By on July 19, 2011

You may not care very much when U.S. News ranks the $84,060 Nissan GT-R “2 out of 8 Super Luxury Sports Cars.” The thought might cross your mind that with a paltry $84K price, it can hardly qualify as a Super Luxury Sports Car. But you will take note when Top Gear runs the car around its airport-cum-testtrack and …

… the rice racer leaves the Murcielago, the Ferrari 599, the Audi R8 V10, the Lamborghini LP840, even the Veyron in the dust.

The shame! The embarrassment! The utter mortification!

The Nissan did the track in 1 minute 17.8 seconds. That’s right up there with  the Noble M600 (1 minute 17.7) – and try to get your hands on one of those.

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48 Comments on “$84,060 Nissan GT-R Beats Pants Off Most Supercars...”


  • avatar

    Most supercars could shed 100kg+ if they dispensed with the luxury accoutrements.

    • 0 avatar
      twotone

      If I wanted to drive fast around a track, I’d get a Caterham. I’d keep my 3-Series for around town driving. Both cars would still cost less than the Nissan.

    • 0 avatar

      Most people buying supercars WILL NEVER EVEN SEE A TRACK. There is a huge difference in the mindset of someone who wants straightline performance and someone who “wants to drive around a track”. I drove a GTR a few weeks ago. YES IT IS A FAST CAR – ABOUT AS FAST AS MY SRT8 SUPERCHARGED, but, It’s only at it’s fastest off the line when you use the launch control.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2rt2w7A23Y

      Problem is, it still looks like an AVERAGE RICER.
      For $84,000 I’d buy a CLS 2012, M5, C or E-AMG or a CTS-V.

      The GTR has the highest car insurance of any car under $100,000 and maintenance on it is ridiculous. MY “TRACK” IS THE SOUTHERN STATE PARKWAY.

  • avatar
    Alexdi

    That one had my jaw on the floor. I can’t wait until someone strips it down and adds more carbon fiber; less 500 pounds, it’d probably top the list.

  • avatar
    M 1

    It’s still a Nissan. This reminds me of the guys who sign up at FerrariChat to brag about how their faded-paint torn-seat ’95 Mustang beat down a 360 on Some Random Highway.

    And the Top Gear track is The Legend That Couch Potatoes Built. It would make a fine shifter-kart track, and that’s about it. The longest straight is 1600 feet, and that’s coming out of Hammerhead (sloooow) and going into Chicago (sweeping, but very long)… There is a reason you haven’t read any articles about real racing series clamoring to set up an event there.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      They have tested many cars so it is a consistent way to measure cars (other than for weather conditions), so this is very impressive for Nissan.

      • 0 avatar
        M 1

        An entirely purposeless measurement seems like a great fit for Top Gear.

      • 0 avatar
        thesal

        Small tracks can be deceptive, and a lot of those big name cars don’t even get a chance to stretch their legs. Especially the 2WD cars…big disadvantage on a small track.

        The nissan is a short geared, AWD car so it performs well on these. Take the same cars to a place like Road Atlanta or Sebring and the results could be completely different.

        A recent example being the GTR vs the Z06 at Willow Springs Raceway. They were 1/10th apart. They are miles apart on the TG Test track.

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      I’m pretty sure the reason why there isn’t a real racing series at that track is because it’s a figure-eight, actually.

    • 0 avatar
      The Comedian

      The first problem would be that most racing series are not interested in using a track that crosses over itself.
      http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/0/3661/1241874-top_gear_test_track_super.png

      (Sorry for the very similar post. I lost a minute finding a link to a map!)

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      Racing series? The track is a figure eight. Unless you’re talking about a demolition derby…

  • avatar
    The Comedian

    To be fair, the US News list has four cars tied at #2 in the Super Luxury Sports Cars list.

    2010 Jaguar XK, 2010 Mercedes Benz CL, 2011 Mercedes-Benz SL, and the 2011 Nissan GT-R

    http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/rankings/Super-Luxury-Sports-Cars/

  • avatar
    aristurtle

    $16,999 Aprilia RSV4 Beats Pants Off Nissan GT-R.

    You know, just for perspective.

  • avatar
    Louros

    “$84,060 Nissan GT-R Beats Pants Off Most Supercars”

    in other news, bears shit in the woods.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    I’d take the Top Gear results, they test all the exotics in the same manner. Does this mean that the Zoomfire F56-Gs won’t win on another tract? No, but it does represent a benchmark to measure others. Note, unless someone just backs a dumptruck full of money up at my door and empties it, I’ll never afford any of these cars. I suspect most readers are in simular situations. So, this is really just talk, and everyone has their favorites.

    • 0 avatar
      protomech

      “test all the exotics in the same manner”

      Except for different track conditions, different temperatures, different drivers (multiple stigs), differing amounts of familiarization with the car..

      Other than that, basically the same!

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Same track, conditions are usually pretty similar except for heavy rain – UK weather is not as variable as weather over here. There have been what 3 stig’s all trained and experienced racing drivers and each having driven tens of cars (multiple seasons) so that variance is also small. Don`t denigrate the Top Gear!

    • 0 avatar
      Dynamic88

      New, it’s priced less than some Corvettes. So, on the used market, I might actually be able to get a GT-R in halfway decent condition. I’ll probably never be able to have a Lambo, even if it’s a basket case.

  • avatar
    JJ

    Anyone who dares to put the Lexus SC on a ‘top sports cars’ list in anything other than last place has no credibility at all.

    As for the GT-R; I can’t believe how quick it is and I can’t believe how it’s possible that is actually that quick. It’s heavy, it’s big, it’s AWD, it doesn’t have THAT much power…A nimble RWD Ferrari 458 should be able to run circles around it on a dry track, but it doesn’t.

    The electronics in that Nissan are really something else apparently. It’s amazing but it’s its downfall at the same time; every car guy knows (thinks) that anyone can drive that thing fast, cause the car does it all by itself. That and it’s generic Japaneseness means it lacks the character most people look for in a sports car.

  • avatar
    vento97

    I would be more impressed if it had a proper manual trannsmission instead of the dual-clutch paddle shifters.

    Whatever happened to the tried and true skills of rowing through the gears, keeping the engine in the proper rev range/power band, and heel-and-toeing. Paddle shifters have taken the driver involvement aspect and basically reduced it to a video game…

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      You’re looking at the wrong car, then. The GT-R has pretty much always been a showcase of the latest computerized driving aid technology, even if that impedes “feel” and “driver involvement” and whatever other non-measurable quantities you care about.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        Since there’s lots of Top Gear talk here, I’ll add that there was plenty of driver involvement with the GT-R in The Stig POV videos on the TG Season 13 DVD. The driver looked like he was at war with the car, fighting the steering wheel and regularly heavily understeering and oversteering off-line, with electronic things buzzing away in the background. The F430 achieved the same lap time with the driver looking smooth and in complete control the entire time.

    • 0 avatar
      ckb

      I’d be impressed too. The exact same car with a manual would be significantly slower. It seems we’ve reached the point where cars can only get faster with more technology. No human will ever be able to modulate the left rear brake while vectoring 37.28% of torque to the front right just after getting a perfect rev match for an 80 millisecond downshift. That said I’m sticking to my 6 speed as long as I can because I don’t care about those extra seconds (…yet). But everyone else needs to say they are faster so just be amazed at lap times and prepare to buy used.

  • avatar

    No matter what anyone says. I love the car if I had the money I wouldn’t think twice about buying one.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I was just thinking the other day why haven’t I seen any articles lately extolling the wonderfulness-ness of the GT-R.

    Voila! Ask and ye shall receive.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Amazing car….and that’s an understatement.

  • avatar
    GarbageMotorsCo.

    funny, maybe it was the squished video over my home television, or maybe the non-existent dram of other supercars that have made the lap, but it didn’t really look that quick to me. Heck, it was almost boring to watch.

    Kudos to Nissan tho. Godzilla rocks.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    The GTR not only can best many far more expensive supercars, it is far more livable with on a daily basis.

    I’m not a big fan of Nissan for a variety of reasons, but I’d never kick the GTR out of bed for eating crackers.

    On a somewhat related note, Moore’s Law of computer processing power never had an automotive counterpoint in the world of acceleration, braking or track times, but given the laws of physics and other scientific proofs, how much more performance can be wrung out of passenger cars that are equipped well enough to be daily drivers?

    It would seem that the law of diminishing returns is genuinely quickly approaching in this realm.

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    I don’t know anybody with substantial experience in auto racing, testing, or development who would do anything other than laugh at TG test times. The variables between tests exceed the reported lap time differences by a factor of two or three. It would be like watching Jersey Shore and expecting to learn differential calculus.

    I have plenty of street and track time in GT-Rs with up to 800 wheel horsepower. There is nothing magic about the car and if you can’t keep up with a stock one in a new Z06 you aren’t trying hard enough. It is simpler to drive than a Vette or Mustang but it does nothing to break the laws of physics and some parts of the car can be as fragile as glass.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      Yeah and yeah and your point being?

      The original post never said the GT-R could break the laws of physics. It merely beats some other car on a specific course.

      Some parts of any car can be as fragile as glass (like the wind-shield).

    • 0 avatar
      drylbrg

      The times for the cars aren’t comparable to each other but how each one feels around the track and how it goes about getting around it are just as important, if not more so considering that these are street cars. TG never claimed to be Consumer Reports or even Motor Trend when it comes to the numbers. They are just there for a reference point.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      Sounds like someone has some unrequited envy of Top Gear.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    If creationism and evolution can co-exist in the same world, then surely so can two different schools of track science: “Real Science”, which employs identical conditions and variables for all track test subjects; and “Top Gear Science”, which just drives the cars ’round the track and posts the time. The latter has mass appeal. I’m not saying it’s ideal, but it’s the world we live in.

  • avatar
    stuki

    This “test” in isolation may be somewhat random, but the sheer number of less than entirely controlled tests that the GT-R impresses in, over time starts underscoring that it’s results come down to more than just luck.

    The biggest issue I have with the whole ‘my car is the fastedest on the track’ mentality when it comes to street cars, is that tracks are so darned wide that excessive bloat have few negative consequences. Anything “engineered for max performance on the Nurburgring” is simply not going to fit in it’s own lane, down the kind of canyon roads most people drive sports cars fast on. In these more realistic environs, something like an Elise, or even a hopped up Miata, is just so much more practical.

  • avatar

    LP840???

    And what about the Porsche?????

  • avatar
    eldard

    I still prefer Ferraris. Nothing beats a Italian BBQ Mobile!

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    The GT-R is such a source of internal conflict for me.

    On one hand, it’s a technological tour de force and a masterful achievement for Nissan. You can’t deny its capabilities.

    On the other hand though, to me at least, a lot of its attributes are antithetical to what I define as a sports car. It’s incredibly complex- the automotive equivalent of the toilet flush reverser from the Simpsons in Australia episode. From that it’s heavy. It’s huge, but it really only seats two. It sounds like a vacuum cleaner. And while I’ve warmed up a bit to its looks, it’s much more “Klingon G35″ than the classic Japanese shapes of the GT-Rs of the past. Everything about it off-paper is off-putting.

    $84K just gets you in the door of a seriously better looking + sounding, 800+ lb lighter 911. Or puts you in a not much less practical Cayman S, w/money for options and a turbocharger should you be insane. And that is just talking new.

    I wish Nissan had focused this much energy in sorting out the Z. It has much of the GT-R’s flaws (bad stock sound, needless bloat/heft, strange looks) with not too many of the GT-R’s strengths (precise handling, class blistering performance). Seems like the permutation of an affordable, well-sorted HIGH PERFORMANCE sports car will never come to fruition. The closest we came to it was the “Speed 4: Keep It In VTEC” S2000…

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I also just remembered the Evora S “2+2″. Obv not as quick as the GT-R, but I prefer a drive that is as engaging as humanely possible than a drive that sacrifices that in the pursuit of track times. And I don’t care what anyone says- the GT-R might not be soulless, but at 3900 or so LB w/heavy computer intervention, it just doesn’t scream “driver’s car” to me like something engineered for driving.


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