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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple of weeks ago, I had a text from Nick Trott, Editor of evo magazine asking if I was free to pick up Nissan GB's Nismo press car and take it up to Northants for Jethro Bovingdon to drive on the B660.

Needless to say, it took me all of half a second to make myself free! :chuckle:

Evo also sent another chap to pick up their MY14 from HQ to take up so Jethro could do a direct back to back comparo on UK roads.

Of course this was the week after Sir Chris binned the gorgeous matte grey Nismo that was the only RHD one in Europe, so the white one I picked up was LHD. Luckily I've owned five LHD cars over the years including a very wide C6 Z06, so sitting on the left was no hardship.



Immediate impression was that the steering was a fair bit lighter than Stealthzilla's (now back on fat sticky R888s), but so sharp and precise.
The Alcantara clad wheel has a red leather band at 12 o'clock and you only have to move that band a few millimetres either way to get the nose immediately darting in that direction.

Also, the lovely carbon-backed Recaros are fantastic, really supportive around the shoulders whilst still being very comfortable.

Power delivery felt a bit soggy below 4k compared to Stealthzilla (Litchfield Stage 4.5), but there is a nice linear rush from 5k to the redline that the standard car completely lacks, almost as if there was a mild cam kit fitted to complement the slightly larger GT3 (aka SpecV) turbos.

Nismo seem to have mapped the car to make it respond more like a thoroughbred NA engine rather than an overtly turbocharged one. It feels invigorating once you're on it, but slightly lethargic lower down.
Anybody with a Stage 4 or higher will probably feel it's a bit flat.

On A-roads and motorway, the ride felt hard, but liveable, but on that bit of the A6 that goes toward Bedford Autodrome and has a rapid series of undulations, I suddenly found myself being bounced virtually out of the seat by vertical oscillations!

I was in Normal so switched to Comfort and it got a lot worse still! It was as if the dampers couldn't control the body on the new much stiffer springs and bounces were going completely unchecked.

I had driven down that exact road at the same speed in Stealthzilla (on Litchfield suspension kit) and never felt the same bounciness.

Anyway, after meeting up with Jethro and the MY14, we then headed down to the B660 and we did some panning shots for the mag (I'm driving the MY14 chasing the Nismo in the cornering shot in evo issue 199).

When he took the MY14 off for a proper strop, I had a chance to drive the Nismo on the tight twists of the B660.
Again, the turn-in was unbelievable. Well beyond what a standard GT-R can do and the rear felt very planted too. The stiff springs and ARBs virtually eliminate roll so you can take a series of switchbacks at constant throttle without having to set the car up for each change of direction.
Very impressive stuff.

BUT, the B660 is used as a test road because it is very bumpy and patchy in the way that British B roads often are, and to be frank, the Nismo's dampers simply couldn't cope. Again there was that horrible pogo-ing effect inside the car with occupants being virtually bounced out of their seats on corrugations that are barely noticeable in the MY14.



Switching to the MY14, it unsurprisingly felt soft in comparison, but further driving revealed (in common with some experienced MY14 owners' comments on here) that it actually is a fair bit softer than earlier GT-Rs.
There is noticeably more roll and you have to wait to get the mass under control between switchback corners, including having to dab the brakes often.
But it dealt with bumps so much better of course and didn't lose traction as easily as the Nismo as a result.

After dropping the Nismo back at Nissan GB, I still enjoyed driving 5 year old Stealthzilla home. The noise of the decatted Akrapovic, the instant, electric response of Iain's ECUtek mapping and the firm, but perfectly damped ride of the R888/Litchfield suspension combo makes it a far more exciting yet liveable car than the Nismo and that's before we address the 120hp more and attendant thrust and thrills.

However, the agility and sharpness of the Nismo is outstanding and addictive. Around Spa or Silverstone, it must be fantastic.
But if, as reported, the N-Attack version is a dealer-fit upgrade, then with spring rates allegedly 50% lower than the standard Nismo's (don't forget, the Nurburgring is a very bumpy road too, that is why it is used) and trick adjustable Ohlins dampers should make that the ultimate GT-R. And for the price, quite right too!
 

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nice write up, do you think it likely that the people who buy the Nismo are going to be more track focussed than daily drivers?
 

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I was reading EVO the other night with this review in it.

Good stuff.

I'm starting to think that by going R with the Nismo and GT with the MY14 is polarising things a little, where previously the GT-R (when only one model was available) sat nicely in the middle.
 

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Interesting feedback David and exactly what I have been told by others that have driven it. In order to get the suspension acceptable, you need the Ohlins kit which apparently makes it exceptional under all conditions, and put some proper brakes onto it!
 

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thanks for the review.,.. interesting..
 

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Interesting feedback David and exactly what I have been told by others that have driven it. In order to get the suspension acceptable, you need the Ohlins kit which apparently makes it exceptional under all conditions, and put some proper brakes onto it!
So in other words, keep the normal GT-R (which seems to be at least Stage 4 haha) and fit the TA Nismo suspension once it becomes available?
 

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Interesting feedback David and exactly what I have been told by others that have driven it. In order to get the suspension acceptable, you need the Ohlins kit which apparently makes it exceptional under all conditions, and put some proper brakes onto it!
LOL LOL LOL Sorry guys but what have I been saying for ages ???? :chuckle:

I also saw the Vid of the Nismo being driven on circuit (Courtesy of Papa Smurf) and read the article as soon as I got my copy of Evo though the letter box and of course was at Goodwood and saw Mr Hoy (dickhead) dumping the GAY car into the straw. :flame:

Again I don’t want to hark on and get my Good name slandered again, but why keep ****ing with a perfectly GREAT car, my 14 now too soft – even Richards and David now says so, Nis-no, too hard for anything other than a smooth circuit. :bowdown1:

It seems like the first born was best and then gentle mods, remembering that I was one of the first who vouched for Ecutek and stayed with Iain and Ecutek and now look where he and they are now !!! Iain has developed some great suspension set ups, ARB, brake kits etc and I still stand by an early car with sensible mods is better and will save you a LOT of money in the long run, I mean it’s a bloody Datsun and will go on forever if treated to nice oils and regular servicing. :runaway:

Dave good write up and as expected you are sticking with Stealthziller :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Interesting feedback David and exactly what I have been told by others that have driven it. In order to get the suspension acceptable, you need the Ohlins kit which apparently makes it exceptional under all conditions, and put some proper brakes onto it!
Yes I didn't mention the brakes. They had probably been worked quite hard, being on a press car, but the initial bite was not all that and outright braking power nothing special.

The 400mm Alcon disc/Endless pad combo I'm running on Stealthzilla is infinitely better: more responsive and more powerful.

For the price, you would have thought they would offer the SpecV's CCM brakes.

The front end of the Nismo feels like a completely different car though. I suspect there are major changes in the front (and rear) control arms, much like Iain's uprated items.

I personally wouldn't choose a "base" Nismo, because it is too compromised for road use and if you wanted a dedicated hardcore track car, would you choose a GT-R?
But the N-Attack has the potential to be the ultimate; I hope I get the chance to drive one!
 

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LOL LOL LOL Sorry guys but what haven't I been saying for ages ???? :chuckle:

I also saw the Vid of the Nismo being driven on circuit (Courtesy of Papa Smurf) and read the article as soon as I got my copy of Evo though the letter box and of course I realised how wrong I had been and can only grovel and weep at my previous comments. I am ashamed:bawling:

It seems like the first born was me and then with gentle mods, remembering that I was one of the first who vouched for Pampers and stayed with Mummy and Daddy and now look where I am now !!! I mean I think I am a bloody Datsun and I will go on forever if treated with nice oils and regular servicing. :runaway:

:
Thought I would change your statement a bit to make it more realistic:chuckle:
 

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LOL LOL LOL Sorry guys but what have I been saying for ages ???? :chuckle:

I also saw the Vid of the Nismo being driven on circuit (Courtesy of Papa Smurf) and read the article as soon as I got my copy of Evo though the letter box and of course was at Goodwood and saw Mr Hoy (dickhead) dumping the GAY car into the straw. :flame:

Again I don’t want to hark on and get my Good name slandered again, but why keep ****ing with a perfectly GREAT car, my 14 now too soft – even Richards and David now says so, Nis-no, too hard for anything other than a smooth circuit. :bowdown1:

It seems like the first born was best and then gentle mods, remembering that I was one of the first who vouched for Ecutek and stayed with Iain and Ecutek and now look where he and they are now !!! Iain has developed some great suspension set ups, ARB, brake kits etc and I still stand by an early car with sensible mods is better and will save you a LOT of money in the long run, I mean it’s a bloody Datsun and will go on forever if treated to nice oils and regular servicing. :runaway:

Dave good write up and as expected you are sticking with Stealthziller :cool:
Nobody likes a know it all smug face ;) LOL

I do like some of the touches on the Nismo
 

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LOL LOL LOL Sorry guys but what have I been saying for ages ???? :chuckle:

I also saw the Vid of the Nismo being driven on circuit (Courtesy of Papa Smurf) and read the article as soon as I got my copy of Evo though the letter box and of course was at Goodwood and saw Mr Hoy (dickhead) dumping the GAY car into the straw. :flame:

Again I don’t want to hark on and get my Good name slandered again, but why keep ****ing with a perfectly GREAT car, my 14 now too soft – even Richards and David now says so, Nis-no, too hard for anything other than a smooth circuit. :bowdown1:

It seems like the first born was best and then gentle mods, remembering that I was one of the first who vouched for Ecutek and stayed with Iain and Ecutek and now look where he and they are now !!! Iain has developed some great suspension set ups, ARB, brake kits etc and I still stand by an early car with sensible mods is better and will save you a LOT of money in the long run, I mean it’s a bloody Datsun and will go on forever if treated to nice oils and regular servicing. :runaway:

Dave good write up and as expected you are sticking with Stealthziller :cool:
so may as well keep my stage 4 earlier car and whack some Lichfield suspension on it then?? job done.:chuckle:
 

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It would be a shame if the GTR gradually got softer and softer no comparsion but look at the little Clio the Golf Gti all started out a little bit raw now look.
 

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I think that the Nismo has to be a natural evolution of the GTR brand, you only have to look at the success of the GT2/GT3 porsches to see what people are prepared to pay for and what comprimise to road manners they are willing to accept for that niche ownership experience.

Steve actually makes a valid point about how high the bar was set with the original incarnation of the GTR but it had to be that high at that low price point in order for Nissan to get the foothold in the market to compete in the same terms as Porsche etc.

Now that it is safely established in that space Nissan can exploit the same buyers with the level of disposable income who can afford play in that market.

While the price of the "base" car may have risen significantly making it much less of the performance bargain it once was it does ensure the longevity of the brand.

Steve - what you have to accept is that Nissan is in the game to make £££ and while there are people prepared to pay for the niche cars at significant premiums Nissan will be only to happy to make them.
 

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It would be a shame if the GTR gradually got softer and softer no comparsion but look at the little Clio the Golf Gti all started out a little bit raw now look.
Yep, just like driving a GTR on MPSS :chuckle::chuckle::chuckle:
for all the lard arsed softies !!!:runaway::runaway:
 

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so may as well keep my stage 4 earlier car and whack some Lichfield suspension on it then?? job done.:chuckle:
Yep, what I keep telling OLD Papa Smurf !!!!:bowdown1:
 

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How does the nismo feel compared to the litchfield suspension set up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
How does the nismo feel compared to the litchfield suspension set up?
Way, WAY harder!

Springs are way too stiff for the dampers IMO. Works ok on smooth roads, rapidly becomes unbearable on bumpy ones.

The Litchfield kit (which is a fast road one, not a full-on track setup) has much better compliance whilst controlling body movements a lot better.

On a smooth track like Spa or Silverstone, the Nismo would rule supreme, but the journey getting there would be a lot more uncomfortable!

Ironically, on the Nordschleife, I bet a similarly powered Litchfield suspended car would actually be quicker as it would be able to put its power down better. Of course that's precisely what the N Attack version was designed for.

And the turn-in, agility and steering precision are out of this world. I suspect they've done something very similar to what Iain did with his new upper and lower control arms, but possibly even more extreme.
 

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Thanks for the write up David..very interesting indeed:)..

Have you driven the new Litchfield top and bottom arm conversion?..i hear it`s quite an improvement over standard and just how much quicker/spoolier does your 4.25 feel over the Nismo
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the write up David..very interesting indeed:)..

Have you driven the new Litchfield top and bottom arm conversion?..i hear it`s quite an improvement over standard and just how much quicker/spoolier does your 4.25 feel over the Nismo
I have, briefly, at Castle Combe last year. It was definitely sharper, hard to say if it was as sharp as the Nismo, would need to drive them back to back.
Iain says most of the benefit is from the top arms as they increase the castor and dynamic camber.

My car is a Stage 4.5 and feels a lot punchier than the Nismo, but then again it can run 1.4 bar so should do!
What is interesting is that the spool and pick up response feels much sharper than the Nismo low down, so maybe that's Nissan being conservative with the low and mid-range torque to save the conrods?
I haven't read anywhere that they have switched to forged rods, so that may be it.

The N-Attack features a further remapped ECU so is probably punchier, all the better for helping the car pull away from the 178 corners of the Nordschleife.

Iain said the turbos the Nismo run are the same as the ones they fitted to the SpecV (so Roger should be happy!) which are the same as he fits to his Stage 4.5.
 

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Iain said the turbos the Nismo run are the same as the ones they fitted to the SpecV (so Roger should be happy!) which are the same as he fits to his Stage 4.5.
I am very happy indeed . The Spec V is basically the base model for the current Nismo but it is odd the standard Nismo suspension isn't the more compliant version out of the box (like the fixed Bilstein setup).

From doing 250 miles of motorway and back roads thus far it is really not any worse than MY10 and, with CCB and lighter wheels, the damping is much more controlled and turn in etc is simply epic compared with stock car. Can't wait to dyno against benchmark cars just to see what it is really kicking out.

I am off now to carry on being biased ;-)
 
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