The burden of expectations: two charged sports car race to the finish line neck and neck.
On every new car as soon as it becomes aware of his upcoming debut, automakers, members of the press and fans of the brand puts great hopes. Arguments and heated debates are multiplied when we try to draw conclusions about how this car will go and what will take place in its segment, based on the information available. Most demonstrations and numerous premature judgments concerning class sports cars, which leads us to two striking examples.
Chevrolet Corvette Z06, like the Nissan GT-R NISMO, was one of the most anticipated premier last year. The first was thoroughly improved exterior and interior, as well as an excellent engine and a corresponding suspension, which will allow him to encroach on the title supercar-killer (killer supercar), deservedly assigned to the second, completely revised version titled “supercar-killer” of this decade. Both cars promise dynamics at the level of machines in two to three times more expensive, and both achieve it in completely different ways.
Chevrolet chose traditional for the 21st century formula. 6.2-liter V8 with a supercharger, located in the front, coupled with a seven-speed manual transmission, which is trying to convey 650 horsepower and 880 Nm of torque to the rear axle by means of an electronic limited-slip differential, poluslik Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 and aerodynamic kit Chevrolet’s Z07 Stage III (more suitable to participate in this test model with an eight automatic transmission was available at the time of comparison).
Nissan chose not exactly new, but not the traditional way, as a Chevrolet. V6 engine with twin turbos and a working volume of 3.8 liters sends power to a six-speed automatic transmission with two clutches located in the rear of the machine, which immediately spins the rear wheels, but constantly monitors the level of grip of the front wheels to the road and, if necessary part of them transmits torque to maintain optimum dynamics. NISMO influence can be seen in the increased to 600 hp and 652 Nm of power, as well as improved aerodynamics and patches transmission and control systems work all-wheel drive.
Since the history of the model began in 2007 in Japan with the R35 GT-R, Nissan is constantly improving complex software GT-R NISMO, and this time is not an exception. In this case, changes were made to the system of control of the engine to remove a small dip in power in the midrange, we noticed a little earlier, in August last year. The result is noticeable as a pilot, and in time the circle. From the place of the 1760 NISMO pound accelerate to 60 miles / hour (96 km / h) in 2.9 seconds, as before, but now kvoter passes for 11 seconds (speed at the finish of 203.7 km / h), which is one tenth of a second and more for two km / hr faster. Failure? What is failure? An excellent result, but the advantage Z06 50 hp and 229 Nm in combination with at mass 160 kg (1600 kg) should affect its performance. In reality it is not. Powerful Corvette need 3.3 seconds to dial from a place 96 km / h and 11.4 seconds to go 402 meters (at the finish he accelerates to 200 km / h). Admirers of the model will notice that the new product on the tenth of a second and 2.9 km / h slower on both counts than the first model in 2015, which we tested. The reason, in our opinion, lies in aerodynamics. That first Z06 was equipped with aerodynamic bodywork Stage II, and this car is “dressed” in the scope of Stage III, which adds a massive rear spoiler and front splitter. At high speeds they offer undeniable advantages in handling, but the extra downforce that they generate, means additional resistance. If we compare it with the NISMO, Corvette is hampered not only by friction, but also its more sluggish transmission and the need to send all the power just two wheels.
However, in the arsenal of the Corvette have other tricks. For example, its massive uglekeramicheskie brake discs, wider and grippy front tires and lighter weight allow it to slow down more efficiently. With a speed of 96 km / h Z06 stops at 27.7 meters. GT-R NISMO this takes 29.5 meters.
Generally, these machines are designed not to participate in drag Racing, although this does not prevent them from being spectacular in the discipline. These are cars for the track, which you can drive on normal roads. They are designed for cornering, and in this they are also very good. The median NISMO 1,3g to test for lateral acceleration and 23.1 seconds in the “eight” with an average lateral acceleration of 0,99g make it one of the best cars ever fell into our hands. Despite the fact that his “eight” was 0.2 seconds slower than the other tested NISMO, these 0,99g – much better and are the best indicator for the GT-R in general (the previous record 0,91g).
Both cars provide the dynamics at the level of cars in two and three times more expensive.
No matter how tricky GT-R may be, for the Z06 it is not a competitor, because the combination of speed and grip make the last almost new record. At the moment, Z06 showed the second time in the “eight”, second only to the Porsche 918 Spyder. His time was 22.3 seconds, lateral acceleration in average 1,06g, which is 0.2 seconds faster than the other Z06, not to mention the acceleration (was 0,98g). If you analyze the passage of the route in detail, the Corvette higher speeds on straight stretches and brake later and harder than NISMO; in the corners, he was also faster. And all this in spite of the slight but steady oversteer, which is expressed in about the middle of the turn, which, if miss the moment, can easily go into an uncontrollable skid steer followed. In a simple test for lateral acceleration Z06 again improved his time and has strengthened its position as the car with the best grip of all that we were tested: on average, 1,17g, the previous record 1,16g.
Unfortunately Corvette Z06, all these figures are not able to help him on the track. We released both cars to the legendary track Willow Springs, so that they can properly display their abilities and unleash the monstrous power on the track Big Track, known as “the fastest track in the West.” Its length is 3895 meters: it turns nine, ranging from steep and technically difficult to pass up high and long, straight stretches that allow powerful cars from achieving their potential. We are pleased to invite our driver Randy Pobst to conduct this test and it showed an impressive lap time of 1: 25.70 on the NISMO and a 1: 27.10 at the wheel Corvette.
How could this happen? We were surprised no less than you are now. In Z06 indisputable advantage in weight, power and cohesion, and yet he lost his opponent more than two seconds. In fact, he did not outstripped even far less powerful (and easy) Porsche 911 GT3, and this in spite of the enormous difference in the 175 hp and 442 Nm. That’s what the data show: Z06 mainly NISMO ahead and developed a high speed in the apex of most turns, but NISMO began to accelerate earlier out of corners. Moreover, NISMO was noticeably faster on the straights, showed higher than the Z06, speed: 9.5 km / h on a straight line and accelerating at 11.2 km / h at the finish.
The only explanation we could find, it’s aerodynamics. Big Z06 front splitter and rear spoiler create a vertical downforce, which helps the car to be faster in the apex of the turn, but the additional drag on his brakes booster lines. On the “eight” is not felt because of low speeds. To verify the correctness of our assumptions, we have removed the central bar spoiler and asked Randy to do another lap around the track. As we expected, Z06 added to the direct (1.6 km / h faster on the booster line), but slowed down in the corners, because the absence of additional downforce provokes him to a more pronounced oversteer. Add to this the tendency to overheat Z06 after the first round, which makes it the computer to limit the power to avoid further heating, so that the machine becomes even slower.
“Feels like the car faster (than showing her lap), but I would not say it 650 horses – said Randy. – I just thought that it would be much faster. “He also lamented the fact that she had too much oversteer in the apex, and the gas pedal too spicy, so dosing capacity was extremely difficult. Then he said something that we from him never heard before: “I would add to this car a little understeer, it is clearly not enough. It would be trimmed back, to the front of excellent adhesion. “Then he added: “Those circles when I connect PTM (System Performance Traction Management), I realized that the work itself took a stability control system. I really do not like it, but it helps to cope with excess understeer. “He also preferred mode of Sport, and not Track, since the suspension settings in this mode proved to be too rigid. “She just beat me, despite the fact that this track can not be called hard.” There were also positive developments: “The brakes are phenomenal. The sensitivity of the pedals, huge potential, these brakes are much better than the GT-R. Z06 is much more interesting to manage. It is a challenge. GT-R is too boring. And I like the manual. This is old-school. I myself old-school ».
GT-R Randy has not caused a flurry of emotions. “He always keeps everything under control. They removed the excess understeer, which was in the previous version. It is more balanced. I would like to see it in slicks and with larger brakes. I think I would handle it. Power delivery is also improved. “
NISMO has always focused on the fact, without causing too much bright emotions.
Still in a state of shock from the results of a trip around the track, we went with Carlos Lago one of the best ways to California to check whether the test results will be reflected on track to situations in the real world. Under the new conditions rivalry began to gain degrees. We grumbled and doubted, discussing how the advantages and disadvantages of each of the vehicles counterbalance each other. Lago found out that he will be driving faster NISMO due to unrealistic ability of the car out of the corners at high speed. I found that the powerful brakes Z06 will give me confidence and enable faster cornering, where incredible grip provides good speed. That oversteer that we found on the track, on the road does not manifest itself. We agreed that the higher landing in the NISMO provides better visibility, but the car seems to be more severe, and still growing sense of heel and then there is no trace in the lower and sports Z06. Also, it was impossible to ignore the fact that the NISMO harder Corvette, which is felt in the turns and braking. In the end we agreed that the Z06 little fun in the management due to a mechanical transmission, more athletic fit and gorgeous sound.
When it was time to go in the back, very not a short path, doubts I had. Magnetorheological dampers third generation, set in the Z06, remain the best in its class and give it an unrivaled comfort on the road, but not so on a hard NISMO, even in the soft mode Comfort. The desire to seek out NISMO every flaw in the pavement very quickly tiring. Of course, the mechanics Z06 requires some effort and skill when driving in heavy traffic machines, but easy to grip makes this process is almost imperceptible. Where more problems delivering heat from the partition between the cabin and the engine compartment and the central tunnel; first I be fried legs and then heated the entire cabin. On the track and high speeds do not notice, because the engine compartment has time to cool ram air, but during rush hour can only include air conditioning.
When it’s time to wrap up, we were stunned. Corvette Z06 was better in everyday life and in the corners. Nissan GT-R on the track faster and direct. On a good road, these machines are equally comfortable. How to choose the winner? At first, I decided to ask the opinion of Randy, find out what kind of car he liked more. His response: «Corvette. GT-R is too boring in its uncompromising efficiency (on the track). But if I wanted to drive on the track, I would choose Nissan ».
In general, we have come to the same conclusion. Z06 us to have fun, but also from the fact that NISMO – an excellent option for the track, it is impossible to dismiss. If we choose the best car for the driver, the sensitivity Z06 and its fascination could provide additional points, but it never happened. These cars are designed for the track, and there GT-R is better, though Corvette very good, and for two-thirds of the price. GT-R is worth much more expensive, but in his case, get exactly what you pay for. Point in our debate put the fact that in spite of the difference in the cost of NISMO can do more with less. He received his old body, it is much harder, it is less powerful brakes, tires its smaller size, it lags behind in power, and he has much less torque. And, despite all this, on the road it is as swift as the Z06, but on the track leaves the competition behind. To overcome such obstacles and significant victory over the Corvette, we give the victory in our test Nissan GT-R NISMO, albeit with a minimum separation from the opponent.
Godzilla again ahead
When we left a diagram best laps Z06 and GT-R, it was greatly puzzled. So whether Nissan faster at higher speeds? Is Corvette in the second long hairpin much more grip than the GT-R? The data do not lie. (We wrote both circles with two loggers Vbox to provide the most accurate data). But on both lines, accelerating and finishing, Nissan each time was faster Corvette. Different settings transmissions? Aerodynamics? Overheating? Meanwhile, the more laps we did, the worse it gets Z06 grip the road in the second hairpin. The heated air increases the pressure in the tires? Also, pay attention to pause, Randy made between the fourth and fifth turns on the Z06 (not to waste time for changing gear) and its very early quenching before the ninth turn, caused a lack of confidence in the successful completion of at high speed. Often, such a comparison of data requires a lot of time, which is not always enough for a detailed analysis that would allow to get answers to all questions. But we do know that in spite of fluctuations in speed graph, Nissan GT-R quickly became leaders and not give up their positions until the finish, which came with a margin of 85 meters.