By on May 1, 2008

zonda-f.jpgWorldcarfans reports that Nissan's new GT-R has logged the second fastest-ever lap time around the infamous "Green Hell." "GT-R chief test driver Tochio Suzuki [ED: how ironic is that?] completed the famous Nurburgring circuit in Germany in just 7 minutes 29 seconds. According to our records, this puts the GT-R in second place for fastest laps by unmodified production cars just behind the Pagani Zonda F which posted a time of 7 minutes and 27 seconds last November. The time completely destroys the GT-R's previous best lap of 7 minutes 38 seconds achieved last year in slightly damp conditions." Not to mention what it does to the Porsche Turbo's rep; a car that "only" laps the the 'Ring in 7:40. All that said, is it fair to compare the U.S. street legal $70k (without markup) GT-R to a Euro-spec-only $741k (ish) car that barely achieves double digit production numbers? In short, who's your Daddy?

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28 Comments on “Nissan GT-R Slower ‘Round the Ring than Pagani Zonda F. Just....”


  • avatar
    sean362880

    Of course it’s fair! Personally I’d rather have one Zonda F instead of TEN Nissan GT-Rs, and enough change for a new Infiniti G35.

    Who wouldn’t?

  • avatar
    Velvetsmack

    Heh.. The Zonta just picked up it’s Michelins and went home. Nobody’s allowed to play anymore!

  • avatar
    Kman

    Whoa!

    I really find track times to be the best overall measurement of a car’s performance capabilities, and of course, the Nurburgring “north loop” is the summum of these.

    That is one hell of an incredible time. Cracking the 8-minute mark at the ‘Ring is a highly sought after achievement. To break 7:30? INCREDIBLE!

    Yup, second the Pagani. (And the Porsche Carrera GT, fwiw — 7:28)

    … and ahead of:

    - Porsche 997 GT2 7:31
    - Koenigsegg CCR 7:34
    - Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 7:40
    - Mercedes SLR McLaren 7:40
    - Porsche 997 GT3 7:42

    - and the Porsche 997 Turbo 7:49

    This time is absolutely incredible. What’s more, the GT-R is easier for more drivers to achieve such times with it. (I imagine I’d probably post a better time with the GT-R than, for example, the Pagani).

  • avatar
    wstansfi

    Resetting the standards for performance and price – way to go Nissan!

  • avatar
    streamliner

    Doubtless the GT-R is an incredible achievement, but I second the emotion that to own a Zonda F over a GT-R is no contest. Before we bow too low to the Nissan gods, I would think about where the money goes. I would guess the development costs of the GT-R are not being charged to the business but are being written off as Corporate R&D, enabling this absurdly low price. The Japanese have often successfully used this “loss leader” strategy, most prominently with the launches of the premium brands Infiniti or Lexus. I will forecast that before 18 months are out the price will climb several times if sales targets are met, and why wouldn’t they at this performance price equation? Too bad the car looks rather ugly like an over hormoned Mitsubishi EVO, etc., in my very personal opinion.

  • avatar
    beetlebug

    “I’d rather have one Zonda F instead of TEN Nissan GT-Rs”

    Not me, I wouldn’t. Besides the fact the Zonda is an ugly bug-eyed auto I think I’d be happier with an GT-R since I could drive it daily without too many trade offs. I can’t quite see me taking the Zonda to the grocery store to stock up for a party. Not unless I have a little trailer on the back. Oh, I’d sell the rest of the GT-Rs and buy a house or something.

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    The Nissan GT-R is truly a game changing car with performance that is making a mockery of those European presitige brands (IF performance is what you truly want).
    The GT-R is a clear indication of just how much Porsche has been resting on it laurels lately. Look how long it is taking them to get a their auto-shifting manual transmission to market. Funny Nissan appears to have one capable of handling a great deal of Porsche level power and heat already on the market. IIMO Porsche is moving so slow because they know the folks that are currently buying up their cars do not know the difference between a torque convertor Automatic Transmission and a auto/gearbox with a clutch(s).

    In twenty years from now this Zonda thing will be an all but forgotten novelty while the GT-R is sitting right next to Porsche 959 in some serious car collections.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    The GT-R is an absolute beast. The performance numbers can’t be denied. I don’t think there’s ever been a better price:performance ratio, which hurts me to say since I’m a Corvette driver

    That said, there’s something about the GT-R that’s depressing. The dual-clutch tranny, the super-intelligent AWD, the launch control, the stability control, the no-lag turbos. The GT-R is a technological tour de force but seems to take a lot of the challenge of driving fast out of the hands of the driver. Again, the results speak for themselves, but it seems like many of the skills traditionally needed to go fast around a track are becoming unnecessary

  • avatar
    John R

    I believe this car is the herald for a new era in performance automobiles. If this $70k beast hasn’t clued you into the fact that we are really living in the 21st century, I don’t know what will.

    Nissan has done something really incredible.

    PS, Streamliner: That sounds like sour grapes…

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    I’d take a GT-R in a heartbeat, too bad I don’t have Shoemaker kind of money or I would. Thing is a marvel.

  • avatar
    KnightRT

    Hear that? It’s the sound of knees chattering in the distance. I’ll be impressed if the ZR1 can come within ten seconds of that time.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Just wait until the much lighter and more powerful GT-R Spec-V drops…

    also, remember, a Chevy HHR SS can run the ring in 8:21

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    That said, there’s something about the GT-R that’s depressing. The dual-clutch tranny, the super-intelligent AWD, the launch control, the stability control, the no-lag turbos. The GT-R is a technological tour de force but seems to take a lot of the challenge of driving fast out of the hands of the driver. Again, the results speak for themselves, but it seems like many of the skills traditionally needed to go fast around a track are becoming unnecessary

    There was once a time when high performance cars were fitted with skinny bias-ply tires, un-powered drum brakes, live axles suspened by leaf springs, worm and sector steering, no head restraints, simple lap seatbeats, no roll-over protection, no crumple zones, non-sealing gas tanks, no fuel cut-off or rev-limiters, etc.
    At best these cars could do maybe 140mph on a good day.

    I bet the guys that used to drive around in these things back inthe early 1960s would call a 1976 Porsche 930 turbo a “sissy” car.

    On the otherhand there was once a time when high performance cars had bodies were made out wood, they have very fragile cumbersome engines, live axles front and read, rear brakes only, no seatbeats or anything for that matter to hold you in the car other than your own hands. In additon to having a center of gravity 4 feet off of the ground they also require two people in the car to keep in running. Hell for that matter you needed to hand crank the damn thing to get it started. At best these cars could maybe do 80mph on a good day.

    I bet the guys that used to race around in 1915 runabout would look a Ferrari 250gt and call it a “pu$$y” car.

    I just watched a show on the history channel about WWI fighter pilots. In it they did describe how the pilots had to consatantly adjust the fuel flow to the engine to keep it from cutting out, in combat!

    The GT-R is what it is, a high performance car that does allow that average enthusiast to perform feats that would be all but impossible for them. It is a truly 21st century car.

  • avatar

    If only the GT-R didn’t look like it belonged in a videogame.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    whatdoiknow1 :

    I understand your point, but most of those advances you pointed out have more to do with safety and/or basic advances in automotive design. The GT-R probably isn’t any safer, and doesn’t do much to advance automotive design. What gives it it’s huge advantage are computers that allow the driver to shift, accelerate, brake, turn, etc. faster than is normally possible

    I am far from a Luddite, and I fully understand the necessity of technological advances, but it just seems like we’re headed down the wrong path. Soon enough there will be a car that can drive itself around the ‘Ring in under 7 minutes with little to no driver input. It will be insanely fast, but will require absolutely no skill to drive. That seems to be the logical progression of all these computer nannies that help a car to go faster. All I’m saying is that there has to be a happy medium between a Model-T and a car that drives itself, and I think cars like this take us a little too far towards the ‘car drives itself’ end of the spectrum

  • avatar
    offroadinfrontier

    thetopdog:

    I don’t think it’s really driving itself, just driving more efficiently than a human would/could. The AWD, for instance, isn’t anything new, just tuned. Same for the transmission.

    As for safety, I think that integrating the brakes, AWD system, and engine control are nothing BUT safer ideas.

    The drag coefficient is pretty advanced, IMO. Without making this car look like a flat board, Nissan managed to make it very aerodynamic.

    And the transmission… ah, the transmission.. While I absolutely love driving my manual (and everything that entails), something about a transmission as efficient as the GT-R’s can only be called an advancement. Not only can it handle Godzilla-like torque, it shifts in .2 seconds! While you might not get the versatility of full-on control of the clutch, you still have full control over gear selection.

    It’s hard to see what this car offers and not call it advancements.. as said before, compare any older car to a car newer to it – of Course driving is easier. Hell, the same can even be said for a manual transmission – synchros have made sticks about as easy to drive as it gets.

  • avatar
    TeeKay

    Wow, what a time. A great performance machine.

    In my opinion, the Zonda is just as ugly as the GT-R, except without a plot. I’d prefer the ugly GT-R over the uglier Zonda.

    Ferraris, Fiats, and Masseratis have the Italian sensual styling. Corvettes, Vipers, and Saleens have the American, macho, “I’ll eat your lunch and drink your milk shake” testicular fortitude. GT-Rs, STis, and Evos have the anime, robotic, Japanese looks. The M3s, AMGs, and Audis have the sterile, business-like Germanic feel. All have some character and are consistent.

    The Zonda is neither. It just looks weird and cartoonish.

  • avatar
    TeeKay

    Also, I don’t understand this hatin’ about all the electronic gizmos in the GT-R. It sounds like sour grapes to me.

    There have always been good and bad transmissions, smoother syncros, more gears, better suspension, easier clutches, six-pot brakes, good and bad AWD. However, when all of these worked together perfectly and in harmony and produce spectacular results, somehow, that’s a bad thing?

    So it’s okay for the Porshe Turbo to have sequential twin turbos without lag, AWD, PASM adjustable suspension, smopth Tiptronic, DSC, and ceramic brakes. But when the GT-R does it better with the same thing, it lacks character. Keep in mind that the venerable Porsche 959 had a very wicked AWD system.

    Also, it’s okay for Ferrari 430 Scuderia to have ultrafast F1 transmission, on the fly adjustable electronic differential, magnetic adjustable suspension, but when the GT-R does it better for only 1/3 of the cost, it’s a bad thing?

    I am confused…really confused.

  • avatar
    sean362880

    The Zonda isn’t ugly, it’s vulgar.

    And that’s the whole point. It looks ridiculous, it’s difficult to drive, it’s rarer than hen’s teeth and costs most of a million dollars. The point of a supercar is to go nuts, draw something that won’t be mistaken for anything else out there. Then throw in the biggest engine you can find and the most expensive engineering, and you’re good to go.

    The GT-R exudes a very common kind of ugliness; like you might find on the cover of Modified magazine. You can’t say that about the Zonda.

  • avatar
    Kman

    I don’t know when this became a comparison test of the Zonda vs. the GT-R.

    The GT-R is a marvel that should be admired. No one’s forcing you to own one or buy one. Case in point: I have always thought the Corvette (C4+) is an outstanding, if not one of the best, sports car buys out there.

    … but I prolly wouldn’t get one, as it’s not my kind of thing. I’d spend that coin on a Boxter S. But that’s just personal preference. I still admire the ‘Vette and check ‘em out when seeing them on the street.

    Same with the GT-R. ‘cept this one, I *would* buy (as a second/track car).

  • avatar
    DearS

    That is fast…..What about the Chassis, the GT-R chassis seems to be a really good one (GT5P).

    I’m really impressed with what a 3800lb vehicle can do. I’ll good at overweight folks as well….not so overweight, just untuned.

  • avatar
    casper00

    It’s just to show that you don’t have to paid over 100k for a perforamce car, people that buy those exotic cars, there intentions were never on performances but status itselft…I’ll take the GT-R over the Zonda F any day……

  • avatar
    Accurate_to_the_Vector

    i wonder if affordable super cars like this will become a trend.

  • avatar
    Nicodemus

    “Also, it’s okay for Ferrari 430 Scuderia to have ultrafast F1 transmission, on the fly adjustable electronic differential, magnetic adjustable suspension, but when the GT-R does it better for only 1/3 of the cost, it’s a bad thing?”

    Interesting isn’t it. The Zonda is nothing special in my book since it is nothing more than a LMP1 with some type approval modifications. And when viewed in this context it supposed ‘amazing’ Nurburgring performance is actually pretty ordinary given the cars are hand made to a variety of specs. Many cars have gone quicker than a Zonda round the ring that have a better claim to be a “production” vehicle. There are less than 60 Zondas of all types in existence.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    thetopdog:
    I understand your point, but most of those advances you pointed out have more to do with safety and/or basic advances in automotive design. The GT-R probably isn’t any safer, and doesn’t do much to advance automotive design.

    But the GT-R *IS* safer thanks to all of its electronics and technology. Without that, the chances of crashing would be far higher. The GT-R’s electronics and tech improve performance, yet also improve safety by reducing and correcting driver error.

  • avatar

    Damn… excuse me while I go and cancel my order… another disappointment!

  • avatar

    The Nordschleiffe is a lot of long straights and sweepers.

    I’d like to see how these cars do on a highly technical track like Suzuka or Tsukaba

    of course that’s my personal desire, because most of these cars are meant for wide open track use – not small technical stuff, and certainly not autocross (my love).

  • avatar
    TeeKay

    cretinx -

    You may be the first to dismiss the ‘Ring for not being technical enough.

    Anyway, if you want to see how the GT-R performs against the exotics at Suzuka or Tsukuba, then search for “Bestmotoring” on Youtube. Before you dismiss them as biased, nationalistic – with Japanese car on Japanese tracks (you asked for it) driven by Japanese and all – keep in mind that these guys have had only praises for the Porsche in years that I have seen them test cars.

    Decide for yourself then.


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