taiga Hada compete with 21 other riders. Hada was overall 3rd in SuperSports 600cc in 2017 FIM ARRC season and is placed 7th in the first qualifying of 2018 season.
Sponsored by IDEMITSU Lube India Pvt. Ltd., Honda 2Wheelers India will oversee overall team management of the first ever Indian team at the ARRC. The team’s rider management will be undertaken by professional Indian team Ten10 Racing Pvt. Ltd while technical support including bike performance enhancement, modification, data analysis, maintenance and repairs will be looked after by T-Pro Innovation, a professional Japanese team.
Team & Rider Profiles:
|IDEMITSU Honda Racing India’ by T Pro Ten10 NEW||CBR250RR||80||Rajiv Sethu||20||Asia Production 250cc|
|81||Anish D. Shetty NEW||24|
|CBR600RR||Taiga Hada||23||SuperSports 600cc|
About 2018 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship:
The 23rd edition of FIM Asia Road Racing Championship is Asia’s most competitive motorcycle road racing championship, held since 1996. The 2018 season of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) will see 64 riders from 8 Asian countries (Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and India) battle it out in an intense 6 round championship.
ARRC is part of the production-based category of racing, similar to the Supersport World Championship. It consists of 3 open-make classes (SuperSports 600cc, Asia Production 250cc and Underbone 130cc) and 2 single-make development classes. Modified versions of production motorcycles available to the public are featured in the race.