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New Nissan GT-R shows extraordinary speed, grip

CNET reviews the 2012 Nissan GT-R, finding a ridiculously fast car that can hold the road like no other.

Nissan GT-R
Wayne Cunningham/CNET

We found a little bit of heaven while driving the 2012 GT-R over a twisty bit of back-country track, a valley dotted with cattle ranches and kamikaze chipmunks dashing across the road. The 530-horsepower GT-R ate up the pavement, jumping like a recruit fresh out of boot camp at every touch of the throttle.

The limits of the GT-R were hard to find, as its tires clung to the asphalt through every turn. If the back end started to drift, a slight tap on the gas put power to the the wheels that did have grip, bringing it back into line. It was a sublime experience.

This generation of the GT-R actually hits 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, yet still costs less than $100,000 (just barely). It also earned EPA fuel economy ratings of 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway, which would be impressive if achieving those numbers didn't involve dawdling along in sixth gear. Driving the GT-R in a way that will make you happy means more like 15 mpg.

Nissan didn't mess with the performance computer, the crazy collection of too much information displayed in every sort of virtual gauge imaginable on the car's LCD. For those who want a soundtrack while they burn up the road, Nissan added Bluetooth audio streaming and iPod integration, so you can also make use of the Bose audio system.

Check out our full review of the 2012 Nissan GT-R.