The mid-engine C8 Chevy Corvette, even in standard form, is already proving it can punch significantly above its horsepower rating. And there’s another car which did the same when it first came out: the Nissan GT-R. Today, the GT-R isn’t exactly cutting-edge. But, as YouTube team Throttle House demonstrates, that doesn’t mean it can’t keep up.
2020 Nissan GT-R vs. C8 Chevy Corvette vs. Mercedes-AMG GT63 S
On paper, it seems like the C8 Chevy Corvette is at a bit of a disadvantage. Firstly, unlike the Nissan GT-R and Mercedes-AMG GT63 S, it has rear-wheel drive, not all-wheel drive. Secondly, though its 6.2-liter V8 develops 495 hp and 470 lb-ft, the Corvette actually has the smallest output of the 3.
However, unlike the other 2, it’s a mid-engine car, placing more weight over the drive wheels during acceleration. It’s also by far the cheapest car here, with a starting price of $59,995.
The $113,540 2020 Nissan GT-R, meanwhile, has a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V6, rated at 595 hp and 467 lb-ft, Motor1 reports. That’s no more power than the 2019 model. However, for 2020 the GT-R received more-responsive turbos, Car and Driver reports, as well as some transmission software updates.
That being said, it’s still a 6-speed dual-clutch, in comparison to the Corvette’s 8-speed. But somewhat surprisingly, the Nissan GT-R is only about 240 pounds heavier than the Corvette, Car and Driver reports.
The $161,200 Mercedes-AMG GT63 S, though, out-powers them both. It has a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that makes 630 hp and 664 lb-ft, routed through a 9-speed automatic.
Weighing almost 4700 pounds, it’s definitely the heaviest of the 3, Car and Driver reports. Even so, it’s the fastest 4-door sedan (and despite the marketing-speak, it’s a sedan, not a coupe) in Car and Driver’s Lightning Lap history. It’s also faster around that track than the 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo.
Running laps around the track, though, isn’t what Throttle House did.
Instead of laps, the Throttle House hosts set the cars up for a more-typical performance comparison: drag races. Specifically, a conventional standing-start drag race, and a rolling drag race, over a ¼-mile.
Despite the powertrain and weight differences, these cars are actually fairly evenly matched. The 2020 C8 Chevy Corvette can go 0-60 in 2.8 seconds, Car and Driver reports. And even with AWD, launch control, and 135 more hp, Car and Driver found the GT63 S needed 2.9 seconds to do the same. The Nissan GT-R, meanwhile, is a bit of an unknown variable. Motor1 found the 2020 model needed 3.2 seconds to hit 60 mph. However, Car and Driver reported a 2018 model’s going 0-60 in 2.9 seconds.
However, launch control and 0-60 times don’t matter in a rolling race. That’s a more accurate portrayal of real-world stoplight launches and takes into account turbo lag and transmission tuning. And that’s where these cars start to drift apart. In Car and Driver’s 5-60 testing, the Corvette pulls ahead of the AMG by 0.8 seconds, and the Nissan GT-R by 0.3 seconds. And it’s the same in 50-70 top gear testing.
How the Nissan GT-R fared
Raw numbers, though, only go so far. And despite having a design dating back to 2009, the Nissan GT-R beat both the Corvette and AMG GT63 S in the standing-start race. Even more surprisingly, despite an excellent start, the less-powerful Corvette beat the Mercedes. The AMG simply couldn’t overcome the weight disadvantage.
The GT63 S’ greater horsepower and torque, though, helped it in the rolling race. But while it placed 1st, the GT-R was only a half-car-length behind. However, the Corvette’s performance was arguably even more impressive. Despite costing roughly half of what the Nissan GT-R costs, it was right behind it in the second race. And this is all before the higher-power Z06 and ZR1 trims have come out.
Still, it goes to show that, while it’s a bit long in the tooth, the Nissan GT-R can still throw down with the best.
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