Sport Coupe Comparison: War of the Sports Car Worlds

Scott Dukes

The sun just beginning its descent into the Pacific, we assemble on Dockweiler Beach - and effectively run an impromptu marketing study. The GT-R draws its usual fan club of scruffy, hoodie-wearing young guys. A few middle-aged men inquire about the Evora and seem surprised to learn that it's not a Tesla. The Porsche and the Chevy? Invisible. We do manage to raise the Corvette's profile some by pulling the vacuum lines responsible for the Z06's neighbor-friendly exhaust note. The beach, already polluted with the sound of jet airplanes from nearby LAX, is now treated to the uncorked Vroom! Pop! Pop! of eight pistons and an aggressive camshaft.

So, now that we've had our fun, how do these four cars and their different flavors ultimately compare? It's complicated, to say the least. For one thing, our least favorite after we'd finished all our driving, the GT-R, happened to be the clear performance winner. Just as with the other vehicles, this comes down to a question of taste and culture. First-time visitors to Tokyo are often amazed and amused by the technology that the Japanese unleash on the simplest of tasks, from vending machines that take ten steps to deliver a perfectly poured cup of soda to heated toilet seats operated via twelve-button control pads. The GT-R takes the same complex, technologically over-the-top approach to the relatively simple task of sloshing your brain against the inside of your skull. It works wondrously on the stat sheet, but it was the least satisfying from a driver's perspective. Thus, the GT-R comes in last here.

The competition was extremely tight among the remaining three. In fact, each received at least one first-place vote from the four editors who made the trip. The bronze medal, as it were, goes to the Z06. Now in the sixth year of its sixth generation, the Corvette remains the ultimate riposte to the notion that American cars cannot compete with the best in the world. Indeed, the Chevy came within a baby's breath of defeating mighty Godzilla on the racetrack but was as engaging as the Europeans, in its own way. And it accomplishes this without sacrificing an iota of its born-in-Kentucky swagger. As GM struggles to become relevant again with American consumers, it might do well to sprinkle this sort of charisma across its lineup.

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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