Car and Driver: Nissan Plays Silly Buggers With GT-R Hp

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
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car and driver nissan plays silly buggers with gt r hp

Larry Webster at Car and Driver (C&D) noticed a marked performance difference between some of the five Nissan GT-Rs the mags' reviewers had driven (in case you were wondering, Berkowitz' GT-R count is zero). Suspecting "a ringer," the eds decided to stick the uber-Nissan on a dyno. The Godzilla press car was making 420 horsepower at the wheels. Using an estimate of 20 percent loss, the buff book reckoned the GT-R produced 519 horsepower at the crank. This is, of course, based on that assumption (despite Nissan's claims) that the GT-R has unusually low crank-to-wheel power loss. The carmaker attributed the difference between published and actual hp to "early build" cars' varying computer software programming. Translation: Nissan sent out ringers so that C&D, Edmunds, and the other buff books could trumpet "GT-R DOES 0-60 IN 1.1 SECONDS!" As most of us won't be driving a GT-R, the car's PR importance vastly outstrips the importance of honesty, consistency and integrity. Obviously. And this renews questions ( raised at the time by TTAC and others) about the validity of the "production" GT-R's Nürburgring record-setting lap time.

Justin Berkowitz
Justin Berkowitz

Immensely bored law student. I've also got 3 dogs.

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4 of 35 comments
  • Timd38 Timd38 on Aug 21, 2008

    The production cars are not as fast as a stock C6 Corvette with "only" 430 hp. Oh ya, a base C6 is $30K less.

  • SupaMan SupaMan on Aug 21, 2008
    z31: peak hp is a nearly worthless #, so good luck with your calculation. That may be true, but to a lahman comparing apples to apples: 2008 Nissan GT-R with 480hp twin turbo V6, AWD and weighs close to 4000lbs accelerates 60 in 3.4 seconds at last review. 2008 Corvette ZO6 with a 505hp V8, RWD and weighs a little over 3000lbs accelerates to 60 in about 3.8 seconds at last review. Am I the only one who sees some kind of problem with these figures? I read that ultra-short gearing has a lot to do with the GT-R equally a Ferrari Enzo in the sprint but still....magazine after magazine that I've read have always speculated the Nissan was making substantially more than the advertised 480hp.
  • Thetopdog Thetopdog on Aug 21, 2008

    SupaMan : The GT-R has AWD, which helps greatly with launching. From 0-60, the biggest factor for almost any car with 400+hp is traction, not power/weight ratio. Which is partially why 0-60 is kind of pointless in this day and age where even Camrys are doing it in under 6 seconds. The GT-R also has launch control, which I'm assuming helps cut down 0-60 times too I don't think it's outrageous for the GT-R to have a better 0-60 than the Z06

  • DaddyOfPayton DaddyOfPayton on Aug 22, 2008

    Jim Wangers is back and has a G8 he wants you to test... Very old C/D reference