But for 2015 a few of the other typical impressions—like that it's one of the least forgiving road cars for just cruising—deserve to be discarded.
And those without all those preconceptions about the GT-R probably do see it in a completely different light. I have to admit that I was a little surprised when, as I made a quick Starbucks stop with the 2015 GT-R (no caffeine required for this car, by the way, just habit), I was approached by a 30-something lady in a Lexus who wanted to know about “that beautiful, handsome 'R' car” I was driving.
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She said she'd never noticed one, and seemed puzzled to see that it was actually a Nissan—then even more so when I told he that it was one of the quickest road cars at any price. I conceded that a lot of people who didn't read car magazines probably wouldn't know of the GT-R, and how it's something of a connoisseur's car for car geeks and track types.
What she must have locked eyes on must have been the beautiful new Regal Red paint—a $3,000 option, with real embedded gold flakes that gave the GT-R an extra luster in the morning light. But as I cruised along some traffic congested Southern California highways, I realized that those comments encapsulate how the 2015 Nissan GT-R, which has received a sweeping round of tweaks and under-the-surface engineering changes, feels in its entry GT-R Premium form—more handsome, even graceful, and definitely less of a full-time brute.
More handsome, road-trip ready than ever before
For one, freeway cruising, and cruising along on coarse surfaces or choppy pavement is no longer bordering on torture. There used to be hefty helpings of road noise, tire road, and engine note on steady-speed cruises, but thanks to an all-new active noise cancellation system, most of that has been struck out. Engineers say the system cuts a whopping 10 decibels of engine boom alone; but they also installed more sound insulation underneath and at the firewall.
What you now hear, instead, is a faint and very tolerable amount of road noise; you don't hear the engine all that much when you're not accelerating or up in the rev band, but you still do hear many of those mechanical noises—of gearbox lash, and the occasional graunching of the dual-clutch gearbox, and the whine of the differential.