September 30, 2008

Godzilla Farts: Porsche calls out Nissan's GT-R

The Freep forwarded this:

Porsche has just run its own back-to-back tests with the Japanese company's GT-R supercar and says it could not get within 25 seconds of Nissan's claimed record time of seven minutes 29 seconds in April. It also found its 911 Turbo and GT2 were both quicker than the GT-R.

"This wonder car with 7:29 could not have been a regular series production car," says August Achleitner, the 911 product chief for Porsche, speaking to the CARSguide at the Australian press preview of the latest 911 Cabrio. "For us, it's not clear how this time is possible. What we can imagine with this Nissan is they used other tyres." He believes the time achieved by Nissan with ex-Formula One driver Toshio Suzuki would only be possible with a semi-slick race-style tyre.

Achleitner says Porsche took a standard GT-R, running on regular road tyres, and ran it around the Nurburgring within two hours of its own cars, on the same day with exactly the same weather conditions. He says there was no tweaking of any kind and the GT2 and Turbo both ran on regular Porsche road tyres, the Michelin Sport Cup.

"We bought the car in the US. We drove a GT-R with new tyres," he says. Achleitner was initially protective of the exact lap times, which were run during a program when Porsche also compared its upcoming four-door Panamera with a range of potential rivals. But he eventually revealed his team clocked the GT-R at 7 minutes 54 seconds, with the 911 Turbo managing 7:38 and the GT2 getting down to 7:34.

The laps were not run by Porsche's usual hot-lap specialist, former world rally champion and race winner Walter Rohrl, but one of the company's chassis development engineers who is an expert on the Nurburgring. Achleitner says the back-to-back comparison was run because Porsche was concerned by Nissan's claims for the GT-R, which is heavier than the 911 with similar power.

"The Nissan is a good car. I don't want to make anything bad with my words," he says. "It's a very consistent car. But this car is about 20 kilos heavier than the Turbo . . ." In the end, Porsche believes its testing has achieved the right lap times for the Skyline GT-R and benchmarked it against its own 911 heroes in the right context.

"For us it has been clearly the result. This technical puzzle now fits together. With the other numbers we had problems to understand it," he says.

CG adds this:

"Interesting. Porsche is extremely conservative on making any claims (they never release official Ring times and its mostly hearsay and verfied by Auto magazines like Sportauto with their own driver Von Saurma)..

There has to be something true about the complaint but nevertheless almost every magazine has proven that the GTR can be faster than the 997 Turbo at the track."


And just in time, here is 5th Gear's take on the Porker-Godzilla fight. This is the best comparo test yet, Bruno Senna analyzes the performance difference between the two cars and point out what has generally been missed in other reviews I've seen: the semi auto gearbox blows the luddite stick away and the friendlier weight distribution on the Nissan more than makes up for the extra lardiness compared to the 911 Turbo.
The points against the GT-R, brakes and massive fuel consumption.

Either Porsche comes up with something tangible or they risk looking rather ridiculous, more so because the GT2 is the only car amougst those mentioned in the article above that comes from the factory with DOT-R tires, Michelin Pilot Cup!

And here is the rest of it.


  1. Well regardless of who is faster around the ring, I'd still take the GT2 over the GT-R. Something about a car formerly know as "The Widow Maker" that strike a chord with me...

  2. I think the other thing you need to factor into this is - since we are not talking about an actual, balls-out race car, is which is more satisfying to drive? A 911 Turbo or a GT-R? From driving a 911 Carrera S, my guess is the 911. Yes, it's more but you probably pay for what you get...also, which one is still likely to be running in 3 to 5 years?

  3. Bring the drama, WE LOVE IT!

    then the Zr1 is faster than both, then the nsx replacement will be faster than all, then the new Toyota supercar ill be even faster ... then a new super 911 will beat them all etc etc etc .... OMG .. i LOVE this age of war on the ring .. life is beautiful!


  4. I just want to see Porsche explanation for a 7:38 with a 997 Turbo on street tires.

    How can this pig be just 4 secs slower on such a long racetrack, compared to the 500 lbs lighter, better brakes, better suspension, better aero, Michelin Pilot Sport Cups and more powerful 997 GT2?

  5. I wonder why they chose a US spec car?

    Maybe because the TURBO largest market is the US?

  6. plus, the Turbo is only 50 punds lighter than the GT-R? I had no idea it was such a porker

  7. Yeah, I've been quietly watching the curb weight of the Turbo go higher and higher in the past 10 years... by p-car standards it almost seems they've rested on their success with that car. It sold too well without significant improvement from an engineering standpoint. And this defensive measure they've just taken almost confirms it.


  8. Also, kudos to the young Senna for being a cool cat. He's been very well prepared for the camera and makes a number of the current young F1 drivers look like boobs.


  9. Half a second on a flat, 1:33 average track is a huge margin (but doesn't make sense in the comparative 'ring times.)

    A hot shoe formula driver in AWD street cars in the wet is not exactly the stuff of hard science. : )

  10. It sux that this was done in the wet. Of course awd has a huge advantage there.

    Do it again in the dry. Let us see if the results change

    Agree that Bruno is great on tv. Put him in kimi's seat!

  11. There's a lot of semantics going around here.

    The Porsche guy clearly stated that they used PSCups tires on both cars, which are standard on the GT2 but an option on the Turbo; so there you have a LOT of help to get that 7:38 time.

    While the GT-R Porsche tested was on real street tires. I don't think Nissan has claimed they used street tires, so it is likely they used R-comps too. Nevertheless, the numbers don't add up for the GT-R to lap lower than 7:35 so there has to be something else (slicks?, more hp?, less weight?)

    Regardless of the outcome, the 997 Turbo is a far cry from the best 911 being the heaviest of them all and least satisfying to drive...

  12. How many gear changes at the Nurburgring? :)

    I think the most valid point is that all else being equal the Nissan is easier to drive at the limit. That has to count for something, even with a very good driver.

  13. I don't know what to make out of this. All the media have been given gt-r test cars equipped with (somehow) hidden r-compound-tires and haven't realized??? Go to and watch the gt-r's telemetry lap around silverstone in contrast to it's contenders. It made up all the time in the corners! With runflats all the same!
    But I wonder if just being fast is good enough for a road car, or if driving feel, or the sense of mastering a delicate machine might come into it at some point. Maybe after driving circles around all others at a trackday for 20 minutes and then paying big money for a new set of tires and brake pads...
    On the other hand:


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