Nissan GT-R: Keep it stock or tune? That is the question
[SOUND] When is fast, fast enough?
Is there ever a point where we say nope that's fast enough for me, or no thank you that's plenty power?
Can we ever really be satisfied?
It seems that no matter how much a car has been pushed to exceed our expectations and deliver performance that simply blows our minds, that always somewhere, someone at the back of the class puts up their hand and says but can we make it go any faster?
If a car can do 195 miles an hour, hit 62 from rest in 2.8 seconds And corners so quickly it makes your eyes want to share a socket.
Isn't that enough?
See to me, the Nissan GT-R is damn near perfect.
Brutally fast, yet forgiving to drive.
And you know how many times I've said to myself in this car, it's not as fast as I would like down the straight or I wish I could have got on the brakes a little bit later there.
That's how often.
Exactly never, because this is a genuine bona-fide, smile factory.
Even out here with the grip sub-optimal, there's still a huge amount of confidence to put down as much of the 562 horses under the bonnet as it can give me.
And the smile just keeps on growing.
Everything about this car is amazing, from the way it looks To the way you just put your foot down and go.
It doesn't require years of dedication to hone your racing skills to get a lot of speed out of this thing.
It's plug and play, nail it and go.
Could we not just be satisfied with this?
Could this not be more than humanity ever would need from a car?
[NOISE] So for who exactly is that not enough?
What could you possibly do to it to improve?
[SOUND] Now this is a Nissan GT-R, or specifically, a model year 2009 GT-R that's been poked and prodded by the good people at Knight Racer.
And they've given it what they call the KR650 performance pack.
Now that includes some Tweaks under the bonnet, including new inlets, new injectors, and a whole bunch of new plumbing.
And a shiny new re-mapped ECU.
And what does that do to the car?
Well, the clue's in the name.
The KR 650 now puts out 650 horsepower.
The launch control has also been tweaked.
So let's see how it stacks up against the standard DTR in a drag race.
[SOUND] The stock GTR is no slouch when it comes to drag races, and it can see off pretty much anything over the quarter mile, but the KR 650 just smokes it.
And a car that was already blisteringly quick takes on a new dimension of speed on the straights, my word.
[SOUND] That extra power makes a big, big difference.
Now you have to keep in mind that the chassis, suspension, crucially brakes, have not been tweaked So you have to recalibrate slightly after having driven the 2017 but considering the 2009 GTR out of the factory developed 500 brake, and now it's up to 650, that's 150 extra horses.
And this car now has the horsepower just to push it.
Beyond that sense of security I had in the standard GTR is that level of slight instantly this thing has.
There's so much more drama to it now.
Even if you didn't notice the difference in performance, the experience has been transformed.
The sense of theater It's amazing.
There are different maps that you can switch between depending on whether you're up for performance on any given day or for showing off.
And in that category this car can be louder, brutish.
And it can breathe fire.
Now normally I'm not a huge fan of tuning modern cars.
They're already so perfect it seems redundant but in the world of top trups but it's about being the best and this is even 90 horse power up from the 2017 GTR.
And this car is eight years old.
Now there is obviously compromise.
That being that the perfect balance of handling has been slightly offset.
Meaning that if you're aggressive on track you need to keep in mind that the car isn't expecting the amount of horsepower that This is now developing.
But once you've figured that out, you can have some fun.
And isn't that the point of tuning?
This thing has been set up for straight line speed.
And in that department, it is maniacally brutal.
After that, this overrun noise And it feels like a completely different car.
It's not 100% a better experience.
But it's definitely louder, brasher, and in the right parts of the track, a damn sight faster.
I certainly wouldn't say that this is an essential upgrade to To a GTR, but it's definitely one to consider.
If you want a GTR it does one thing very, very well, and that thing is drama.
Although the KR650 won't beat the stock car in a hot lap around the ring, or will ride any better than the GT-R already does, on quite a few individual items, it can absolutely dominate, louder, prouder, and with extra fire.
Yes, you can get more of a homegrown medal with Nissan GT-R In the Nismo, it's slightly lighter, and it is an overall faster ride.
But the Nismo costs 150,000 pounds, that's 70,000 pounds more than a brand new 2017 GTR.
The upgrades on this car, costs just three grand.
But okay, price aside, an extra 90 horsepower, and all the extra little toys this adds to the GTR are cool.
But do you really need them?
I mean, come on, the GT-R is phenomenal, more power than I can ever really hope to use on a daily basis.
And even out here on track, it's way more than I need.
This must be enough for me, you, or anyone, right?
No, because more is better.
Aston Martin gives us one last blast of analogue excellence with...
How Morgan made the mighty V8 very British indeed
From Polo to T-Roc: The weird and wonderful world of Volkswagen...
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio deserves the S in SUV
The cars we drive: 1979 MkII Ford Escort rally car
The McLaren Speedtail is like a private jet for the road