Performance is really what the GT-R is, ultimately, all about. Its 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine, mounted in Nissan's front-midship position, generates 485 horsepower. Paired with a paddle-shifted automated manual transmission, the GT-R accelerates like a demon on the loose: just a tick over three seconds to 60 mph. Top speed is 193 mph.
Improvements to the shift logic and transmission in last year's model carry forward, smoothing out around-town driving. Braking is impressive, with plenty of force and traction to handle the car's hefty 3,800-pound curb weight.
The much-acclaimed launch control system that made its debut in the 2009 GT-R left the car in 2010, but despite the slightly slower take-off, the GT-R is still capable of astonishing feats.
The GT-R's handling is brilliant, and its adjustability gives the GT-R something of a cushion on public roads—made more assuring with the variable-power-split, all-wheel-drive system. Nissan calls the all-wheel-drive system ATTESA E-TS. Handling is also aided by adjustable electronics that control the shift quality, suspension firmness, and steering response in the GT-R, with an "R" mode that sharpens all of its reflexes.
Our one complaint with the GT-R is that all of the high-tech wizardry manages to interfere with the directness and tactility you normally want in a car with this much capability; on the other hand, all of the techno-goodies are what make the GT-R accessible and user-friendly despite being one of the quickest production cars on the road.