Exclusive pictures and video from the mega test
11 December 2009

This is a grudge match showdown between the Nissan GT-R, Porsche 911 Turbo and Audi R8 V10 - and you can see the hi-res pictures and video here.

First up, our testers spent two days in the cars on normal roads, doing normal driving and seeing which could do 'normal' best.

See our exclusive Nissan GT-R v Porsche 911 v Audi R8 V10 pictures

Watch the Nissan GT-R v Porsche 911 v Audi R8 V10 video

The differences were stark: the GT-R's ride was harsh, and it was noisy - especially compared to the refined 911 Turbo; the R8 doesn't steer quite as sweetly as the 911, and its manual gearbox is a hindrance.

On the road, then, the testers rate the R8 as easiest to live with, followed by the 911 and GT-R. However, that order's reversed when they consider which is the most fun to have legal, on the road fun in.

To settle which is faster, autocar.co.uk then took the trio to a damp Castle Combe circuit and put Steve Sutcliffe out for a two timed laps in each.

It soon became clear that the GT-R is so stiff that it struggles in the wet. In contrast, the 911 is easier, faster and friendlier to drive in the wet, as is the 'how long can you hold it sideways R8'.

But as the day dried, Sutcliffe went out for his laps.

The 911 was first, and surprised Steve with the amount of steering wheel movement - especially over bumps. That said, the unwanted movement at the back of the previous generation car was gone, replaced by excellent body control and huge acceleration in each gear.

The R8 was well balanced and sounded fantastic, but its poor brakes and clumsy gearchange were major issues, making it the slowest of the three despite being the purest handling.

So it was left to the GT-R to take up the challenge, and on the dry track it did just that. The nervousness gone, replaced by near-perfect body control, massive stability on turn-in, extraordinary traction on the exit of corners and huge stopping power.

Despite being the heaviest and least powerful car at the track, the GT-R felt the fastest - and so it was - though only by 0.3sec over the 911.

So which is best? In theory it's the Audi, fitted with the Nissan's gearbox and 911's brakes, priced at the GT-R's level.

That car doesn't exist, so we have to pick the next best thing - the GT-R - performance bargain of the century.

Read the full story and see more pictures in this week's Autocar magazine.

See our exclusive Nissan GT-R v Porsche 911 v Audi R8 V10 pictures

Watch the Nissan GT-R v Porsche 911 v Audi R8 V10 video

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Comments
30

11 December 2009

Did the test conclude that the GT-R was the best car regardless of the price difference between it and the other 2? Thought the Nissan is devastatingly potent point-to-point whether the road is wet or dry.....

11 December 2009

Here's a quote from the recent 911 Turbo road test...

"That said, this car is definitely not the last word in ultimately stability and dynamic perfection. It’s a Porsche 911, and that means it’s still hampered by a second-rate weight distribution that causes it to understeer in certain circumstances when other sports cars just wouldn’t. You can’t hurry this car into a corner; get on the power too soon and the inevitable happens."

And let me get this right this SAME car is more composed over the GT-R? Huh? And this is the same GT-R the steve drove so fast in the wet on the Isle on Man last year singing to the high heavens about its absolute composure over the most challenging and WET blacktop around??? Huh? And this is the same GT-R that made the R8 feel old in comaprsion last year?

It doesn't add up gentlemen provide us with more information to fill in the Holes you've made. J


11 December 2009

Oh and here is the quote form the Isle of Man test on the R8- a car that handles every bit as good as the V10....

"The R8 was really moving around over the bumps and I felt a bit nervous driving it as it was feeling quite heavy."

SO now the R8 is the optimum. No sense at all no context for the reader nothing but confusion. J

11 December 2009

[quote jl4069]

Oh and here is the quote form the Isle of Man test on the R8- a car that handles every bit as good as the V10....

"The R8 was really moving around over the bumps and I felt a bit nervous driving it as it was feeling quite heavy."

SO now the R8 is the optimum. No sense at all no context for the reader nothing but confusion. J

[/quote]

There will always be confusion ... what we are talking about here are mere opinions .. that is what all published material really is anyway. Everyone is different, everyone has a different frame of reference .. is there an objective 'measuring stick' to measure differences in cornering performance? At least the yanks have tried to put some sort of science with skidpan g's, but there is a lot more to it than that of course isn't there?

There is good an bad with all engine layouts ... funny how certain writers always harp on the 911's engine location, and not praise the merits of rear mass distribution where it counts. I guess Paul Frere was a much better driver than the current bunch of road testers! It is no accident F1 cars have most of the weight distribution over the rear wheels.

11 December 2009

[quote ShvsIrns]It is no accident F1 cars have most of the weight distribution over the rear wheels.[/quote]

True, but F1 cars also have their engines well ahead of the rear axle, and therefore within the wheelbase, as close to the centre of the car as possible. They also run slick tyres and monster wings.

Porsche's continual refinement of the 911 concept is an admirable display of dogged determination rather than choosing an intelligent layout in the first place. It may have worked for the early 911s in the '60s, but it was quickly overwhelmed by power increases by the 1970s. Today the '911' is all about marketing and image. The only real things it has in common with the original are the engine location, boxer engine layout and a (very) vague similarity in shape. It is no more a 911 than a New Beetle is a Type 1.

Still a nice car though, but I wish they would come up with something genuinely new and exciting, and new market niches for cars with ham-fisted 911 styling cues does not count at all.

11 December 2009

did you check all the tyre pressures before the test. its very important to check the tyre pressures. you might have to do the test again.

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

11 December 2009

The one thing that wins it for the GTR is it is half the cost of the other two.

2nd thing is it is better looking,

3rd thing is ....

11 December 2009

[quote pabs]3rd thing is ....[/quote]

I've got one ...

It is a brilliant car regardless of price - yes the ride can be harsh at times - so use the "comfort" setting on the supension - or drive a Citroen ;o)

It also draws admiration, not derision, from other road users and pedestrians and it goes like a bat out of hell on wet or dry roads.

11 December 2009

Interesting conclusion regarding the best car being an R8 with the GTR's gearbox and the Porsche's brakes at the GTR's price. There's almost a dozen permutations you could bring to the table as all these cars offer something the others could do with.

E.g.:

A GTR at the Porsche's weight with the Audi's looks and engine and CCBs.

An R8 with the GTR's gearbox and handling and the Porsche's straightline speed and some CCBs.

The only factor that would be common to all permutations is the GTR's price, possibly not including servicing and maintenance though. You could even go on to specify in small print, "at the GTR's price, but where the manufacturer doesn't specify useless and expensive lubrication products that should only be applied to bicycle chains and lawn-mower engines."

11 December 2009

I'm curious to know which brakes the R8 had - the standard steel ones or the optional ceramics? judging by the lap times and the comments on the video, if the R8 had been fitted with the optional ceramics it may have produced the fastest laps.

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