Nissan Top Gear

Top Gear – Series 11, Episode 5

Jeremy Clarkson couldn’t get enough of the Nissan GT-R so he kicked off Series 11, Episode 5 by showing us all why the beefy R35 is proving to be a pain in the neck for the big German bahnstormers (see above). Clarkson and James May then proved what pillocks they are by bringing London traffic to a standstill in their very own classic motors—James in a 1972 Rolls Royce (of course) Corniche and Jeremy in a 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Grosser. Quite entertaining chaps. A couple of rich blokes fanged around the track in the Lacetti, and one of them, in particular, was right on the money. Richard Hammond joined Jeremy in closing the show with a traditional fox hunt. In a Daihatsu Terios. For mine, this was a great, take it back to its roots, Top Gear episode. A shame then, that next week’s episode will be the last for Series 11.

Still, Top Gear Australia can’t be too far away. And, if nothing else, that will generate plenty of discussion.

Top Gear

Top Gear – Series 11, Episode 4

This week’s episode of Top Gear saw Jeremy Clarkson make a bold claim. He reckons the Alfa Romeo 8C is “the best looking car ever made”. I disagree. Sure, the side profile is stunning, but I just can’t see much to like about that front end. It’s all a bit of a mish mash. Enjoy the YouTube clip above and judge for yourself. A couple of pretty tidy newsreaders from the BBC were this week’s Stars in a Reasonably Priced Car. Fiona Bruce fared quite well, but Kate Silverton’s time, in such shocking weather, was actually damn impressive. Of course, the main feature of this episode was the first big Top Gear race since the Veyron first appeared in Series 7. This time the crew was off to Japan and it was Jeremy in the Nürburgring taming Nissan GT-R taking on Richard and James aboard a 200mph bullet train. Exectuve Producer Andy Wilman claimed in his blog that the Veyron race was “too big and overblown” and that the GT-R provided an opportunity to bring the big races back to our screens. Well, I’m disagreeing with another TG heavy as I reckon the Veyron film was one of their best. The cinematography was superb. The GT-R film is very enjoyable, of course, but, for mine, not one of their best. Still can’t wait for Episode 5!


How much power does the Nissan GT-R really produce?

Nissan GT-R

Just how much power does the Nissan GT-R actually have? The official Nissan figure tells us the car has 352kW (see below), or around 480bhp. Nissan’s reported 7:29 Nürburgring lap time has generated enough hype, histrionics and humdrum to whip internet forums into a lather the world over. To be honest, a lot of the criticisms of the GT-R’s Nordschleife lap time, such as the alleged misrepresentations by Nissan (different start and stop points, rolling start), were made by uneducated Americans who only started hearing about the Ring when their auto makers decided corners were actually here to stay. The published video of the GT-R’s lap follows the same start and finish conventions as any other “officially” published Nordschleife Time Attack lap, yes, even including the rolling start.

However, it seems, not all stereotypes are created equal as this article on the New York Times blog explains. Albeit, ironically, using 400m of dead straight tarmac to prove its point. A fairly basic estimate of horsepower can be calculated by using a car’s weight and its drag strip trap speed (the speed with which a car crosses the line). If we take the NYT at their word a GT-R weighs 4000lbs (1814kg) and can reach a speed of 122mph (196kph) on a traditional quarter mile drag strip (400m). Crunch the numbers and you end up with a figure of around 565bhp (420kW). That may explain why Nissan reckons the GT-R can get around the Ring faster than a Corvette Z06 (7:43), which weighs significantly less and has an official power figure above the GT-R’s.


R35 Nissan GT-R written off

Nissan GT-R write off

Spotted via CarAdvice and the NAGTROC forum was the sad news that a newly delivered R35 Nissan GT-R had met an early demise. It seems the Singaporean driver was on his way to Sepang for a few track thrills. Too much ah beng and not enough talent I guess, poor bloke. There’s more pics on the NAGTROC forum for you to have a gander at if twisted metal gets you off. I think the damage to this car is sufficient enough to declare, no, it won’t buff right out.