If the title alone wasn’t enough to get your adrenaline burning with desire, you really have to look elsewhere. How often do we get such an awesome comparison (annually I guess, but that’s not the point) with so much horsepower and capability, these three gave a comparison of awesomeness that was unbelievable. Saying one was better than the others is like trying to compare paintings by all-time great artists, we all have our own specific tastes and the real winner is the person behind the wheel of any of these awesome cars, but I digress.
What are They Packing
To start with the Corvette, the power comes in the form of the 650-horsepower 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine this is labeled the LT4. This gives the Z06 195 more horsepower than the Stingray model (as an interesting note, the 1979 versions only had 195 horsepower total). The upgrade in power comes from the improved tooling of the engine and with the pedal down the ZR1 becomes a distant memory for certain.
The chassis is the reworked Z07 version and many carbon-fiber features were added along with a nice bump in price which was well worth it. Add in the carbon-ceramic brakes, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and the Z07 options allow the car to compete with much more expensive cars.
The Porsche 911 showed up with a 560-horsepower 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged flat six-cylinder engine that offers four-wheel driving, steering and a dual-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission. This combination of speed, control and gear changes gives up one the quickest cars in its class. The 911 carried in large ceramic brakes as well to give it the ability to stop quickly when needed.
The third car in the comparison is the Nissan GT-R NISMO which shows up with a 3.8-liter turbocharged V6 engine that is 55 horsepower greater than the base GT-R once the NISMO package is in place. Adding a revised chassis and Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT run-flat tires that are wider up front and built specifically for the NISMO the car is ready to go. A full complement of carbon-fiber aerodynamic parts adds plenty of downforce and lighten the load for greater control.
How Did They Fare
Starting in third place we find the Nissan GT-R NISMO which is starting to show age even with the NISMO package helping the numbers improve dramatically. The ride in this car is more violent and harsh than the other two and the serious lack of control refinements makes it easy to see why the GT-R is in need of a new generation very soon. On the plus side, the car offers no detectable body roll, which at high speeds can be a real problem for anyone taking to the road. Unfortunately the stiffness of the chassis makes it difficult for the car to handle even small bumps, triggering the stability control and causing the car to slow. The transmission was confused as well with the downshifting of the dual-clutch automatic taking too long to be worth it. In manual mode the tranny performs well, but not when left to its own devices. The NISMO package was not worth the additional $50,000 for the price as it only improved the sixty time by one-tenth of a second and the quarter-mile to eleven seconds, an improvement of only 0.2 seconds and three mph faster.
Second place goes to the Porsche 911 Turbo S and for anyone who can afford it, this is a great car to drive with the amazing amount of control found in the car. The ride pleasure was just that with the great visibility, excellent luxury features and a fairly quiet engine overall. In the straight line test the 911 showed off with a sixty time of 2.5 seconds and a quarter-mile time of only 10.6 seconds. The transmission was smooth and easy to follow, making it a ride that would give anyone plenty of enjoyment whenever passing. The 911 did fare poorly in a slalom test coming in behind the GT-R, which put it in last for this particular test. Other than the narrow passage the slalom offers, the 911 has a feeling of being right when driving the car, almost as if it was built around you as the driver.
Topping the charts for this comparison is the Corvette. This car has more grip on the road than the other two combined, sticking to the road as if the tires somehow are magnetized to it. The handling is amazing with responsive control that seems to already know where you want to go and the massively powerful engine does exactly what you want it to, stick you to your seat with a huge smile plastered all over your face. Even though the straight speed time was short of the 911 with a sixty time of 3.3 seconds and the quarter mile of 11.5 seconds, the Corvette never gave a second thought in the slalom easily defeating the other two and giving the control that has been synonymous with Corvette for a long time. The transmission in this awesome beast was nothing short of amazing, shifting easily and quickly when needed and making the ride both exhilarating and controlled. With all the power it seems the stopping might take too long, but actually the stops are short and fast, making it feel like you need to be much softer on the pedal just to avoid whiplash.
All three of these cars are amazing to drive, but hands down the icon of American Sports Cars; the Corvette Z06 is the clear winner. At a lower price by far than the Porsche 911, and having the control and power that leaves the GT-R in the dust the ‘Vette makes a great choice for you when it’s time to let your hair down and really get after it on the track. Be careful though, as Spiderman’s uncle said it best “with great power comes great responsibility” and this is truly one very powerful car.