The Nissan GT-R is regarded to be one of the ultimate modern performance cars. It is even more so with the track edition of the car used for the purposes of this comparison. Our previous knowledge and misconceptions tell us that there’s no way in hell that a RWD muscle car could be top dog around a track, especially one with turns. The outcome of this demonstration hosted by Motor Trend shows exactly why you shouldn’t believe all that they’ve been feeding you.
In the first test, with the help of an AWD drivetrain, the GT-R ranks above the Z/28 when it comes to straight line performance. When talking about the twisties though, things are evened up a bit. When starting things off, host Jonny Lieberman almost can’t believe that the cars for comparison are in front of him. Obviously an AWD supercar taking on a RWD muscle car around a track doesn’t seem to be the fairest of races on the surface.
In addition, the 70 grand required to buy a Z/28 isn’t quite justified to most armchair enthusiasts, but when all is said and done, Lieberman insists that he is, “…almost tempted to say that the Camaro Z/28 doesn’t cost enough.” That is quite a bold statement from somebody who also said in the same video that he saw the original fifth generation Camaro SS as a, “…sedan in a costume,” implying that it was big and sloppy as a sports car.
Ok, now we’ll get to the good part. How did they perform on the track? As is commonly joked about, the GT-R is less of a driver’s car than it is a corner-carving appliance. That’s something that you just have to accept upon delivery. While it doesn’t automate everything as the detractors will often insist, driver Randy Pobst reassures us that the GT-R just doesn’t have the same feel that the Z/28 does. Even though understeer is the only thing that he can find to complain about, it just doesn’t get the job done as far as being fun to drive goes. Going hand in hand with the GT-R ideology, the car is described as predictable, which would most definitely be a good thing when hopping behind the wheel of such a machine.
When switching it up and whaling on the Z/28 for a bit, Pobst continues that it is far more enjoyable to drive. The most prominent point he made is that the six speed transmission really makes the driver feel like they have complete control. In addition, the exhaust note of the bellowing LS7 leaves nothing to be desired. The Z/28 is through and through a much more desirable, involving, drivable vehicle. Enjoyability isn’t everything though – it still has to go fast to be respected.
The verdict – When it all came down to it, the Z/28 managed .28 of a second quicker lap time. Granted it didn’t gap the GT-R by much, but getting a leg up on Godzilla is something to write home about. What was definitely a close comparison should silence the fanboys on both sides… for now. With both cars on the up and up it’ll be interesting to see where this battle is headed.