The Nissan GTR vs The World
I’ve been reading a lot of magazines lately that have been pitting the Nissan GTR against everything and its cousin. Of course the true main rivals to the GTR were meant to be the Corvette Z06 and the Porsche 911 Turbo. Thus far the GTR has proved to be more of a track car than the other two, which is surprising, but not too surprising. I, too, just like everyone else at first, loved the GTR, I still do. But now after I have read everything about the car I’ve started to get tired of it. I am not the type of person that likes bandwagons, and it seems that everyone is jumping on the Nissan bandwagon simply because they can. I don’t like when people just like a car because it’s popular to like that car. This is why I love my Mazdaspeed 6. No one has one. I have one. All of my friends make fun of me for having it, but that’s okay by me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way trying to bash the success that the Nissan GTR has been having. If anything I am proud of it, especially that it weighs 3800lbs and does a 3.3s 0-60. I just don’t like it to always win, especially when not all of the time is it just about the speed of the car and some high tech gadgets. Do keep in mind that without the high tech wizardry of the GTR, it wouldn’t be half as fast…
Let’s take some time to compare some of the better competitors to the Nissan GTR. I will list the performance values of each, but I will show other great values about every car that can maybe make it better, or right on par with the GTR.
First up, we have one of the more natural competitors to the Nissan, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06. The Z06, as most of you know, is equipped with a 7.0L V8 that produces 505hp and 470lb-ft of torque. The Z06 can haul it to 60 in a great 3.4s. Top speed comes in at 198 MPH. When the car first arrived out on the streets, people were shocked when GM was claiming 3.7s to 60. Then Motor Trend and Car and Driver were able to beat that with 3.4-3.6s, respectively. The Z06, for a long time, was the best performance car for any dollar that you could squeeze together. There still isn’t much better, in my opinion, at least not at the value. The car is rather comfortable. I think that the interior has been updated well for 2008, and with the new wheels for 2009, I think that the Z06 is a bargain. Remember, the Z06 also received a chassis tweak for 2007 to help aid the performance. Even with all of this performance the seats still lack in every way. They are cozy, yes, but they aren’t racy. They don’t hug you quite like a 911 does. But that’s okay. Especially when the Z06 is only setting you back $72,125 as a base car.
The Porsche 911 has forever been the performance car that defied physics. Never could you have a rear-wheel drive car with a rear-engine layout that handles so well. Porsche knows this; they love that they can beat all of your expectations. This is why Porsche has been one of the most successful sports car companies ever, especially these days. Never forget that Porsche does have a proven racing pedigree. They have won over 28,000 hard fought and proven races in the professional world. I doubt they will let a Nissan take them out… With all of that aside, there are three 911’s that are born to compete, and three 911’s that do so very well against the GTR. The 911 GT3, with its 3.6L Flat-6 producing 415 naturally aspirated horsies and 300lb-ft of torque. Just because it will do a 0-60 in 4.3s doesn’t mean that it’s a slouch. By no means. It is, in all reality, probably the best 911 on sale and quite possibly the best sports car for sale today at a not so premium price of $107,500.
Now I know what you are saying, “Josh, you are a crazy person to think that’s not a premium price.” Okay, well, maybe it is, but not compared to our next two P-Cars. The 911 Turbo has the same 3.6L Flat-6 that’s in the GT3 except with a Twin-Turbo setup that produces 480hp and 457lb-ft of torque out of the tiny 6. The Turbo is good for a 3.4s 0-60 just like the Vette. The Turbo also comes in a 6-spd manual or a 6-spd tiptronic gearbox, and tips the price scales at $126,200. Eek… Does anyone really want a 911 Turbo in automatic? Last but certainly not least, we have the big poppa of all Porsche’s on sale today.
The 911 GT2. The GT2 has the same exact Twin-Turbo from the 911 Turbo. Only this engine is caressed to make 530hp and 505lb-ft of torque. There aren’t really any true 0-60 times of the GT2, yet. The fastest I’ve seen was a 3.7s time. This is overly slow. I always said that the Turbo manual could hold its own and do a 3.4s to 60 time. No one believed me. The automatic could do it. If a computer can do it, why can’t a human with enough ingenuity to learn how to do it? I said this, and now everyone is pulling off 3.4-3.5s not to 60 times. So what does my inexpert opinion say about the GT2? 3.2s! That’s what I think. At least I would hope it has that much more performance over the Turbo, since it costs a whopping $191,700. Eh, chump change. I almost forgot to mention, you can only get the GT2 beast in a manual too, and It’ll do 206 MPH. The Turbo and the GT3 will only hit 193 MPH. Boo hoo. Also, don’t forget that all three of the 911’s that I mentioned come standard with the Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes. Something that neither the Corvette nor the Nissan have. Maybe that’s where the extra money goes?
The Dodge Viper SRT/10. Ah, another manual only animal. I was never a huge fan of the SRT/10 when it first came out. I liked the original Viper, but I wasn’t too keen on the replacement. Now, though, with an all new 8.4L 600hp 516lb-ft of torque all American V10, what isn’t there to salivate about? This bad boy will rip 60 a new a-hole in 3.4s. All this value for just $88,125 for the Convertible. Yes, hell comes with a drop top, and $88,875 for the Coupe. Still, the only problem with this car is that there is absolutely no luxury. Sure, the leather is nice, but when it’s permanently melted to your ass because the interior of the car is as hot as the engine bay, what the hell is the point? Still, it’s rough, it’s raw, and it’s almost the exact definition of RawAutos. Just watch the door sills as you are getting out, there’s an exhaust pipe in there. For an extra $11,000, roughly, you can opt for the ACR Viper SRT/10. You have the same car, just with racier wings for the track, slotted disc brakes for the track, and an overall style that would make you give your O face within 30 seconds of seeing it. Oh, and the owner’s manual talks about dying if you don’t handle the car properly. They recommend you do a “high performance” driving school to get to know the car… talk about vicious. This is my kind of car. The Viper only does 180 MPH, though.
Last but not least, we have my favorite car, the BMW M3. What? This car doesn’t belong? It’s overpriced, not fast enough, and not raw enough? So you think. I’ve driven this car. Sure it may not have a 3.4s 0-60, it does 4.1s. The top speed is about 165 MPH, and the price starts at $53,800 and $56,500 for the E90 and E92. The prices will carry up to $70,000 when fully equipped. You can look at the M3 however you want. The difference is that I’ve driven it and I loved it. It is a sports car for all sports occasions. You can truly wrestle with its power and grunt, or you can just putt around and look good for the ladies. BMW, for the first time, threw a V8 into an M3. This isn’t just any V8, though. This is a baby version of the V10 from the M5 and M6, except with better low end torque. A lot of people think that the 4.4L V8 in the M3 is just a stripped version of the 5.0L V10. It isn’t. It’s actually a lot more different than you think. The power ratings are pretty great at 414hp and 295lb-ft of torque. Another anomaly is the fact that the new V8 weighs less than the outgoing I-6. The M3 still gained a bit of weight to be in the 3704lb area. So a 4.1s 0-60 is pretty damn good for a car with less electronic gadgets to help aid everything from launch control to God only knows what. Just wait, it does get better. The M3 has 66 less horsepower than the GTR along with 139 less lb-ft of torque. The M3 does benefit, however, by weighing 100lbs less. Now, BMW has promised that with their replacement to the SMG, the M-DCT, that the shifting times are almost as fast as a Ferrari. They have told us that the 0-60 times will be cut by .2-.3s. That’s very impressive! It is 66hp and 139lb-ft of torque off the GTR mark, and will do 3.8-3.9s to 60. That is roughly half a second slower with half the power. Not bad, huh? Don’t forget, with the BMW you have luxury that is just a step shy of a Porsche. The GTR seems not so refined or fun on the interior.
What was this all about? Well, really, it was all to show you that the Nissan GTR is an amazing car, an amazing feat, but it isn’t necessarily the best. It all depends on what you want. Everyone lately has said the same thing to me, “Why buy any other car when you can get the GTR for $70,000 and it’s one of the fastest cars in the world?” My response is always the same, “Find me any Nissan dealership that is selling a GTR for MSRP and isn’t hiking it up to 911 Turbo prices, and I just may buy the damn car myself.” No one has found me one, yet. Me personally, I love my luxury with all of my sport. I prefer cars like the M3 and the Porsche’s. I am a Corvette man at heart, and I always will be, I’m just tired of those seats. I’ve gone to the dark side, the dark side being the Germans. I love the Japanese. I drive a Mazdaspeed 6, but it looks like that’s sold and I’m going back to a BMW. Hopefully an M3. With all of the modern technology that helps you go faster on the street and the track, I would still rather have a good ole’ fashioned manual any day. To quote a good girl friend of mine “Driving a manual is an art form. Some days you’re good at it and some days you’re not.” What a woman. Take away all of the electronic nannies, the paddle shift gearboxes, and so on, and what do you have? A regular car. How many of the people who buy automatic and paddle shift transmission sports/exotic cars would know how to drive their cars without all of that stuff? Not many I’m guessing. In the end it isn’t what your car can do for you, it’s what you can do with your car that makes it the best.
Photos taken from: Dodge Viper ACR, Dodge Viper, Corvette Z06, Nissan GTR, PorscheUSA.com, BMW.co.uk