Porsche 911 GT3 RS vs Nissan GT-R Track Edition
Porsche's latest 911 GT3 RS takes on a maxed out Nissan GT-R in a track and road battle
Track days are more popular than ever, as keen drivers seek out safe thrills away from congested and speed camera covered public roads. As a result, there’s a thriving industry in cars that are designed with race circuits in mind.
One of the latest arrivals is the Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Based on the standard GT3, this new model draws heavily on the brand’s extensive motorsport knowledge to provide a true ‘race car for the road’ experience.
It has all the right ingredients to succeed, as it features a high-revving 495bhp engine, extensive aerodynamic enhancements, a bespoke suspension set-up and four-wheel steering. Yet Porsche also claims that this RS is the most user-friendly model yet – a car you can drive to work in during the week, before pounding around a circuit at weekends.
Yet it’s not the only sports car that’s been given a circuit flavour. The Nissan GT-R Track Edition combines the explosive engine and four-wheel-drive transmission of the regular model with suspension, tyres and stronger bodyshell of the wild Nismo version.
Car group tests
Both these cars offer intense on-track excitement, but at this rarefied price point they also have to be usable every day. We hit road and track to see which of these contenders gets your pulse racing faster and leaves a bigger grin on your face.
Head to head
Both cars feature six-cylinder units and are within 50bhp of one another. But they’re very different.
The 911’s naturally aspirated flat-six is pure race car, with a screaming 8,500rpm red line, razor-sharp response and exotic materials. The GT-R’s hand-built twin-turbo isn’t as characterful, yet it’s brutally effective, giving 0-60mph in 3.4 seconds.
To maximise track performance, the 911 is fitted with Michelin Cup Sport 2 tyres. These have a 265 section at the front and a mammoth 325 at the rear.
The Nissan’s Dunlop SP Sport Maxx tyres are narrower, at 255 and 285 respectively. Both sets of rubber are a little twitchy when wet, but deliver staggering grip once warmed through.
The Nissan’s body is virtually identical to the standard car’s, but the 911 has plenty of aero enhancements. The unique vented front wings generate up to 110kg of downforce, while the vast rear spoiler creates 220kg. Overall, it offers twice as much downforce as Porsche’s 997 GT3 RS 4.0.
1st place: Porsche 911 GT3 RS
We wanted to find the car that delivered more thrills on the road and the track – and in this respect, the Porsche is almost without equal. Outrageously fast and hugely involving, the new GT3 RS redefines what’s possible for a road-legal car to do on a circuit. Yet it’s remarkably easy to live with as well as surprisingly efficient. It’s also a sure-fire future classic.
2nd place: Nissan GT-R Track Edition
Nearly £90,000 may seem a lot for a Nissan, but money will be no object for buyers as this Track Edition is the best GT-R yet. With ferocious performance, agile handling and plenty of kit, the car still delivers lots of bang for your buck. It just struggles to contain its weight after a few hard laps, the firm ride proves irritating on the road and it has a real thirst for fuel.
BMW M4 GTS
Like the Porsche, the M4 GTS has a stripped-out interior, aerodynamic additions and nearly 500bhp. A rear-wheel-drive layout promises lively handling, while the BMW claims 0-62mph in just 4.3 seconds. And with just 30 examples set for the UK, exclusivity is guaranteed.
|Porsche 911 GT3 RS||Nissan GT-R Track Edition|
|On the road price/total as tested||£132,451/£145,087||£88,560/£89,410|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)||£63,603/48.0%||£45,298/51.2%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£9,716/£19,432||£6,468/£12,936|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£2,690/£4,483||£3,526/£5,876|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||50/£1,209/M/£505||50/£1,310/M/£505|
|Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service||£700/£1,250/£700*||£297/£416/£727|
|Peak power/revs||495/8,250 bhp/rpm||542/6,400 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque/revs||460/6,250 Nm/rpm||632/3,200 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||7-spd twin-clutch/rwd||6-spd twin-clutch/4wd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||64 litres/foam||74 litres/foam|
|Boot capacity||125 litres||315 litres|
|Turning circle/drag coefficient||11.0 metres/0.34Cd||12.0 metres/0.26Cd|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (unltd)/3yrs||3yrs (60k)/3yrs|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||12,000 miles (2yrs)/36||12,000 miles (1yr)/225|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||6th/8th||28th/29th|
|0-60/30-70mph||3.7/2.5 secs||3.4/2.9 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||2.5/3.3 secs||2.1/3.3 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th||4.0/5.0/6.1 secs||3.4/5.1 secs/N/A|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||193mph/2,900rpm||196mph/2,400rpm|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||23.2/5.1/327 miles||17.7/3.9/288 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||281/296g/km/37%||369/275g/km/37%|
|Automatic box/stability/cruise control||Yes/yes/£267||Yes/yes/yes|
|Climate control/leather/heated seats||Yes/£2,064/£320||Yes/yes/yes|
|Metallic paint/xenon lights/keyless go||Yes/yes/no||£850/LEDs/yes|