Bring on the GT-R
I’m excited about the launch of the Nissan GT-R, although perhaps for the wrong reason. For $75k, you’ll be able to challenge almost any factory-equipped car on the road. This is good. Ferrari, for example, rests on its laurels when it comes to speed. And maybe Ferrari won’t care about the GT-R, what with the F430’s two year waiting list and all. But, according to the NYT review, the supercar the GT-R specifically eats up is the Porsche 997 Turbo. Porsche will definitely care about that, even if the Italians don’t.
Now, I’ve driven the 997 Turbo afew times, and it is a wonderful car. Except for one thing.
It isn’t fast enough; or, more precisely, not as fast as you’d expect. And when it’s going fast, it’s much more calm than the 996 X50 Turbo version, so you don’t actually feel like you are going as quick as you truly are. According to Road & Track Magazine, the 997 Turbo is the fastest 0-100-0 car in the land, but from a standing start, the new variable turbine turbo makes it seem utterly calm as it sets off down the road.
That CF-18 thruster-feeling of the X50 disappeared once Porsche got the turbos to work below 4,000 rpm.
The GT-R equals the Turbo in track times, 0-60 mph, and probably on horsepower — each manufacturer understates the hp for insurance reasons. So, although the odd looking Nissan isn’t going to find a home in my garage, the embarrasment that Porsche designers will soon feel should be sufficient to ensure that the 998 version of the Turbo – not due until 2012 at the earliest – will not leave its’ driver feeling, how shall I say it, let down.
All hail to the GT-R. You are doing European supercarmakers, and their owners, a great service.