All it takes to drive away from a dealership in a high-performance car is a lot of cash. But not everyone who can buy a fast car has the driving skills to make the most of the experience. Which is why Nissan is offering a notable perk to anyone who buys a GT-R over the next four months.
The Japanese automaker is offering free track time and driving instruction at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) to customers who purchase a GT-R between November 14, 2016, and March 31, 2017. Owners will use their own cars, once they are broken in. Reservations can be made once the car is delivered, and potential buyers can head over to Nissan’s website or call 1-800-390-2423 for more information.
The instruction course is a $2,000 value, according to Nissan. Participants get to drive on one of VIR’s five configurations with an instructor on board providing tips on driving technique. VIR is well known as a challenging track that allows high speeds. It’s located in Danville, Virginia, along the Virginia/North Carolina border. Owners are responsible for getting themselves and their cars to the track, and paying for accommodations.
Nissan is not the only automaker to offer free track driving with the purchase of a new car, but other programs typically don’t require participants to use their own cars. The Fiat 124 Abarth and SRT programs, for example, are done in concert with the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, which has its own fleet of cars. The VIR track-driving program does not void the GT-R’s warranty.
The GT-R got a thorough upgrade for the 2017 model year. Nissan says the changes are the most significant since the current-generation model (known as the R35) was introduced in 2007. The list of tweaks includes revised styling, a revamped interior, and a greater emphasis on comfort and refinement. The GT-R’s 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 was also boosted to 565 horsepower and 467 pound-feet of torque, increases of 20 hp and 4 lb-ft.
That affords the kind of performance that can really only be experience safely in a controlled environment, which is why Nissan offering owners track time at VIR is a good idea. Driving schools for performance cars are valuable not only because they teach owners important skills, but also because they let them see what their cars can really do.