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



  • I would think in a test like this displacement would matter (less stressed, more cooling area), with a car like the Vette or Viper running the most miles.

    Basically, what you're suggesting is drive them both until they handgrenade? And even then, which one goes first might vary based on certain conditions. So what we really have to do is buy 10 of each and then average which one blew up after how long. But who has a spare million to prove this moot point?

    I think the point that was being made is that NEITHER is durable enough to take that kind of punishment.

    Similarly to before, this really isn't the practical kind of test that can determine a real winner between these cars in stock form.

    Also, its not as simple as displacement. Endurance-race prepped Corvettes and 911s match up quite well. The extra cooling of the larger block is partially counteracted by the extra friction that having extra pistons invariably causes. Displacement is not really the measure I would use to predict a winner.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Race engines actually are more "fragile" than a stock engine, as they usually run higher compressions and rpm. I would fully expect a large normally aspirated engine to run for 24+ hours at an rpm a few hundred under red-line, especially with a synthetic oil.
    Mazda did it here with a very small displacement engine:

    If you do some searches you'll probably find other manufacturers do this with their cars, with various changes.

    Or maybe more impressive:
    "The ‘Long Run‘ endurance test on the Saab 9000 at the Alabama International Speedway in Talladega, Alabama, U.S.A. in October 1986 played a major role in strengthening the sporty image of the car. Over a period of 20 days, Saab staged an incredible record run with three standard production Saab 9000 Turbo cars. This resulted in 21 new international records and two world records - the foremost of which was a distance of 100 000 km at an average speed of 213.299 km."

    I would be quite upset if I paid $70K+ for a high performance car, and if it was only good to run for 20 min. or so at a time! I would expect these cars to be able to run 150mph+ for their full warranty period. Otherwise since you're bound by the laws on the road, you might as well get an Accord V-6.
  • I don't know why everyone uses the Accord V6 for a benchmark on average performance. There are roads in NJ where you can't even do the speed limit in an Accord V6 without it understeering into oblivion. There are plenty of cars that have handling that is useful even in on-road settings at the legal limit. An Audi or BMW certainly can be fun without getting a wreckless.

    Race engines actually are more "fragile" than a stock engine, as they usually run higher compressions and rpm.

    Uhh... they also have higher specific power outputs with those considerations. They are hand-built that way. If you added the extra power to a stock engine, the race engine would outlast it every time. After every 24-hour race, you overhaul the entire drivetrain regardless.

    I would fully expect a large normally aspirated engine to run for 24+ hours at an rpm a few hundred under red-line, especially with a synthetic oil.

    They do these as bench-tests to determine reliability. There really is no point to doing it on a track with a fully manufactured car, because you will be removing that engine for an overhaul afterwards.

    I would expect these cars to be able to run 150mph+ for their full warranty period.

    Why? There is only one type of situation in which that could ever occur:
    (from your article)
    24 hours of non-stop maximum speed around the 7.6mile-long banked circuit at Papenburg test facility, near Hamburg in the north of Germany.

    So you want the GT-R and Z06 to win a NASCAR endurance competition. A banked oval? 7.6miles? That is probably one of the biggest ovals in the world. The drivers likely never had to downshift except to pit. What does this prove? Even NASCAR drivers have to downshift more than that because their long tracks are only what, 2 miles around?

    If you are working towards moving the 'supercar' benchmark towards fuel efficiency, #of laps or distance travelled over 24-hours, the RX-8, Z06, 911, GT-R would all lose to an MB 320 CDI.

    This isn't exactly the test for supercars. If this type of test is what impresses you most, why bother comparing cars that were designed for cornering and acceleration?
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    They do these as bench-tests to determine reliability. There really is no point to doing it on a track with a fully manufactured car, because you will be removing that engine for an overhaul afterwards.

    The point that manufacturers have historically made by taking their vehicles and running them for 24+ hr at high speed (relative to their capabilities) is to prove that the design of the engine, drivetrain, and associated systems are of a high quality. If an engine is built for 400hp, can it maintain operation near that or is that simply a peak, and you better drop the power after 30 min, or as you say it will "grenade".

    And while you can't think of a reason to do it in an actual vehicle instead of a bench-top, I'm sure the engineers would like to see if the air entering the car at 150+mph is adequate for cooling, do the oil and trans. fluids overheat, ...

    If you have a 500W stereo in your car and you want to play it at maximum volume you should expect it to function fine year after year, not catch fire after 30 min! ;)

    My expectations are that large displacement engines as in the Vette, Viper, AMG's, Lambos, ... will run just fine long-term at 150+mph. They are not pulling that many rpm's. As displacement goes down and turbos and superchargers are added to a vehicle, I become more suspisicious of whether they can maintain their peak power levels. I think it was fitting for Saab and Mazda to prove their cars could run near peak power hr after hr. That is a good indicator of a quality design.
  • The point that manufacturers have historically made by taking their vehicles and running them for 24+ hr at high speed (relative to their capabilities) is to prove that the design of the engine, drivetrain, and associated systems are of a high quality.

    You realize what sized engine the Mazda has right? It's a 1.3 liter. Yes, reliability is great. They should test and prove it for all vehicles. But it is not proportional to cylinder displacement at any speed. The cars you have selected have absolutely no inherent advantage based on the number of cylinders.

    At this point it very much sounds like a tail-wagging-the-dog argument. You want to find some reason to judge smaller, turbocharged engines as inferior, but you are guessing as to how that would occur.

    But your idea of a long-term reliability test isn't bad for any company to try, as long as its is not for the purpose of racing.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    But your idea of a long-term reliability test isn't bad for any company to try, as long as its is not for the purpose of racing.

    I think we agree on that. As far as engine size goes, I'm not saying small and forced induction engines can't endure if designed properly. I think they have a higher burden of proof though, as they are stressed more, typically running higher rpm, and turbos that are heating the oil that much more.

    If you want to put it in terms of athletics, I think there is a lot to be said for judging a vehicle as a decathlete, and not just judge who's best in a sprint or in the hurdles.
  • I was thinking more in terms of the glory days of piston-powered aircraft. In WWII, every fighter engine had a turbo/supercharger installed to run at max rpms indefinitely. The high-speed, high-altitude interceptors and heavy-laden bombers all had twin-stage turbo/superchargers. Whether it was radial or V-12, air or liquid cooled, reliability more came down to who was manufacturing it.

    And with these cars, I think any problems would result from not enough troubleshooting. Basically any engine configuration can be tailored to a certain type of race with enough quality control.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,687
    From noted automotive historian Karl Ludvigsen about the rotary:

    "its rotary engine had a displacement of 573cc per working chamber. Since there were two rotors and three cells per rotor, that added up to a total capacity of 3,438cc."

    He maintains that rotary engine displacement has always been understated - very interesting. Maybe that is why they guzzle gas like a much larger engine.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    The system used for measuring rotary displacement means that the Mazda "1.3" liter rotary is the functional equivalent of a 2.6L piston engine.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,687
    I've heard that before also, but the Ludvigsen quote was new to me. He wrote an entire article about it in Hemmings Sports and Exotics.
  • Have ya looked at the specs and reviews on the 2008 Porsche GT2?....

    In any event, I would rather roll at 200 MPH in a Porsche hardened roll cage than in a 2000 LB Japanese train wreck.
  • Really? Because 2000lbs sounds pretty good to me. Are you talking the AE86?

    And you are basing 'train-wreck on'? Probably nothing. Do whatever you want to do, but your criticisms are lacking in value.

    And yes, I've seen the specs. They were impressive for a whole 5 minutes until the V-Spec started its testing. I'm sure we'll see a repeat of the GT-R/Turbo competition with the GT2/V-Spec competition. With the 3500LB V-Spec getting the performance edge in almost every category.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,458
    And the GT2 will cost how much??? I haven't seen anything specific but somewhere around 190,000-200,000 dollars is what I heard.

    I doubt you could pay over 100,000 for a GTR even if you tried to.
  • Agreed, but I don't even like diving into the cost aspect, since someone will jump in with the 'feeling' of the Porsche being worth the extra 6-figures... ok fine, we can't measure that.

    But Porsche designs its cars to be fast around a track, no question about that. Price is a Marketing issue. Brand image is a Marketing issue. Comfort and feel are personal preference and nothing more.

    But every single Porsche being no superior technically to a Nissan? That's an engineering issue. And that's the only issue I think is valid here.

    The title "Dethrone the 911 and Z06" is a resounding YES, if used in terms of performance. We know that Nissan will only make 1500 GT-R's for the US. So obviously they aren't trying to bankrupt Porsche or Chevy. They only want the bragging rights of the fastest car. And they succeeded. End.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,687
    I wouldn't be surprised if people pay over $100K for the first few. People paid way over MSRP for the new Thunderbird just a few of years ago, so I am pretty sure they will for anything perceived as new and hot.
  • Ford GT went for 50% over MSRP as well. Thats what happens when you have tens of thousands of people wanting... hundreds of cars at that price. Frankly, Chevy gets to keep the trophy for availability of supercars. I'm sure they'll make as many ZR1s as are ordered from Kentucky. Same with the Z06.

    People are willing to pay even more for things deemed 'exclusive', 'classy', etc.

    Its probably worth it to whomever wants to own one of many automotive legends. Everyone who's driven it so far claims its a very different experience. Maybe just a break from the trivial and mundane is what people are willing to pay for. There's only one way to take it for testdrive. Fork out the cash and hope it fits with my driving style.
  • Link to the Sickness

    Link to the craziness

    Nurburgring lap time for GT-R: 7:29

    Note: It does not specify V-spec. What it appears they are saying is that in dry conditions, the base GT-R on stock tires is 9 seconds faster than on wet pavement. Surprised? You shouldn't be. This truly is the start of the next generation of GT cars.

    The ZR1 will have a tough enough time just catching the base GT-R. And the Z06 is no longer in the same category. Owned. It is also faster than the GT2 on race tires, and demolishes the Turbo. Owned.

    One can only guess how fast the V-spec will be. 7.10s? 7.00s? Nothing in the works for any company is prepared to compete with the V-spec.
  • skarieskarie Posts: 78

    After reading that, why on earth would anywon want to purchase a GT2.
  • After reading that, why on earth would anywon want to purchase a GT2.

    To get the 'feel of a real sports car'. Whatever that means. J/K :)

    If I were looking to burn that much cash, I'd be waiting to see what the V-spec can churn out.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,687
    Maybe because of this.
  • 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: 2,687
    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: 2,687
    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: 2,687
    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: 2,687
    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.
This discussion has been closed.