Car & Driver is a common choice as bathroom reader around Autoblog HQ, though thumbing through the latest issue had us contemplating using the glossy pages for TP. C&D got its hands on Nissan's new GT-R and its development benchmark, the Porsche 911 Turbo. That's great so far, as everyone wants to know how the Nissan stacks up against its bogey. The trouble comes when a BMW M3 gets tossed into the mix. What? The M3 is a hell of a car and it clearly earns its perennial 10-Best status, but it's outgunned and mismatched in this company. Somehow it managed to win a three-way comparo with two supercars anyway.
The explanation given was that the M3 attended as the "voice of reason" and gosh, just happened to be everyone's favorite. It's no great leap to imagine that the smallest, lightest car with sedan lineage would feel lighter on its feet and be a better everyday conveyance than two purpose built supercars. Thanks for the detective work, guys, but we think the M3 is a bit wide of the bullseye at which the GT-R and 911 were aimed. It's long been grumbled that C&D is in cahoots with this automaker or that one (an accusation that's been levied against every one of the big four major auto publications at one point or another), and the outcome of this comparo will surely fan those flames. We call foul on a few levels. The larger issue is the poppycock categories of "Fun to Drive" and the even more preposterous "Gotta Have It Factor" that arguably allow comparison results to be twisted one way or another, but also the reasoning for bringing the M3 knife to a big, turbocharged coupe gunfight is flawed. GT-R and 911 Turbo buyers don't strike us as the type of folks who might cross shop the M3. They want a range-topper, not a segment-pole-sitter.
Here's the real deal - ignoring the noise of the M3, the GT-R spanks the 911 Turbo on the track, while the Porsche feels like a more quality piece (at double the price, it'd better). While both cars sport AWD chassis that vector torque, the Nissan is quicker on its feet and dramaless where the Porsche is swinging wide. Both are a total hoot to drive, but the GT-R team definitely bested its development target as far as raw performance goes. Controversy will undoubtedly sell dead trees, though, and you can't really blame an increasingly irrelevant buff book for trying to find a hook. Take pity - hit the link and share some traffic. Thanks to all our incredulous tipsters.