• Nov 19, 2009
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A few months back we were lucky enough to roll around in a 2010 Nissan GT-R. On our way up to a pre-burnt Angeles Crest Highway for the now infamous flip-flop-gate photoshoot, yours truly began explaining to our intrepid photographer Drew Phillips just exactly how Nissan's latest and greatest is faster than a speeding Gallardo, more powerful than a F430 and able to leap tall canyon roads without breaking a sweat. And on and on and on. When I finally shut up, Drew asked me, "Would you take a GT-R over a GT500?" Whoa...

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I couldn't say "yes." In many ways, the new 2010 Shelby GT500 is the yang to the GT-R's yin. The Nissan represents a highly specialized, bespoke car, while the Shelby represents the proud American tradition of stuffing a bigger motor into an existing chassis. Aside from interior bits (like the start button) there are very few pieces Godzilla shares with other, lesser Nissans. Under the Shelby sits a V6 Hertz rent-a-special waiting to happen.



In terms of practicality, the Nissan can run around town in full auto mode while the Shelby has a bigger back seat (snore, on both points). Godzilla represents the future, while the GT500 is a much improved (maybe idealized?) version of the past. One has a sophisticated, hand built, super-computerized twin-turbo all-aluminum V6 hooked up to a paddle-shifted dual-clutch transmission feeding all four wheels. The other features a supercharger bolted on to an old iron truck motor driving the rear wheels via three pedals and six-speed manual. The Nissan has a sophisticated suspension system that can adjust itself a zillion times a nanosecond (or whatever) and the Shelby has a solid rear axle. However, both cars pack underrated motors that make more power than they advertise. And while the 2010 Shelby GT500 is very fast and very capable, the 2010 Nissan GTR is ludicrously fast and ridiculously capable. About twice as expensive, too.



But throwing that last bit out -- as well as resale, depreciation, reliability, practicality, insurance rates and anything else that gets in the way of this pure fantasy mental exercise -- which car would you rather have parked downstairs? Talk about a tough one. I'm going to go with 51 Nissan. But don't push it, because both of these cars are that superlatively good. You?




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  • 215 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      lottery win money - Nissan, my money - Ford

      Either way, will never get them past my wife....... I get speeding tickets in our minivan
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love to take GTR any day, IMO, its much better build car than a Mustang...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think the trouble for me would have to be the suspension on the GT500. As someone pointed out, a better comparison would've been the Supersnake versus the GTR, then it would be the Supersnake I think, but till then, I'd stick with the GTR.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would have to say the Shelby because it will stand the test of time and always remain good looking..It's a car you can hand down from gen to gen and still hold it's value and popularity...The GT-R will get old very fast the minute the new one comes into production which is the case for the majority of JDM cars...As for driving dynamics yes the GT-R is hands down the better performance but unless you do auto cross or illegal street racing or any sort of "illegal" driving it won't ever be driven the way it can be driven...so 99.9% of the time daily cheap trills during short burst of acceleration is what is going to be mostly be experienced; which is something both cars can do..adding to the fact that the Shelby will be a lot easier to work on the car then the GT-R is because it's delicate "super model"....
      • 5 Years Ago
      As a daily-driver, only car in my garage?

      GTR - with less aggressive tires AWD would be all-season useful, its farily luxurious inside, and while the suspension is stiff it could still be set to a softer mode for day in/out driving.

      As a 2nd (or possibly 3rd) car, something to cruise/pose/or whatever in

      The Mustang - Its got more charisma, the looks are more endearing to the population than the samurai cold GTR, and its probably a hoot in that dinosaur, throwback way.

      All that said, I think I'd have neither for the money, and go with the Lotus Evora. Sublime and compact trumps overweight brute force in my book every day.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would rather have the GT-500 for myself. If given the Nissan, I would sell it and put the money in better places. I can't stand the front end nor can I deal with Nissan's shotty quality and reputation. Plus, nothing sounds better than a V8 Mustang.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I picked the GT500. Yeah, the GT-R is a better performer, but car-buying isn't all about figuring out which one has the best performance. Personally, I'm a sucker for just about anything with a big loud V8 and a proper manual, even if it's the slower car. Enjoying the roar of the exhaust, the whine of the supercharger, and the squeal and rubber smell from a big smoky burnout is something I can't get in the GT-R.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Going to go with GT-R for this one, because I want the 50th Anniversary Mustang, GT500.

      So, really... I want the Mustang.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I was born in North America and therefore would never ever buy an import car over domestic ...but that wouldn't matter anyway as I bleed love of all things "muscle car" so the Stang is a no brainer. Never big on the ricer looks.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ahem ahem....ONCE UPON A TIME JEREMY CLARKSON PULLED HIS NECK WHILE CORNERING THE GTR, how is that less fun than a gt500....that is all :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would never buy a car with a solid rear axle. I don't care how fast it is.
      • 5 Years Ago
      GT500 all the way. It's hard to beat the feel and sound of a V8
        • 5 Years Ago
        off topic...how did you add the picture to your profile? Everytime I try to add a picture it says it will be updated shortly but never does. thanks
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