North Terrace – R35 GTR

The hard edge, techy lines of the R35 seem perfectly at home in urban, built up environments. Particularly at night, this silver example just looked at home sitting on North Terrace outside the museum the other night.

Whenever I see a GTR I’m always reminded of the time I spent behind the wheel of a highly modified R35 during the Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally. It makes me smile.

But I can’t make up my mind if I’m a fan of the R35 or not. On one hand, I like ‘soul sports cars’. Basic, simple, light. The Lotus principle. To add speed, add lightness. Rawness is key – a finely tuned chassis, a big loud engine and nothing else – it’s one of the reasons I’m such a fan of old Jaguar sports racers. There’s something wrong about a ‘sports car’ that’s pushing two tonne.

But then again, I’m a fan of technology and smart, innovative solutions. The R35 is an absolute technological tour de force, and for that reason I respect and admire it. At this moment, it is at the cutting edge of production car technology. The way it combines supernatural speed with the sheer ability to pull G-Force in a package that doesn’t really cost the earth is quite an achievement, especially given it comes from the same company that can market the Micra with a straight face.

Just think about it – on a pure speed per dollar ratio, nothing else comes close. Look at times around the Nurburgring for example. The GTR retails for around $160,000 – in terms of lap times the closest Porsche costs about $400,000. And Ferrari? Don’t even bother.

So I guess the solution to this problem quite easy. Buy a GTR and go set the track alight. Then, go and buy an old Porsche 911 or a Lotus Elan as well. You can live out your race driver dreams in the GTR and your soul sports car dreams in your classic, all whilst saving a cool $150k or so on the price of a 997 Turbo. Easy.


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