- Oct 9, 2008
Nissan to Porsche: Put the GT-R down before you hurt yourself
The GT-R/911 schoolyard scuffuffle continues, with Nissan looking at Porsche's test and basically saying "yer doin it wrong" to the German automaker. Chief engineer Kazutoshi Mizuno has graciously offered remedial driving classes to the driver for Porsche's lapping session where a GT-R was reportedly 25 seconds off Nissan's torrid time of 7 minutes, 29 seconds. Porsche had concluded that special tires must have been quietly fitted in a quest for 'Ring primacy. Porsche has yet to say anything other than "Ve don't sink zee car can do it in schtock form."
Not so, says Nissan. While a claim to the fastest production car on the Nürburgring might help prospective customers froth up some money, and owners are unlikely to try verifying the claim, Nissan is not interested in wasting time on one-offs, according to Mizuno. "For us, testing the car in standard production specification is far more relevant", says the engineer. The very tires that carried driver Toshio Suzuki on the 7:29 run are in the hands of Sumitomo, and Nissan would encourage interested parties to STFU and go look at the rolling stock. It seems Nissan thinks Porsche needs a little help figuring out the GT-R, to which the company will be happy to help. "We are aware that several automakers have purchased the GT-R for their own testing and evaluation," Nissan says in its most recent rebuttal, "we would welcome the opportunity to help any auto manufacturer with understanding the full capabilities of the GT-R." Nissan's statement is after the jump.
Nissan Motor Company Ltd.
October 9, 2008
NISSAN GT-R TEST PROCEDURES
In light of comments made recently in the media concerning the testing of the Nissan GT-R, it is clear that there are some important facts that were not accurately represented.
- On September 24, 2007 the Nissan GT-R recorded a lap time of the Nordschleife circuit at Germany's Nurburgring of seven minutes and 38 seconds. This lap time was completed in weather conditions that the Nissan test team knew would not show the full potential of the car.
- On April 17, 2008 the Nissan test team was back at the Nurburgring and recorded a new lap time of seven minutes and 29 seconds, several times.
- For all testing at the Nurburgring and other circuits such as Sendai Highlands in Japan, the GT-R development team used production specification vehicles with production specification tires. These tests are part of the extensive performance and durability program undertaken before, during and after the commercial introduction of the GT-R.
- The GT-R is a world-class supercar developed to be sold in multiple global markets. While specifications can differ across the various markets, the cars used to record both Nurburgring lap times were identical to the Japanese market production specification cars.
- For the April 2008 test, the GT-R carried an additional 50kg of weight due to the Marelli data recorder and video camera equipment. In addition, the test was witnessed by 'Best Motoring' magazine from Japan who reported the test in their July 2008 issue, which included a DVD program of the session.
- Nissan records the lap times around the Nurburgring using the same methodology and measuring locations as Sport Auto Magazine in Germany. Sport Auto Magazine provides the most consistent and objective measurement of lap times around the Nurburgring, allowing accurate comparisons between different vehicles.
- In both timed lap sessions at the Nurburgring, chief test driver and professional racing driver, Toshio Suzuki was at the wheel. Suzuki has been the chief test driver on the GT-R program throughout the vehicle's development.
The GT-R offers two different tire choices for customers:
- Bridgestone POTENZA RE070R
- Dunlop SP SPORT 600 DSST CTT
- For the tests conducted at the Nurburgring where the lap times of 7:38 and 7:29 were recorded, the Dunlop tires were used. The tires – which are designed for high performance driving in the dry and wet - used in the tests were identical to the production specification tires available to GT-R customers.
- In June, 2008 Dunlop Japan issued a press release announcing that their tires had been used by Nissan to record the 7:29 lap time. The release can be accessed in Japanese and English at:
- For any media interested in seeing the actual tires used at the test (7:29 lap time), they should contact the Public Relations Department at Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. in Japan.
Driving the GT-R
- Consistent with industry benchmarking practices, we are aware that several auto makers have purchased the GT-R for their own testing and evaluation. Like all GT-R customers, we recommend that any auto maker buying a GT-R should follow the recommended run-in procedures, service schedules and maintenance to ensure the maximum performance from their car.
- In addition, we offer performance driving courses for prospective and current GT-R owners to help them get the best performance from their car. We would welcome the opportunity to help any auto manufacturer with understanding the full capabilities of the GT-R.
From Kazutoshi Mizuno, Chief Vehicle Engineer and Chief Product Specialist for GT-R:
"We have used circuits like the Nurburgring and Sendai extensively during the development of the GT-R. The fastest lap-time was never the objective but a simple parameter for us to measure the GT-R in a consistent way against other world class supercars."
"Testing a car with specialized parts such as unique tires or suspension has no meaning for us. The GT-R was designed from the start to be a supercar that could be driven anywhere, anytime and by anyone. For us, testing the car in standard production specification is far more relevant than creating a one-off vehicle that our customers cannot buy."
ConclusionDue to the weather conditions at the Nurburgring, testing has now stopped and will resume around April 2009. Nissan will be back at the Nurburgring testing both the standard GT-R and upcoming additional models. We look forward to welcoming more members of the media to join us for these test sessions, consistent with our transparency at previous test sessions.