Monday, March 31, 2008

Nissan GTR Underrated?

Many people seem to be confused by the new Nissan GTR. Lots of them may be Porsche 911 Turbo owners. The main problem is how can the GTR be faster than the Porsche when it has a substantially poorer power to weight ratio. Some people claim that Nissan is pulling a fast one by having some not so stock, "tuned" models around for testing. Road and Track took a GTR around a track about 5 seconds faster than a Porsche 911 Turbo and a Corvette Z06. That's a huge difference. Then Car and Driver went out and tested a GTR ripping 0-60 in 3.3 seconds and the 1/4 mile in 11.5. Those are crazy numbers especially for anything costing less than $250,000. A lot less as the GTR's MSRP is around $70,000.

All of this would certainly point to some sleight of hand by Nissan. Maybe they are providing "special" GTRs for testing. Maybe not. Motor Trend has also thought of this and they went straight to the dyno with the GTR they secured for testing. They claim it is a fresh, new, US spec, production GTR. They used a Dynojet dyno and registered a whopping 430+ HP to the wheels over several runs. At just 15% driveline loss that would equate to about 506HP at the crank. At 25% loss, we're looking at 570+HP and 560+TQ. Pretty far off from Nissan's numbers of 473HP.

They conclude that these cars are not "special" test mules but rather have been underrated by Nissan for one reason or another. Remember, Japanese manufacturers for years had to abide by an agreement in their home country that they would not make cars with over 280HP. That lead to underrating HP figures for countless models. I guess old habits die hard. The GTR truly lives up to it's Godzilla nickname. What a beast!

Here is a link to the Motor Trend article.

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