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Old 30th May 2011, 11:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Autobahn driving and using the R35 as a transcontinental GT car.

I was recently due to attend a conference in Poland and as my car was below average mileage (13500 after two years) I thought it would be a good opportunity to drive there and use it to cross the continent and also drive it on the derestricted autobahn. Well I drove up to 8 hours per day and didn't get any aches and pains and didn't find the experience tiring.
Some practical tips:
I'm pleased I followed David Yu's advice and went in the van section on the chunnel train as it was so easy as it was wide enough not to worry about scraping my precious wheels.
In Germany and Poland you can get shell V power racing which is 100 octane and in Germany you can get Aral 102 octane if you stop at the Aral autobahn petrol stations.
If you get the new Litchfield stage 2 remember to set it to high boost (using the cruise control switch) before you go on the autobahn.
Apart from one short motorway in Poland the maximum speed limit is 55mph. I was behind a truck which was doing around 45. I overtook him and glanced at the speedo immediately after passing him and it read 112mph! Thank you Iain I'm so pleased I got stage 2 before my journey.

Autobahn driving:
Back in 2000 I think it was I went to the EVO stand at the motor show and quizzed John Barker about how best to combine safety and high speeds on the autobahn. "Treat it like a B road" he said and we spoke about reading the road ahead and the importance of anticipation. Also when I met David Yu at Litchfields I got advice from him and he suggested keeping the headlights on and keep indicating left.
Well I followed the advice of both of them and was quite proud of myself when I had read the road so far ahead that I didn't even touch the brakes when someone pulled out far ahead of me at around 80 mph while I was doing around double that. I came off the throttle so early that by the time I reached him I had matched his speed.
Hazards to watch out for on the autobahn:
well apart from people pulling out in front of you or straddling the lanes the following are worth watching out for:-
1. shallow bends aren't so shallow above 130mph
2. If you're using the maxim of being able to stop within the distance you can see to be clear then you need to slow down for blind crests
3. watch out for speed limits. you don't necessarily get any warning you can be travelling on a derestricted section and there will be a sign on a bridge saying 120 (kph) and you can be 'done' for not having slowed down to 120kph (around 75mph) by the time you passed the bridge.
4. there is a 'get out of my way' pecking order on the autobahn but some people may not know what the GT-R is or what it can do so ironically porsches are more likely to get out of your way than micras.

Ok you were waiting for the bit where i say what speed i got up to.
Well, in my defence I should say my last autobahn run was in a Jaguar 3 litre S type which had an official top speed of around 140mph. Luckily nobody had told the car what its top speed was so in the tradition of cartoon characters who keep running without dropping after not noticing they have run off the edge of the cliff the jag kept running up to an indicated 155mph.
Also at very high speeds you look out for clear sections with less traffic but the only problem is you traverse those clear sections rather quickly and end up meeting the next 'gaggle' of traffic or a blind crest or a sharp turn.
Anyway to cut a long story slow I only reached 175mph but the car reached that speed so easily and the speedo was still advancing noticeably although you wouldn't have noticed much g force once you were stuck in 6th gear as you had passed the rev limiter in 5th. That was night time but the following day I exceeded 165mph several times quite easily when the traffic thinned and got up to 172 at one point. I'm quietly confident that next time I'm going to break the magic 186mph (300kph). It was nice to overtake a police car at 120mph without any rise in heart rate. I did notice that above around 160mph my grip on the steering wheel seemed to get tighter and the shoulder muscles seem to tense up. Anyway it's good to be wide awake and paying attention at these speeds.
As always when I'm driving I only ever drive if I have no alcohol in my blood stream whatsoever and would advise the same particularly for high speed driving as I felt that I needed to have 100% of my faculties working and ready.
By the way I had a passenger with me so don't worry I wasn't really staring at the speedometer at 175mph!
I hope some of this is useful to someone,

Andrew
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Old 30th May 2011, 11:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Fantastic write up and glad that you seemed to thoroughly enjoy that amazing experience..
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Old 31st May 2011, 12:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I took my first JDM GTR to south of France via Switzerland and Italy..

I had a stage 2 tune and fixed back seats and I didn't enjoy the drive whatsoever.

The car was uncomfortable and no V8 sound track to keep me company, the gearing seemed too short and the car seemingly unhappy at high speeds for long periods of time

This could have been due to a very early Cobb tune done by PCR (not done by Ben) but it put me off taking the GTR on long distances again.

The twisty bits through the Alps were pretty good though..

I dont see the GTR as a proper GT car, it's more adept at track and A road driving than motorways and its too big and heavy for British B roads..

On A roads the car is sublime and that's what I drive most of the time
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Old 31st May 2011, 06:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Only point of concurrence is that I felt like it would have been nice to have a longer gear added on if they could fit 7 in the gearbox
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Old 7th June 2011, 11:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd agree it could use a higher gear for cruising. I live in Germany and have an extended section of derestricted autobahn between where I live and the airport. I fly weekly so get plenty of high speed time. Fastest on the clock so far was 309kph.

And yes, forward observation is pretty much key!

I've driven it to and from the UK a couple of times, and I find it a pretty good GT car - not as good as the XK-R, which is definitely more luxurious, but I don't have any issues doing 2000 miles in the GT-R, although the fuel stops do get tedious.
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Old 7th June 2011, 02:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Andy, glad you made it there and back safely and that my advice was of some use.

It is, indeed, quite tricky to find a stretch of derestricted 'bahn clear enough to attempt V-max.
I did manage this north of the Nurburgring though...





(Of course that is only an indicated speed, real speed would have been well below that.)
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Old 7th June 2011, 04:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
christer is selling the car:(
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I use my car every year for trips to Scandinavia and have no problems with comfort, pace or boredom. I guess some people are just massive pussies?
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Old 7th June 2011, 08:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christer View Post
I guess some people have massive pussies?
mmmmm..nice
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Old 11th June 2011, 05:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm in Sweden right now on my hols. Car has been effortless during the drive through Denmark and Sweden to Stockholm. Next stop is Oslo via Karlstad.

My only issue is the relatively short tank range. I'm getting about 320 miles between refills. This is with gentle 60-70 mph cruising. It does get a bit boring having to fill up every day although there seems to be plenty of Shell V-Power around. I'm running a custom Cobb tune from Ben at GTC.

I even have enough boot space for Mrs Snapper's stuff!

In my opinion the GT part of the car is just fine. Oh, and one more thing... I can't believe how much attention the car draws. I get enthusiastic comments every time I stop. I was even filmed by a passenger in the car next to me while going over the Oresund bridge. Seems the GT-R is a very rare beast here because of purchase taxes and suchlike.
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