November 23, 2008

The truth about the Nissan GT-R

I hope you have read Drivers Republic latest "issue".  They got to do the comparison we all would like to do and concluded that, essentially, Porsche was right when they claimed something was odd about Nissan's Nürburgring lap times. Chris Harris is a good driver, probably better than most auto journalists so his impressions have more weight with us.  When he says there may have been 15 seconds more in the GT-R but certainly not 30,  it's believable.

Of course the counter argument will be that the condition for the Nissan driver's run were different, it was much warmer, it was dryer, better driver etcetera  so,  I imagine this will not put anything to rest.

Axis recommends you read the article and while you are at it subscribe to Drivers Republic.
Here is the GT2 lap,  the GT-R's lap is after the jump.


  1. Amazing difference between the two cars. The GT2 rewards smoothness while the GTR needs to be wrestled (like almost all AWD - that's why I prefer RWD).
    There's clearly a good margin of room for improvement in the GT2 lap as Chris exaggerated the short-shifting in a lot of sections (Just look at how soon he went into 4th or 5th and even 6th! in the intermediate sections compared to when we goes for max accel on the main straight at the end). I made the same mistake in my car as the spped at which gears go by is amazing and you just want to get the gear change done before a tricky fast section. Imagine how brutal the GT2 would be with paddle shifters?

    Looking at his telemetry he will clearly see where he should short-shift and shouldn't and he can cut 5-6 secs of his own time.

  2. CG said: "Imagine how brutal the GT2 would be with paddle shifters."

    I say imagine how good the GT2 would be with flappy paddles, 7 gears, and the center of gravity moved forward a few more inches. That could be a near-perfect car.

    I think the real accomplishment of the Nissan may be to show that Porsche has rested on the development of the AWD system in the Turbo model. I wish Harris had time to involve a Tiptronic 997TT in this test, as I believe it would be a more appropriate comparison than the fire breathing GT2.


  3. I have to agree with Freep. The fact that the Nissan engineers originally set out to create a car to compete with the Porsche 911 Turbo, but somehow now we closely compare it to the Turbo's big brother, the GT2 is amazing to me.

    I have not seen one auto journalist pit the GTR against the 997 TT (which is almost twice the price)!!!

    Whether or not the GTR is actually faster than the GT2 almost becomes irrelevant. The fact that we mention the 2 cars in the same sentence is a homerun for the guys at Nissan!


  4. I disagree b/c the Porsche has taken the Turbo in the direction of the Poseur GT cruiser consumer and its clearly not making public claims about the 997TT being a track car, while Nissan..... :-0!!!

    It is VERY relevant to do the test against the GT2 because Nissan's claimed lap time in the GTR is several seconds faster than the GT2's driven the Rohrl himself!!

    Relevant could be GTR vs GT3 as those cars are very similar in Real cost of ownership (actual depreciation, maintenance, etc.), and in the longer the Porsche would be cheaper to own.

  5. I though it was interesting and honest that they actually mentioned the GT-R weight and what that means in real terms at the track, brake fade, for one is an unavoidable byproduct.

  6. Yep, kudos for a great test and very honest info and opinions. I agree 100% with their conclusions: The GT2 just had to be significantly faster given the weight advantage and quality of the development in that car. However, the big winner still remains the GTR, as Nissan proved that for less than half the cost they can build something that the consumer can buy and hold its own against true supercars.
    As I said before, the GTR is a real Icon (The Skyline heritage already was, so its doing justice to its inheritance). Let's just wait and see further development of the platform and if they ever choose to racing in FiA GT2.

  7. CG, I wasn't saying that this test was irrelevant. I was saying that the fact that we are even debating that the $75k Nissan GTR may or may not be as fast or faster than the $200k Porsche GT2 on the Porsche's home turf is crazy!

    Correct me if you think I'm wrong, but in theory I was under the impression that Porsche's flagship 911 should SHIT on the Nissan and this should not even be up for debate.

    Also, your "real cost of ownership" of the Nissan has no real world basis. It's impossible to have evidence because the car has not been out long enough to determine things like actual depreciation and maintenance...

    Actually, as of right now, there is no depreciation on the GTRs!

    Just as a datapoint I looked up the MSRP of a 2005 996 GT3 ($100g). The market on well maintained '05 996 GT3s are ~$60g. Thats a 40% depreciation in 3 years. If I apply the same 40% depreciation to a 2008 997 GT3 (MSRP $125g) then I'm left with a $50g depreciation.

    I honestly don't believe that in 3 years the GTR will be worth $25g. Do you?

  8. The real price for 996 GT3 was below MSRP (specially 2005's); more around 90-95K, and in a normal economy the price was $70K (so less than 30% depreciation in normal conditions - not today's). Obviously if you have the cash today, this is the best market to buy a great used car!

    I bet the price of the GTR in 4 years of ownership and 40Kmiles would be closer to $25K than to the $45K that implies the same cash depreciation as a 996 GT3. The proxy for the Nissan depreciation is their own brand and what Evos and Stis sell for after 3 years of abuse. That's why they have to sell them cheap.

    The MSRP of the 997 GT3 was $108K ($127K for the RS).

    A Z06 with BBK is cheaper and faster than a GT#, but that's not the point.. otherwise there would be no GT3s sold..

  9. The interesting thing for me is that he was able to to do a 7:55 with limited time on a partially damp track using the less sticky tires. It doesnt say much about the Porsche drivers who claim that that they couldnt get it around any faster that 7:54 on the Dunlops.

  10. I want to see the video of porsche factory drivers taking lessons from Nissan testers....


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