I test drove this car on December 11. As everyone knows, the whole district of Kanto was hit by a violent storm. Driving a car with a high performance of 477ps in Fuji Speedway despite this tough weather was depressing.
However, we did not have any other vacant day for the test driving event. In order to assure safety, I completely drove three laps including an out lap. I drove two out of four laps including the out laps. It may be very unexpected but I was able to experience its excellent safety performance and best straight-line stability.
Even so, the weather was not just composed of rain and wind. The umbrella I brought was broken, and there were fallen leaves and branches on the public road where I drove. I felt anxious because of the crosswind in the circuit at that time, but there was actually nothing to worry about.
In order to confirm its safety assurance and road condition when driving, I drove with a maximum speed of 150km/h on a straight road. In the morning, it seemed that a hydroplaning situation would occur at a speed 130km/h, so this one was better. However during the out lap, I unintentionally took a turn on a zebra lane, so the car slid off. I immediately countersteered. Then I fully realized that I was not supposed to pass the zebra lane on wet days, so I have to be careful hereafter.
Excluding one turn, there were two pools of water on the way until the 100R corner as well as in the 300R corner. I did not notice something like a pool of water in the Tilke corner, so it was slippery. When I considerably intended to open the throttle, it was immediately dragging. Originally, safety devices starting from torque vectoring should be effective (as it should be when prompted), but nevertheless, I drove the car slowly. There were almost no pools of water on the straight road, so it was already safe to drive at 150km/h.
After confirming the condition of the course, I selected manual mode and Sport S+ with TVD first and started driving on the circuit. The course condition almost did not change, so I was specifically worried about the Tilke corner, which was located after the 100R. As usual, its Adaptive Sound Control (ASC) was not as effective as it should be in that kind of weather, so I still heard the sound of splashing water from the road.
Even so, its naturally-aspirated V8 engine felt good. Even in this kind of day, it guarantees direct driving, and when you carefully open its throttle, it accelerates gradually. However, in exchange for that, when you work its rough accelerator even just a bit, the car immediately turns away. I shifted one gear higher than usual. Still, instead of making it an impression, I had to concentrate on controlling the car.
For the second test, I chose the Sport S+ in auto mode, and used TVD as I started driving on the circuit. As time went by, there were some parts that had already been dried up, yet the road was still slippery. Therefore, I had no choice but to carefully drive on corners.
The only thing I was curious about was that the shifting set for driving on the circuit is 8-speed AT. It certainly becomes faster when shifting up, and its rev limiter allows up to full rotation. However, I was hesitant whether I should shift up the gear at full rotation limit or not. When the engine was steamed, it would take pauses in between, but there were several times that it would not shift up. It occurred before I reached the 100R corner. I was already on the braking zone so I stepped on the brake, but it suddenly shifted up. This was a bit unmanageable. But that’s the only thing I was worried about. I let the car handle all the the basics, and I was able to drive the circuit by feeling more relieved than in manual mode. I can say that it’s kinda boring, but at least I was satisfied in driving in AT mode.
Although I was able to step on the brake way before the end of the straight road, I was able to drive at a highest speed of less than 240km/h. There’s nothing to worry about driving even at that speed. It has terrifically excellent straight line stability.
Originally, I wanted to drive this car in dry conditions. Its rival cars are the Mercedes Benz AMG and the BMW M. It may generate a higher output but its price is very affordable so I can say that many consumers will choose to buy this car. By the way, it costs 11 million yen including consumption tax.
Takahito Nakamura | AJAJ Member
Born in 1952. He loves cars that adorned the pages of car magazines, even at the young age of four. He started working part time at a Super Car shop. He also has experience being an apprentice mechanic for Nova Engineering. After that, he went to Germany to continue his pursuit of knowledge about cars. He entered the journalism industry in 1977, and has been a fixture in it for the last 36 years. He continues to be active as a freelance journalist.
(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)