2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition Review – Video

Fewer seats, more dollars and even more performance

2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition Review – Video
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Called the Track Edition this limited-production version features a unique suspension setup, brake-cooling ducts and no rear seats. The back chairs are replaced with quilted cloth mats where the cushions used to be. I’m not kidding. There’s also fancy new leather inside the car as well some carbon-fiber additions. Of course these enhancements are in addition to upgrades the “standard” GT-R has received.

FAST FACTS

1. 2014 models continue to be powered by a twin-turbo 3.8L V6 engine making 545 hp and 463 lb-ft of torque.

2. The 2014 GT-R starts at about $100,000 with the Track Edition almost at $116,710 including destination.

3. Upgrades include a more rigid body, revised suspension tuning and an even more responsive engine plus carbon fiber brake-cooling ducts and a rear seat delete.

4. Just 150 Track Edition models will be available in the US.

Track Edition models are limited to the United States and they’re only building 150 of them, which makes a special car even more unique.

Regular GT-Rs benefit from a more responsive engine at high RPM thanks to new fuel injectors, a retuned suspension and a more rigid body. One snazzy feature is the addition of a placard on the engine that bears the craftsman’s name that built it… by hand. The engine-assembly process takes a full six hours and is completed by one of four people. These gentlemen are called “takumi” in Japanese, which apparently means master craftsman. This hands-on approach is done to guarantee precision and quality.

THE DRIVE

From the driver’s seat (or any seat for that matter) it’s easy to tell the GT-R Track Edition is a beast. The way it sounds, turns and stops is utterly astounding.

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2014 Nissan GTR Track Edition engineThe car is propelled by a 3.8-liter V6 engine with an iron lung (read: turbocharger) hanging off each cylinder bank. The result is a monstrous 545 horsepower with 463 lb-ft of torque. It’s matched to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a cutting-edge all-wheel drive system that can rout 100 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels or up to 50 percent to the front axle.

Nailing the throttle from a standstill results in a somewhat tepid launch. But once the engine gets a few revs on the clock and the duet of turbos is spooled up, hang on. At around 3,200 RPM the car explodes like a fertilizer plant in a wildfire, which sends you – and your passengers – hurtling down the road at felony speeds.

2014 Nissan GTR Track Edition rear seatsAt peak power the G-forces at play are so strong it almost makes it feel like you’re having an asthma attack. It gets slightly harder to breathe as the engine presses your carcass into the seat until you get a split-second reprieve as the transmission grabs the next gear. Have you heard of sleep apnea before? Perhaps doctors will diagnose GT-R owners with driving apnea. The GT-R should come with a CPAP machine.

THE HANDLING

2014 Nissan GTR Track Edition test drive

Underway there are all kinds of whirring, clattering and whooshing noises, more ruckus than a prison kitchen during a riot. It may be noisy but all of that technology is working overtime to make you look like a rock star. Even the most capable driver owes a debt of gratitude to all of the GT-R’s solenoids, clutch packs and sensors for delivering an almost otherworldly experience. So much technology is working so hard to make you look so good.

2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition 04Pitch the car into a corner and it goes; it’s almost like a video game in that it turns the rigid, immovable, uncaring laws of physics into something malleable that can be bent and twisted to the GT-R’s demand.

If there’s one downside to this car’s performance it’s the ride. Our brief test drive took place on an old runway; a surface you’d think would be pretty smooth, after all, airplanes used to land on it and they’re far from off-road vehicles. Despite this inconvenient fact the GT-R managed to find every bump, expansion joint, crack and crevice on the runway and probably a few that weren’t even there. The car’s ride is bumpier than falling down a flight of stairs, minus a closed-head injury, of course.

THE VERDICT

2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition 12

The Nissan GT-R is a great performance car that keeps getting better with every turn of the calendar. As in years past the 2014 model is still a giant killer that can spar with some of the world’s greatest supercars and come out on top. Capable all-wheel drive, unimaginable levels of grip and rocket-booster thrust only make it better, while a hand-built engine is cooler than Pluto’s moon.

While the GT-R’s price continues to rise with every new model year it’s still a performance bargain. That’s even true when you add on the $16,000 premium for the Track Edition model, which doesn’t just add performance, but also prestige.

LOVE IT
  • Loaded with high-tech features
  • Unassailable handling
  • Brutal acceleration
LEAVE IT
  • It may be a performance value but it’s still expensive
  • Bone-crushing ride

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