Encounter with Godzilla

I have met Godzilla and lived to tell the tale.


“Godzilla” is the fond nickname bestowed on the Nissan GT-R by the automotive press.  I’m guessing it has something to do with the fact that this hunk of sheetmetal is a Japanese monster.

Long a desirable supercar in Japan and famous on these shores for its prominence in the Gran Turismo video game series, Nissan first brought the GT-R to America in 2008.  With Ferrari-beating performance numbers at almost half the price (around $80k) of your average supercar, the GT-R became a quick favorite of auto journalists and fanboys alike. This car could sprint to 100 mph faster than any minivan can accelerate to 60, and beat a Porsche 911 GT2 around the Nurburgring.  Not surprisingly, Automobile Magazine named the GT-R its 2009 Automobile of the Year.

Not bad for a V-6 engine.  (Ok, it is a twin turbo…and handbuilt by a Japanese guy who even signs the thing.)

GTR engine 2  GTR handbuilt

The 2014 GT-R has a 3.8L twin-turbo V-6 churning out 545 horsepower and 463 lb-ft of torque.  I’m no engineer, but I can tell you that, in layman’s terms, that means it’s pretty effing fast and powerful.  Oh, and its top speed is 196, in case you were wondering.

For an approximately $10,000 premium over the base model, you can get a Black Edition, which adds a dry carbon-fiber rear spoiler, special 20″ wheels and Recaro seats.

GTR spoiler

GTR wheel

GTR Recaro seat

Or maybe you would like the Track Edition, which includes a track-tuned suspension and can be yours for only $115,000?  A bargain!

I recently encountered a Black Edition in Utah.  Although I have seen GT-Rs on the road, I had never been up close and personal with one.  It’s not beautiful like some of its supercar peers, but Godzilla certainly has presence.  See for yourself.

GTR hood popped

GTR rear

GTR taillight

GTR headlight

GTR steering wheel

GTR gauges

GTR start button

GTR shifter


GTR exhaust

Nice, eh?  It wouldn’t hurt my feelings to spend time behind the wheel.

As much as I would have liked to flog the GT-R around some mountain twisties, it was a privilege to even sit in the thing.  For that, a big shout-out to sales consultant Eli “Mohawk” Bice at Ken Garff Nissan in Ogden, Utah. My sister, nephews and I stopped by the dealership to snap a quick photo of my nephews next to the GT-R in the showroom.  There was a conspicuous “Do not touch the GT-R” sign affixed to the driver’s side window.  Eli grabbed the key, unlocked the car and let my nephews and me sit in the driver’s seat and take tons of pictures.  We had a blast, and my nephews left with the GT-R as their new dream car.

GTR group photo

Thanks, Eli.  That was really cool.  And we dug your mohawk.

Dear readers, I would tell you to watch out for Godzilla on the streets, but you probably wouldn’t even see it zoom past you.

Read about Automobile Magazine’s year-long test of the 2010 GT-R here.  Read about Motor Trend’s here.

Check out a video of the GT-R beating Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche and others in the “World’s Greatest Drag Race.”