As we all know since after the recent Motor show, Nissan Thailand shifted to focus more on Nismo aftermarket parts and kits for their cars to provide tailored more aggressive styling to aftermarket lovers. The Nissan Nismo Almeria is their first foray back into aftermarket scene.
To plant the seeds, build a buzz, and familiarize the market with the Nismo brand, Nissan has organized a trip to test drive the new Nismo Almera for the media which I’ll touch on in another article. The highlight of trip was the unveiling and the test drive of the 600 horsepower monster or better known as the Nissan GT-R Nismo to the Thai market.
Despite being allowed just two roads around the Bira circuit and a number of driving restrictions everyone had to agree to before driving, such as wearing a helmet which I rarely do. However, the event was one of Nissan’s best and most anticipated in Thailand.
Understandably with price tag of the car and the first time the GT-R is being officially revealed and tested in Thailand, the conditions and requirements were stricter than usual test drives. The unfamiliar of the Japanese team with the Thai automotive media and our driving style also contributed to the atmosphere. Either way, better to be safe than sorry!
In addition to the Nissan Thailand top management, Nissan imported Hiroshi Tamura, Chief Engineer & the Nismo GT-R team to explain about the brand the vehicles. Hiroshi Yoshi Kato, Head of the Technical Team test drove the GT-R with a few lucky media members in the car with him.
Tamura explained how Nismo (Nissan Motorsport) is a key and important piece in building the Nissan brand and reputation around the world. Nismo is known for their innovative engineering, pushing the limits of engine performance from both the motorsports perspective and improving performance for everyday daily use.
“I would not say Nismo is only focused on motorsport racing but also engineering for your everyday drive, adding excitement for your everyday drive. For sure we not only develop cars that deliver speed but also safety and an overall fun driving experience!”
The Nissan GT-R Nismo we test drove was developed with enhanced engine performance, 600 hp with acceleration from 0-100km per hour in 2.5 seconds reaching top speeds of 300 km/hr. One can say it is one the best performance car in the market today.
Many may remember this beast of a car that broke the speed lap record in 7.08.679 minutes at the Winer Berge circuit, Germany in 2013. Although the record has since been broken many times, it is still part of the lore and history of the GT-R.
This isn’t my first time with the GT-R, as Nissan had invited me once before to sit in the GT-R previously. This time around, I got to not only sit in the car. Even though it was short, I got to drove the Nismo model for a short bit. It did not leave enough time for me to get into all the details, as it went by a bit too quickly!
The first round was focused on just following the line and getting used to the Nismo’s capability By the time the second round came, our time behind the wheel was up way too soon! Nissan would not take my extra coins for a third round, no matter how hard I tried. As expected the Nismo was extremely fun to drive, the speed pushed me way back into the seat.
The Nismo version is 20 kg lighter which does not sound like much, but combined with an increase of 50 additional horses, and a body kit which balances the car and reduces the wind drag gives the car an amazing feel. The kit not only pushes the car to the limit, reaching top speeds, but makes the GT-R a rare beauty.
The GT-R Nismo engineers came out and said the car was built for everyday use. For the motorsport junkies, they’ll have to cope with that fact the design is not exclusively geared for racing. The consumers looking for a high performance sports car and a comfortable to drive will be pleased.
The seat positioning and getting in and out the car was designed to be like most regular cars. The doors swing wide open, the raised seat position with three point safety belts, a dashboard similar to most cars echo the engineers sentiments of the Nismo being an everyday car with a performance edge.
The Engine’s responsiveness is quick and delivers a fierce kicked when pushed. However, the engine will not stall and force you to put your foot on the accelerator. The Nismo can cruise along just as well. For those of us who wanted to push the car to the limit, we had to get Kato-san to drive.
The suspension is sharp, concise, and responsive to the steering wheel controls without much resistance. It was so easy to control, it made me second guess if this was really a 600 hp monster! The GT-R Nismo is really one of the easiest sports cars I have ever driven!
I wasn’t planning to drive fast during the Nismo test drive because I wanted to try the GT-R as a regular driver instead. After the second round, I picked up the phone and saw a message from a friend telling me to ask Nissan– “When is the GT-R coming in, at what price point and can I reserve one today?”
I have to give my condolences and apologize to our readers who want to buy this car. The GT-R Nismo is produced in very limited quality, and is hard enough to get anywhere else in the world. Nissan said it would be difficult to supply the Thailand market, and has no official plans to launch the GT-R here.
Other than the Nismo comments, I want to mention the management team was strict but professional in the whole preparation of the GT-R test drive. A real pro was brought in for the drive; all the performance tools were in place to ensure the best experience. The rules outlined to the press were so detailed none of us wanted to disobey anything!
Even though I was a bit disappointed I only got to test drive it twice, I still loved the experience and want to thank Nissan for us to the event!
More English Content Click Here
Need a Great 2nd Hand Car in Thailand? Click Here