Surprisingly, the coupe's superb suspension, although firm, precise and extremely responsive, conquered road defects easily and in comfort and failed to exhibit the bump harshness exhibited by the GT-R high performers of this genre. And the more comfortable the ride the less driver fatigue. Nissan engineers evidently went to outlandish degrees to make the Silvia Spec-R coupe not only a formidable competitor, but also one designed with ergonomics aimed at reducing driver wear and tear. One example of this was accomplished by changing the accelerator angle to facilitate the driver's switching motions between the pedals during aggressive driving tactics. At expressway speeds the Silvia comes on hard and displays its unbridled spirit annihilating most of the cars in its path-in a very civilized manner. Passing is done in a whisper; no noisy engine to alert the victim, just the slightly audible turbo whoosh and the Silvia's gone. Fourth and fifth gear pull explosively above the 4000 and 5000 rpm level respectively and keeps on accelerating strongly to the 7200 rpm redline. And hauling the Silvia down lightning fast is "no problema." The highly responsive ABS is comprised of opposed four-piston calipers with larger cylinders and brake booster, and an increase of 8mm in rotor thickness to 30mm on the Spec-R's front 11-inch vented discs. A number of important, lifesaving features have been built into the Spec-R including high strength chassis construction with crush zones, water-resistant power window switches in case you get dumped into a lake and a rollover fuel cutoff valve that's used on most race cars.

Nissan has done an excellent job with the Silvia Spec-R sport coupe in creating one of its best high-performance vehicles by combining the most sophisticated electronics and mechanical components to achieve an incredible degree of driving enjoyment without sacrificing comfort. And all this for less than half the price of the GTR V-Spec! Some GT-R's will be imported stateside by mid-summer via MotoRex with the price for a new V-Spec slated to be around $90,000; but they're already lining up.

Conversely, the Silvia R-Spec's sticker price is 2.6 million yen or $23,634 fully loaded. If it does come to the states it will probably double in price to about $46,000-still an incredible bargain, with excellent fuel economy to boot.