Surely there isn’t a soul on the planet that would actually accept the number of Nissan Skyline GT-Rs in the game. But Kazunori Yamauchi feels the need to do Nissan a service and keep every recorded R32/3/4/5 ever made ever in Gran Turismo.
And that’s why he’s been driving Schulze Motorsports’ own GT-R at the Nurburgring 24h for a 3rd year now.
This one has a far more compelling reason to come in at such a time though, thanks to the introduction of the GT3 series into the game.
See, the two previous GT-Rs driven by Kaz were closer to road forms in that they were made into race spec models but very little of the components were changed. And in GT5, neither of them really worked.
The 2011 model introduced directly into Spec II was still way too heavy to wade into battle with any serious confidence, and Sports: Softs to start with did not help exactly. Then came the N24 GT Academy model introduced alongside the HSV-010 and BRZ.
This had more power and Racing: Hards to start with now. But because it was actually closer to the normal GT-R, it was even heavier. An inexcusable 1700kg in fact. Ah, but that wasn’t the problem, no. Instead, the GT-R here had surely the worst driving characteristic to grace any car in the game, that being the instance of braking and turning in – a common requirement if you’re pushing a car hard. And every time you performed such an action, the GT-R chose to slide out. So it ended up being a total shambles.
Thankfully, rather than just take a GT-R and call it a racer, this year Schulze Motorsport decided to go and buy the actual GT-R racer – the GT3. And this was added in alongside a selection of other GT racers – all German. The Audi R8 LMS, BMW M3/Z4 and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG are its main competitors in its class of racing. Does this actual GT-R racer fare well against them?
Well, it does a good job. Though the possibility that PD and Nissan’s partnership might have influenced its driving ability is not out of the question.
That isn’t true of course, but the GT3 GT-R is a worthwhile car to have in your garage.
Relative to the M3, the GT-R feels much more composed even despite having the same drivetrain. The GT-R successfully defies its still relatively high weight of 1350kg by showing no signs of instability, and you can really apply its 542bhp onto the road very well, even without the benefit of 4WD this time.
Indeed, much as I love the 4WD drivetrain, the change to FR here really helps the GT-Rs case. Though I’m sure that keeping it 4WD would mean that it could still retain immense speed, the FR drivetrain means you can push the car and slide it around a little, making it a much more free machine for your usage.
The true speed of the car is not even in any doubt. When you do have 542bhp pushing you around, the speed does often make itself felt. Indeed, it appears that the GT-R really might be the fastest of the GT3s overall, if the performance of the AI in the GT3 races is anything to go by.
The sound of the GT-R is the typical low, lazy grunt that has been attached to the R35 racers often. I think it rather fits the car, though not necessarily for the right reasons.
Because, while the GT-R does feel faster and better as a car, the M3, round the Nurburgring when I tested it, felt superb fun. This GT-R doesn’t quite manage that. It gets on with the job with near perfection but not too much else. But in this game, the job is what has to be done, in the form of races.
Admittedly I had driven the more powerful Anniversary Edition GT-R NISMO GT-3 before this – the Anniversary Edition produces 621bhp, which makes it even faster. But the driving feel of the GT-R still stands there. It is obviously rather faster but the normal GT-R should be the same if you’re used to the Anniversary Edition, and want perhaps a base model.
One big bonus of the GT-R’s speed though, that generally makes it a bargain – as with the other GT3 racers – is its price. 350,000 Cr. would not be much even relatively speaking before the money payouts were increased, but now, it is really next to nothing.
So while the GT-R NISMO GT3 does beat the M3 in just about every conceivable department that matters in GT6, I’m giving it a lower rating of 4 stars. Because, whereas the M3 feels like a livewire around the track, the GT-R doesn’t have the magic moments the M3 can provide. In GT6 terms, it’s a 5* – not least because Kazunori Yamauchi drove it. But in human terms, it isn’t.