If nothing else, the Nissan GT-R certainly has turned the automotive world upside down.  Month after month, magazine after magazine, website after website including here at new news of the Nissan GT-R continues to amaze and excite car enthusiasts the world over.

Here we have a car that most of us have only driven via a video game, and yet the mere mention of the word Skyline or GT-R gets people talking.  If Gran Turismo has done nothing else, it has made celebrities of cars that a little over 5 years ago weren't available on American Soil.  The Subaru WRX STi and the Mitsubishi Evo are excellent examples of cars some of us grew up driving in a virtual world that are now part of our automotive landscape.

And then of course there is the GT-R.  A car that grown men circle around the block to catch a glimpse of again, a car that has attracted the attention of everyone, a car that still hasn't been defined in terms of the automotive segment it actually fits in, but a car that has people signing up to be on waiting lists for the chance to own one of these beasts.

What cars should the GT-R really compete with.  A couple of weeks ago was the first to bring you news of the C&D comparison pitting the GT-R against a 911 Turbo and a BMW M3.  In declaring the M3 a winner, the comments started flying ranging from complete agreement to utter disgust in the fact that the GT-R shouldn't be compared to the M3.  A lot of discussion centered around what cars the GT-R SHOULD be compared to.

Lucky for us it seems as though the automotive world was listening as Car & Driver has brought back the GT-R for another round of comparisons, this time including the Corvette Z06, the Dodge Viper ACR and the Porsche 911 GT2.  An interesting trend seems to be developing as just like the crowning of the M3 in the last comparison even though it was the slowest, the same has happened again in this latest round of testing.

The Nissan GT-R takes first place against some tough competition, and here again pricing played a role in determining the winner, but it wasn't the score that won the test.  C&D ranked the Corvette Z06 last place, the Viper ACR in 3rd, the 911 GT2 2nd and awarded the top spot to the GT-R.  In evaluating the subjects, it is noted that the particular GT-R tested seemed to be a little down on power being the first one tested to get to 60 MPH in over 4 seconds.

The writer goes on to state, "On the road course, the GT-R floundered at first.  Bawling, irrepressible under steer was all the bulky Bridgestone run-flats could muster in slower turns.  Along twisty byways, it was cited for being colder and less thrilling than the other mega-personalities in the test.  "It's a 500-hp Prelude," grumped one editor."

At Button Willow Raceway Park the GT-R was the third slowest around the track besting only the Corvette Z06.  The Viper ACR smoked the other cars posting a lap time 4-seconds faster than the 911 GT2, and almost 6-seconds faster than the GT-R. 

In writing this piece, I questioned what could really be learned from this latest round of testing and comparing, and for a while I was stumped.  There really is nothing currently being offered by any other manufacturer that really matches the specs of the GT-R at the price of the GT-R.  It really is in a class by itself.  And then it struck me that perhaps that truly is the real genius of the GT-R, the fact that it truly is in a class by itself.  An innovative product that has created if not a completely new segment, a brand new sub-segment in the marketplace.

The results as reported by C&D will be argued and disputed.  The hardcore GT-R fans will argue that the GT-R with a price just over $70k is beating cars costing more than twice as much (current base price for the 911 GT2 is $192,560) and those who are Porsche loyalists will argue the exclusive nature of the GT2 and 911 Turbo.  The funny thing is both sides are correct.

The 911 is a timeless shape that doesn't turn heads like it used to, except if you are a Porsche fan.  Knowing a 993 from a 996 from a 997 is not something the average person knows, but it is something a Porsche enthusiast knows.  The GT-R is a new shape on American soil, and it will turn heads.  Time will tell if it ages like the 911.

The GT-R beat out a whole group of worthy competitors, do you agree with the outcome, or is there a car missing that hasn't had its day in the ring with the GT-R?

We ask, you decide...

Story by Agent 00J

Nissan GT-R Called a 500HP Honda Prelude in New Comparison Test

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