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Are The Japanese Poised to Dethrone the 911 AND the Z06?

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  • In the animal kingdom, many hybrid species are sterile.

    With a sports car, less is more. So why pay 100-200K for one that isn't as fast as a GT-car, nor as light and visceral as an open-air car? They are stuck in the middle where they aren't really notable for anything.

    I'll buy the GT-R and spend the rest on a KTM X-bow. Superb enjoyment all around. That is a case of 2 being better than one, IMHO.

    c'mon! lighten up. Porsche will respond. :P
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    For me personally, the prime responsiblity of sports cars is to be fun and exciting to drive on both road and track. The GT-R doesn't sound like much fun. A plain Corvette seems more exciting to drive and a plain Miata seems like more fun. Of course I am just guessing this based on driving Miatas and Vettes and merely reading about the GT-R. Maybe if they came out with a RWD, non-turbo, manual shift, better looking GT-R for half the price I'd be interested. Come to think of it, that sounds a lot like a 350Z.
  • I did like my Corvette, but I can have tons of fun in an AWD turbocharged DCG vehicle too.

    Actually I can have fun in just about any car. I handbrake-turn and double-foot automatic FWD cars just to get them to take offramps a little quicker. Any car can be fun, and all cars are fun at some point. Except the Prius. :P

    The subjective 'fun' is more about whats going on inside the subject (you) than the object (car). There is always something just a little more fun out there. Don't get me wrong, I like light, fast and visceral. But if I go manual shifting, NA, RWD, why not go all the way? The Miata is not 'all the way', IMHO.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    How about a Lotus Elise. Cars don't get much more fun and exciting.
  • I wouldn't turn down an Elise. Thats a true embodiment of 'minimalist design' and is another type of engineering success.

    But to maintain the topic somewhat, I can have fun whilst being impressed by the object (car) instead of the subject (me). And vice-versa as well. They just don't always have to be the same experience.

    I think every time I gunned the GT-R's engine and shifted quickly, and then tossed it into a typically unmanageable curve, I would say "wow, what an impressive machine I have acquired." Adrenaline would run, eyes would widen, pulse would quicken. I think that is synonymous with 'fun'.

    I think it would be like picking up a Barret BMG .50-cal. Sure a bolt-action 30.06 is more of a 'real' experience. But the BMG has so much recoil dampening and muzzle braking that it would kick no more than the 30.06. It doesnt make me a better shooter. But the technology of the gun allows me to fire a 12.7x99 round which I would otherwise be unable to do. And that gives me goosebumps.

    I think my only solution would be to own both a GT-R and an Elise etc.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    about how fast the new ZR1 is lapping the 'Ring? The engineers are claiming beating the GT-R is a foregone conclusion.

    In any case, the Corvette looks and sounds to be about 10 times more fun. I like the GT-R but even the proposed upgraded version will be so much heavier, less attractive, and lower powered than the ZR-1.

    If the GT-R is "sick" as the kids say, then the new ZR-1 is twisted, puking sick (and this coming from a Porsche fan).
  • My prediction is that smack talk is only going to get the ZR1 engineers in trouble.

    Keep in mind that the ZR1 production has started, and now they are trying to see how fast it goes after the fact. The V-spec is testing and getting itself fine-tuned for track performance before production.

    Even if it slightly out-edges the GT-R, the Corvette to end all Corvettes really doesn't stand a chance against the V-spec. Reasoning?

    The GT-R had 480hp and 3800lbs to lug around. But its such a finely tuned AWD machine that it could blow away a 3100lb 505hp Corvette on a track.

    Power was not the issue with the Corvette, traction was. Lets look at the performance improvement of the Z06 over the Z51. By gaining 70hp and losing 100lbs, it went from a 7:59 to a 7:43. 16 seconds.

    The ZR1 then adds 120hp and gains 250lbs of curb weight. Sure the tires are wider, but in the end it got a lot more of what it already had plenty of.

    The V-spec on the other hand will now have (at least) 70hp more and 300lbs fewer to push around. That's a bigger power/weight upgrade than the Z06 has over the Z51. That 16 seconds starts to sound conservative.

    So while they are popping the champagne tops at GM, Nissan will just announce that the V-spec. set the record for world's fastest production car ever built. That'll take the wind out of anyone's sails.

    The GT-R in its heavy, weak form posted a 7:29. We really should start a sweepstakes as to how much faster the V-spec. will be. 7:15? 7:10? 7:05? I can tell you what I think that car is capable of, and what I think they'll be shooting for. 6:59.

    Why? Because it uses the exact same formula as the Alzen 996 GT2 Turbo 4WD. The fastest Group A Porsche ever to lap the Nordschlieffe. It was under 7 minutes.

    Plus, Nissan has a landmark heritage to live up to. They were the only production car in the world at the time to break the 8 minute mark. Wouldn't this be fitting?

    Nobody expected Godzilla to beat the 911 Turbo, the GT3, GT2, or the Z06. And it did. So I think the V-spec has every bit as much potential to cause widespread sickness.
  • However if you want bang/buck + fun, I think the next-gen Z51 (or whatever they choose to call the base C7 Corvette) will be equivalent to the C6 Z06.

    Because the C6 Z51 is about as good as the C5 Z06. At $50K, that's value that's hard to argue with.

    If I were desperate for a fun bang/buck supercar this instant, I'd probably get a C6 Z51 and just install the supercharger myself.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    If the V-spec loses 300lbs and gains 70 hp, it will have a power to weight ratio close to the current Z06 for only what, a $50K premium?

    As for the 'Ring, the unofficial darling of the moment is the Lexus LF-A at 7:24 just beating the V-Spec at 7:25. Of course, all times at the 'Ring are unofficial, measured in different ways and run in different conditions. Also you don't think that maybe GM puts a little hotter tire on the ZR-1 for a run? Maybe Nissan jacks up the boost a little? I take it all with a grain of salt. These times are meaningless to everyone but a few car geeks.

    Beyond all the track talk, about the hardest thing to fake is instrumented 1/4 mile trap speeds of production models. The GT-R is still running third behind the 911 and Vette in just about everyone's results. I can't imagine the V-spec catching the ZR-1.
  • Power/weight ratio is fast becoming less meaningful for road-courses. Especially when you throw AWD into the mix. Forget the 'Ring times for a second, and look at how that translates to other road courses. GT-R has the Z06 and 911 Turbo by several seconds; whenever, wherever.

    Even with a comparatively pathetic power/weight ratio, just look at how the R33 lines up against the C6 Z51. Similar track times, 100 less hp. Same weight. AWD.

    I doubt they will modify the car heavily for a 'hot lap' and not put it into production that way. They don't want to be embarrased in all the other journalist tests. Their reputation is on the line, and it has to be repeatable.

    For example, Porsche wouldn't dare lie about using cut tires for their 7:32 GT2 run. They tend to always be modest and conservative with their numbers. They obviously don't want to get BS called on them.

    Though I don't take those bystander times seriously. For all we know they might have quoted the V-spec doing a 7:25 and that was the lap that the GT-R did 7:29.

    ZR1 will likely be 1/4-mile King. No argument here.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    Do you know of any reliable road course comparisons done with the GT-R other than the one by R&T?

    The American car companies have a storied 40-50 year history of using outright ringers and loaning them to car magazines (who were sometimes willing accomplices). The Germans have historically been conservative. The old guard Japanese (Honda and Toyota) have historically been accurate or slightly conservative. Some of the others (Nissan, Mazda, Mitusbishi) have been known to be optimistic with test data and hp numbers.
  • Yes,

    evo.co.uk

    and

    Autocar

    Both against the GT3 though.

    Yes, there was a point where I had essentially lost all hope for American automotive journalism and the obvious pro-big 3 bias they had. I guarantee in some of those tests, the winning car had the fattest envelope waiting in the glove compartment when the reviewer got in, if you catch my drift. But from what I can see these days, its either getting better or they're hiding it better. ;)

    As far as Nissan goes though, they were always highly conservative with the GT-R's power ratings. They certainly didn't inflate those numbers for the purpose of selling more cars. They underrated the R34 by about 50hp.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    A little off topic, but sometimes I still wonder about the car magazines. There was much rejoicing over the new Malibu - the new Camry/Accord killer (or at least their equal). I rode in a new Malibu and it looked and felt like a late '90s Buick. Nice for old people, I suppose.

    Was the prior GT-R underrating part of the whole 280 hp limit deal?
  • Yeah, I guess you're right about the mags. Maybe not much has changed.

    Yes, the 'gentlemen's agreement' was that no Japanese manufacturer would go over 280hp or so. Since this left them at a severe disadvantage to German manufacturers, the only people who benefitted from such an agreement were the ones who broke it.

    Nissan was getting closer to 280hp at the wheels in the R34. Thats why many people don't really trust the 473hp at the crank rating they are giving the R35.

    I suppose you could argue motive there for Nissan. But they also undercut it's acceleration. Edmunds beat the 0-60 and 1/4-mile that Nissan posted. I think their conservatism with this car has more semblance to the marketing strategy of the car they benchmarked against, the 911.

    Switching gears a little bit, I don't judge a car on the brand because of the Z06 example. GM makes BS products if you ask me, but the Corvette plant in Kentucky has a phenominal attention to detail in comparison to the rest of the company (except for Holden). If they paid as much attention (years ago) to what customers want in all of their vehicles as they do for the Z06, that company would never have reported a loss. Thats my take anyway.

    Similar to Nissan, they can pay a lot more attention to the GT-R assembly line, and market it totally differently from their other cars.
  • ace47ace47 Posts: 6
    The critics who drove the GT-R probably drove the ZO6 and other crap that you people regard as supercars so of course the GT-R would have felt almost unrealistic. The critics complain that the other cars don't have good handling but when they get a car with the handling of a GT-R they say it is no fun. You people do realize that you can switch of the VDC anytime you want?
  • revmattrevmatt Posts: 14
    I own a 2009 GT-R and a 2007 Z06. The Z06 was $3,000.00 more than the GT-R "out-the-door." Other than a Diablosport Predator tune, the Z06 is completely stock. The GT-R CANNOT keep up with the Z06 on road courses or 1/4 mile drags. My best 0-60: in the Z06= 3.8; in the GT-R= 4.1. Road course times: GT-R is consistently 2-3% slower in overall times. 1/4 mile is no contest! Z06 best is 11.8 sec. for me. GT-R is 12.4!! R&T, etc. are on drugs or being paid to help sell the GT-R! :mad:
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    Well, your acceleration times are close to the mags.
    Your lap times don't correspond to anything I've seen.

    How does a minister afford such cars?
  • On top of Lemmer's question, I would also wonder

    How much exactly did you pay for the GT-R? And when did you take delivery? How many miles are on it now?

    Answer those questions and I might be able to tell you what the problem is. ;)
  • revmattrevmatt Posts: 14
    ...out the door- $81,000.00 for the GT-R, $84,000.00 for the fully loaded Vette... after government rape fees, etc. Delivery mid-late June 08. Approx. 2,500 miles on the GT-R. A couple of trips to Vegas from Northern CA provided a great chance to break her in fairly well! :D
    There are now videos on utube showing similar results. Z06s whoppin' the new GT-R.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    I previously gave people a hard time about using YouTube as "proof" that a GT-R was faster than a Z06 on a track, but more reliable evidence has piled up in favor of the GT-R. I still think it seems a little overhyped, and maybe not my cup of tea, but it is clearly brutally fast around a track.
This discussion has been closed.