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GT-R vs. 370Z

Interesting article in March issue of Road & Track: RoadandTrack.com -- Feature - Countersteer (3/2009) Countersteer -- by Sam Mitani GT-R Versus 370Z: Of Nissan's two high-performance children, who does

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Old 02-12-2009, 07:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Post GT-R vs. 370Z

Interesting article in March issue of Road & Track:

RoadandTrack.com -- Feature - Countersteer (3/2009)

Countersteer -- by Sam Mitani
GT-R Versus 370Z: Of Nissan's two high-performance children, who does Mom like best?

When it comes to sporty cars from Japan, Nissan has a monopoly on the genre these days. The GT-R has rocked the high-performance GT establishment, going head to head with the likes of Aston Martin, Maserati and Porsche, and with Honda's decision to nix development of the next-gen Acura NSX, a legitimate Japanese challenger won't be coming for a while. The company then followed this act with the introduction of the 370Z, another performance car that's equally impressive when you consider its value factor.

While covering these cars, I came across an amusing rumor the engineering teams of the GT-R and 370Z don't like each other. There seems to be a secret rivalry between the two, and while no one at Nissan will publicly admit to this, the tension is obvious inside the R&D walls in Atsugi, Japan.

All this brings up an interesting question: Which is the more important car, the GT-R or 370Z? As far as performance and wow factors go, it's the GT-R hands down. But when you consider the Nissan 370Z's projected sales figures and history in the U.S., the scales tip the other way. The 370Z is expected to sell around 23,000 units in its first full year, about 10 times more than the GT-R, making it dramatically more profitable than the 2+2. Also, the Z brand is an icon in America, with its history dating back to 1969. Therefore, if I had to vote, my ballot would be cast for the 370Z. Some of my colleagues were not so quick to agree.

"How can you deny that the GT-R has boosted Nissan's image to new heights? Because of the GT-R, Nissan is now mentioned in the same sentence as Aston, Ferrari and Porsche. The GT-R took the company from Wal-Mart to Gucci," one editor said.

Good point. I decided to pose the question to 370Z chief Shinjiro Yukawa and GT-R creator Kazutoshi Mizuno (neither one knew I was asking the same question to the other). Yukawa went with a somewhat politically correct response:

"I believe the original 350Z was a symbol for the revival of Nissan and helped put Nissan's image back on the map. The roles are different between the GT-R and 370Z, and both are important for Nissan; we try not to think of the two cars as rivals. If I had to say which is the better car, I say let the customers judge."

Mizuno sidestepped the comparison altogether. He maintains that the GT-R is a different breed than any other Nissan product and is in a class by itself. "The GT-R is the world's first multifunction supercar. It has given Nissan a high-end fashionable brand image that no other car has done. As for the 370Z, I have no comment," he said.

The "X" factor here is motorsports. When I posed the question to Japanese enthusiasts, most of them said the GT-R was by far the more important car, citing its racing heritage as the major reason. It won nearly every domestic sports-car race in the late 1960s and is still racking up wins in Super GT, Japan's most popular racing series.

On this continent, the same holds true for the Z. Numerous racing victories that include IMSA championships and the 24 Hours of Daytona, not to mention famous drivers such as John Morton, Bob Sharp, Steve Millen and the late Paul Newman, have contributed largely to the Z's status here.

So is it the GT-R's turn to start making history on the racetrack in America? Although nothing official has been announced from the company, my suspicions were roused at last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, when I ran into three executives from Nismo (Nissan's motorsports arm). They had the deer-in-the-headlights look when they saw me and maintained they were there to "just enjoy the race"...nice try, fellas. Now rumors are flying out of Japan that the GT-R will contest the GT1 class at this year's Le Mans endurance race, and then continue on to the American Le Mans Series. There's even talk of a commemorative-edition GT-R called the GT-R LM, of which only 30 will be made. The price for this 600-plus-bhp car is said to be north of $150,000.

In this dark economic environment where companies are pulling out of motorsports, it remains unclear whether Nissan will go through with its plans. If the GT-R has lasting power and enjoys success on the racetrack, it has the potential of becoming the company's most successful sports car ever. Then, Nissan will have two equally powerful icons in the U.S. And by then, the two engineering teams will probably be coming to blows.
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would love too see either one a LeMans, but we have to wait until the end of the month.
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice find Semtex!

IMO I would say that the GT-R, The Z, and the G37 are all equally important for Nissan right now. There is no denying that the GT-R hit a Grand Slam that gives Nissan world recognition. I buzz about its company that I would say most car company's haven't had for a long time. Last time I think there was a good buzz about a Manufacturer was when Dodge pumped out the Viper. Then they pushed out the intrepid and neon a strong line of cars somewhere they messed up obviously but another story.

The Z is the stablemate because equally impressive as the article says for price/value. Its heritage in North America has to be maintained and new customers for Nissan. I would be willing to say that Nissan will do well with the 370z just as they did for the 350z because the 370z is getting some of the buzz of the GT-R there aren't many article's out there about the 370z that don't mention the GT-R mostly saying Nissan did it again.

I see the GT-R as the big brother to the 370z.

If those to houses worked together ahhh the things they could come up with, maybe there competition will drive them for perfection.

G37 is up against BMW and will be battling it out in Europe now. A win or tie here will definitely be good for Nissan it maybe more important then the GT-R or the Z. They really need to shake the poor mans bimmer that they sometimes receive and refine the ride quality a little bit more. Then they will be right along side of BMW and Audi in the luxury department. The most important thing for a Auto Maker right now is Sales not buzz they have gotten there buzz they need sales. A win or a tie in the luxury department will have them see more profit then the Z or GT-R could bring.

Just my
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I read the article on a news stand and it made me ponder the question as well.

I've lusted about the GT-R ever since I learned about them in the early 90s during one of my many trips to Japan. Long before the Playstation crowd ever knew what a GT-R was. But it was forbidden fruit, never destined for the US market until now. The new R35 has certainly given Nissan a halo car with the "it" factor. When I think about buying a GT-R, it's like buying a Ferrari, only more affordable. But it's Ferrari like in that I'd rarely drive it. Just happy to own one, keep it spotless in my garage, take it for a Sunday drive, but never ever leave it parked anywhere in public.

The new Z on the other hand is a real car. One that I can drive to my heart's content. Nevertheless, just knowing the GT-R is out there, puts the Z in its shadow. So this one's a tough call. The GT-R is Nissan's new image car. The Z will be the one to survive these dark econmic times.
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Old 02-13-2009, 04:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think the GT-R is like the big brother for the Fairlady Z .
But both cars are for different type of consumers .

But I dont like that nissan try to make the 370z like small GT-R . I mean there are some spots that they took from GT-R .

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Old 02-13-2009, 05:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Obviously can't compare the 2. IF the gtr was more in the price of the z, i guarantee people would say, "the Z, I didn't know they came out with a new Z"!
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I try to take a step back and look at it like this. Kudos to Nissan for even having two sports cars to compare against one another. What's the sportiest thing that Toyota has in its lineup? Wait, just asking that question nearly made my head explode, because "sporty" and "Toyota" don't go together. Crap, is that blood coming out of my ears? What about Honda? Besides the S2000 -- which is anemic in the torque dept. anyway -- what have they got? The Civic Si? Someone please stab me with an adrenaline injection before I go into a coma. This is why I am loyal to Nissan. This is why, at the age of 38, I am already on my 10th Nissan vehicle. This is why, if you look in one of my cupboards, I have two Nissan coffee mugs that I bought 22 years ago. Hats off to Nissan for giving enthusiasts not just one, but two offerings in the sports car department.

So really, what I'm getting at is that this GT-R vs. 370Z article is interesting and all (which is why I posted it). Which of these Nissan sports cars is better? A thought-provoking question to be sure. But let's take a step back and recognize how remarkable it is that the question can even be asked.

Long live the Nissan Motor Corporation!

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Old 02-13-2009, 02:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Semtex,
The sportiest automobile Toyota has is 5.7L Tundra (which I have). I wish they would bring back the supra. It was rumored but who knows know. I like the new 370z but I want to drive the new Cayman S first.
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Old 02-13-2009, 02:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad View Post
I would love too seeither one a LeMans, but we have to wait until the end of the month.
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FIA GT1 is coming soon!

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Old 02-13-2009, 03:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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^^ That thing looks awesome! I wonder what the NASCAR reference at the bottom of the page is tho. lol
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Old 02-13-2009, 03:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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People sure like to compare cars, even if they are in entire different classes. Why don't we compare the cobalt SS and the z06 while we are at it :P

In the end, they were both good decisions. Yes the Z will be more profitable, but the GTR took the nissan name to new levels and got them respect they were lacking.
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Old 02-13-2009, 04:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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comparing apples to oranges. never works.

in the end, they are two completely different types of cars. up to the buyer to decide, i guess.
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Old 02-14-2009, 01:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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WOW you have money like that. What do you do for a living fi you don't mind me asking. The new Caymen S is like $70k plus. I read an article and the hp is rated at 320 and the TQ is some where around 300. I think it's a little faster than the 370 in the quarter mile. It's a really nice looking car. The front head lights look similar to the carrera GT. I would say if you got the money to buy the Caymen go for it. I would if i could afford it. But then again the gtr is in the same price range. I may go for that instead. But only if it had the f1 paddle shifter or a 6 sp manual. I don't know why nissan didn't come with a manual.

As for toyota, I wished they would of brought back the supra.

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Semtex,
The sportiest automobile Toyota has is 5.7L Tundra (which I have). I wish they would bring back the supra. It was rumored but who knows know. I like the new 370z but I want to drive the new Cayman S first.
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Old 02-14-2009, 05:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Why stop at the Cayman S? Another 10 grand and one can get a GT-R. Which brings up another comparison point. The Cayman S was the benchmark for the Z. For half the price the Z will match the 2008 and older Cayman S models. The 911 turbo was the benchmark for the GT-R, which is much cheaper, but not quite half the price of the 911 turbo.
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:23 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Very good point. Just drop the extra 10k and get the GTR.
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Why stop at the Cayman S? Another 10 grand and one can get a GT-R. Which brings up another comparison point. The Cayman S was the benchmark for the Z. For half the price the Z will match the 2008 and older Cayman S models. The 911 turbo was the benchmark for the GT-R, which is much cheaper, but not quite half the price of the 911 turbo.
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