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Old 05-28-2008, 12:01 AM   #1
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Default Interesting Article About the Nissan GT-R and the Nürburgring Lap Record



By James Ansell
May 21, 2008

I agree with TTAC reviewer Stephan Wilkinson : the new Nissan GT-R is the old Honda NSX. Once people actually start driving Nissan’s “everyday supercar”– as opposed to simply jumping on the hype bandwagon and bench racing numbers supplied by Nissan– they’ll appreciate the parallel. Although I'm still looking forward to my first hands-on experience with the GT-R, the reality of the car’s true nature and importance in automotive history is right under the fan-boys’ noses.

The GT-R allegedly 'outperforms' thoroughbred supercars at a fraction of the price. Yes, but what price? The sticker price, or the in-your-garage price? Considering the hype surrounding the car and the limited production numbers, it will be years before a single new $70k GT-R will be sold for under $100k. At the moment, comparing the Nissan to say, a Corvette Z06, obfuscates the truth. But what the hell…

No small part of the current GT-R lovefest can be attributed to the car’s 7:38 Nürburgring lap time. As TTAC has pointed out, there are real questions about the Green Hellmobile’s qualifications for the title “second fastest production car around the ‘Ring.” The car’s suspension was modified from the current Japanese production model, supposedly to reflect the American and European spec. Supposedly. Will anyone get a chance to compare the fabled ‘Ring runner and a final production car? Somehow I doubt it.

Meanwhile, the YouTube video of the Nissan’s “historic run” clearly shows that the GT-R had a flying start. All other manufacturers testing at the ‘Ring use standing starts for published lap times. The video also proves that the car's lap time was not measured at the exact same location (start and stop). Take these two factors into account, and the 7:40 claim seems highly dubious.

The icing on the cake: GT-R chief engineer Kazutoshi Mizuno’s subsequent admission from that "We used cut slick tyres." If that doesn’t cancel their claim, nothing does.

In fact, a regular Corvette Z06 would probably beat the GT-R on the Nürburgring. When Road & Track tested the GT-R against the Z06 on a track much smaller than the ‘Ring, they concluded that the GT-R was fast in the corners, but they didn't shed a whole lot of light on how the GT-R performed on the straights. Although the ‘Ring has an enormous amount of corners, it also has some of the longest straight-aways in the world.

In Road & Track’s technical comparo, the GT-R was just as fast to 60mph as the Z06 (despite being less powerful). What many have over-looked is the trap speed at the end of the 1/4 mile. The Z06 is about seven mph faster than the GT-R. When you look at the graph that accompanies these numbers, the GT-R’s AWD system gave it a clear advantage– but only at the start. Applied to the Green Hell, the Z06 would outpace the GT-R on the straights.

The Z06’s fastest recorded lap time at the Nürburgring is 7:42.9 This lap was driven in 2005 by Jan Magnussen in 'muggy' conditions. Last year, Chevy revised the suspension on all Corvette models including the Z06. In theory, the new suspension and better weather conditions should be enough for a Z06 to equal or even better the Nissan GT-R's true time of +7:40. When you consider that the Z06 can achieve this time with a GM-standard standing start and production tires, it seems obvious that the GT-R is no match for the Z06 around the ring.

But what does it all mean? Well, not much actually. Every racetrack is different and some cars are suited to some tracks while others are not. The GT-R is suited to smaller tracks like the one R&T used, and the Z06 is suited to longer and faster ones like the ‘Ring.

So why did I bother ranting about this? Nissan has chosen to flaunt its Nürburgring lap times to show the world that their new, high-tech Nissan GT-R is the new bang-for-the-buck Alpha. But it’s not true. The cheaper Corvette Z06 is still the worlds best [unmodified] performance car bargain. What’s more, if the GT-R cannot handle a stock Z06, then how will it fare against the upcoming ZR1? Never mind the 'almighty' spec V model.

Given the GT-R’s looks and oft-reported lack of driving feel, there’s only one reason anyone would buy the uber-Nissan: to own the fastest thing on the road. In the corners, maybe. If you were committed enough to drive at 10/10ths (never mind how “easy” it is), you could probably blow-off a 911 or similar. Down the straights (the great American pastime), there are faster and cheaper choices– and that’s without exploring relatively inexpensive modifications.

In short, the GT-R is an awesome achievement, but Wilkinson’s right: it’s not all that.
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Old 05-28-2008, 12:35 AM   #2
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very interesting article.

If they did use shaved tires that throws everything out the window. On top of the other crap.
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Old 05-28-2008, 12:46 AM   #3
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it makes me want a zo6 lol
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:41 AM   #4
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Thats sure a pro Chevy article, as with any writing the authors views are reflected in it, but if those facts stand true then Nissan really has some explaining to do.

I wouldn't buy a GTR if I had the $, but I had decided that long before I heard of this. Its a bit ugly sometimes, and quite fat.
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Old 05-28-2008, 02:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urgaynknowit View Post
it makes me want a zo6 lol
**** I've wanted a Z06 since conception. I hate corvettes, but man... Its probably the best AMERICAN car you can buy, IMHO.

I got the opportunity to watch a show on Discovery HD Theater about the production process of the new Z06. While they look the same on the exterior, they're different all the way down to bolt on body panels and aluminum composite spaceframe chassis. Its really quite cool, even if you hate Corvettes, Chevrolets, or American produced cars in general.

Personally if I had the $crill to buy a GT-R, I'd do so only to resell at a profit -- I'd Never even drive it. Many many MANY more cars I'd rather rock for $100k+ price tag.
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Old 05-28-2008, 06:49 AM   #6
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I toured the Corvette production plant in Bowling Green KY and its amazing how they put them together and test them
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Old 05-28-2008, 10:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elesjuan View Post
Its really quite cool, even if you hate Corvettes, Chevrolets, or American produced cars in general.
That's what a I love about Corvettes, it's like they weren't even made by an American manufacturer. They look great, sound great, and generally don't suffer from the overwhelming blandness that other American models so often have. (C5 interior excluded)
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Old 05-28-2008, 10:49 AM   #8
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damn, I'm canceling my order!
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Old 05-28-2008, 10:51 AM   #9
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I just saw this on another thread, watched the video, read the article, and was interested...especially by the start/stop time locations and the moving start.
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Old 05-28-2008, 10:55 AM   #10
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That vid is just not coming up for me, am I missing much?
Article does sound pro Chevy as hell, but if the facts are true, then Nissan just received the douchebag of the year award.
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:04 AM   #11
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the flying start is total BS - that in itself pretty much nullifies the time (claim) IMO
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:04 AM   #12
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I don't really see it as pro Chevy as much as it as questioning Nissans legitimacy . The Z06 is regularly compared to the GT-R from a price/performance standpoint.

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Old 05-28-2008, 11:34 AM   #13
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The flying start is nothing new and pretty typical.

I can't wait to see what times the new ZR1 puts down. Supposedly GM's been there for a couple weeks with "something that sounds V8 and supercharged" with a chase helicopter following.
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:37 AM   #14
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Oh--and also supposedly the GTR's ecu won't allow you into the race mode (which eliminates the low speed limter) unless the CAN linked GPS system designates that you are at a Nissan approved closed race course facility. **** THAT
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:40 AM   #15
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i thought the lotus elise was the best sports car for your money, ultra light, handles batter than almost everything,power:weight is 2nd to none, and its pretty quick, all for under 50k
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:49 AM   #16
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If if won the lotto tomorrow, I'd have a white c6z. Its the only american car I'd ever consider. My daddy has one. It is god.
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Old 05-28-2008, 07:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disturbedfan121 View Post
i thought the lotus elise was the best sports car for your money, ultra light, handles batter than almost everything,power:weight is 2nd to none, and its pretty quick, all for under 50k
While the Elise is a highly competitive sports car, at a $50,000 price tag its hardly the best thing for your money... I hear they take well to hitting auto-x cones.
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Old 05-29-2008, 12:48 AM   #18
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Even if the GTR was faster, and was legitimately faster. I would still buy a ZO6.
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Old 05-29-2008, 01:09 AM   #19
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yeah a whole bunch of crap there.
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Old 05-29-2008, 02:25 AM   #20
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Just another boat to me
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