Driving Emotion

Posted on June 22nd, 2003 in Opinion by Julian Edgar

Got to drive an N1 R34 V-Spec II GT-R Skyline the other day. Yes, that’s the hottest factory version of one of the hottest factory cars ever released. Anywhere.

And with the drive scheduled for the next day, did I have trouble sleeping the night before? Nope. In fact, it filled me with – literally – about as much excitement as I would have had when facing the prospect of driving any car that’s new to me. Like a Hyundai Getz, for example.

Trouble is, you see, my experience of Nissan Skyline GT-Rs has been sufficiently negative that I don’t regard them as anywhere near as good a car as – apparently – millions of others do. Of course, I have actually owned one – something the vast majority of those millions haven’t. I bought an Australian-delivered R32 GT-R back when it was near brand new, having been a believer in the fiction that I had read about them. You know, best-handling car ever, unbelievably good four-wheel drive system, fastest six cylinder you can buy – fables like that.

What I subsequently learned was that the car had a stupid amount of power oversteer and was only really quick when launched hard. Oh yes, and it was wearing to drive, had seats that gave chronic back-ache, attracted all the wrong sorts of attention, had steering terribly prone to tramlining – you get the picture. I fixed the handling with an adjustable torque split controller but it was never a car I particularly liked.

Too much hype, not enough reality.