Sport Coupe Comparison: War of the Sports Car Worlds

Scott Dukes

Once upon a time, before globalism became a favorite buzzword, cars really said something about the countries that produced them. The frugality and reliability of a Honda subcompact spoke to the ingenuity and determination of post-war Japan. The power and size of a tail-finned Cadillac convertible embodied American swagger. And so on. The automobile used to be as much an expression of culture as a country's art or food.

Not anymore. It's true that cars have become better, but in the process, their national identities have faded to the point that naming their country of origin is usually little more than a matter of parts content and politics. What's more American, a Kentucky-built Toyota Camry or a Mexico-built Ford Fusion? Just as important, how do they actually differ from one another?

All of this is why we're drawn to the four coupes you see above. The established car-building countries may be in virtual lockstep when it comes to stamping out family sedans, compacts, and crossovers, but ask them to produce a premium sports car, and you get the Porsche 911 Carrera S, the Nissan GT-R, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, and, now, the Lotus Evora. Sure, these cars are delightful for the way they look, sound, and perform. But what makes them really appealing is that they're so different from one another, as distinct and vibrant as the countries that produced them. With Lotus launching its decidedly British addition to the field, we decided it was time to celebrate automotive diversity with a good old-fashioned international shoot-out.

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I also enjoyed the article. The only piece that irked me a bit was the GT-R Techtonics by Eric Tingwall.The "Execution" piece should be accurate, but it's not.There are thing that can slide as they are somewhat accurate: 100% of the torque to the rear wheels (in fact it's 98%, but that's nitpicking).The main egregious statements are:"Hydraulically controlled multiplate clutch". It's actually an Electro-Magnetic controlled center diff (GKN's EMCD).Also, "An electronically controlled LSD sits between the rear wheels". Also inaccurate, while there is a VCD traction system in ATTESA, the rear diff is a mechanically passive 1.5way LSD, a GKN Driveline SuperLSD if I'm not mistaken.. what's certain is it's not electronically controlled like the R34 V Spec was.
QUOTE:"Shifting is another issue, as the gas and brake pedals are poorly spaced for quick blips down into second gear and the beefy shifter makes it easy to miss the change back into third. For this reason, it's best to stay in third the entire run. And that's just fine by the brawny V-8. Even with the granny shifting, the Vette manages the second fastest lap of the group. "Given enough time, I could probably get the Z06 to lap fastest, but the GT-R's computers make it easy to get great times right out of the box," Cammisa notes."Wow, maybe you should find some full-grown men to test the cars for you....
I enjoyed the article, although the Evora would not have been my choice for the British entrant. Maybe the Jag or Aston would have exceeded the price limit. If I were in the market, my first choice is the Z06 Carbon with the Porsche a close second (I'd take the Porsche over a regular Z06),the GTR third and the Evora fourth. Honestly, I'd be happy with any of them.

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