Porsche's New 911 Carrera S Goes "Head 2 Head" with Nissan's 2013 GT-R


Throw us the keys to any one of these two sports cars, and we will gladly take them for a very, very long spin without a second thought. And all for good reason.

While the GT-R has entered its fifth year in production, it doesn’t realty show its age in any other departments than the styling and the interior, which to be honest, wasn't anything special to begin with.

In many ways, the GT-R was years ahead of the competition when it debuted in 2007, and let's not forget, Nissan has been religiously tweaking and upgrading it every year.

The Porsche, on the other hand, is a brand new model that continues a tradition stretching back to the early 1960s.

In its latest iteration, it uses an entirely new platform, only the third since the 911's inception in 1963, with the German automaker having introduced four models to date, the Carrera and Carrera S in rear- and all-wheel drive variants.

New it may be, but the Porsche 911 has already been compared against the similarly priced but much, much more powerful Nissan GT-R many times over the past months.

With this in mind, "Head 2 Head" assistant road test editor Carlos Lago teamed up with Motor Trend testing director Kim Reynolds to take a slightly different approach by comparing the models on a figure eight run and taking an in-depth look at the technologies featured on the two cars.

The vehicles in question are a 2013 Nissan GT-R, which as you probably know, makes 545-horses from its twin-turbo 3.8-liter V6 and the Porsche 911 Carrera S that drags around a flat-six with 400 ponies. In the U.S., the GT-R starts at $96,820 and the 911 Carrera S from $96,400, with both prices excluding destination and handling fees.

For those of you who want to watch a more traditional test between the same two cars, we've also added a second video with EVO's Tiff Needell right below the break.



William Cervini said... »October 11, 2012

So, the GT-R's styling is old? How old is the overblown Beetle's styling?

William Cervini said... »October 11, 2012

Oh, a car is a "natural, organic" thing. Bull shit. Porsche prejudice is very evident. Electronics in the Porsche are OK, but in the GT-R they are "nannies". You jerks need to get real/

William Cervini said... »October 11, 2012

Your "hee, hee, hees" are very juvenile. Grow up.

aaronbbrown said... »October 12, 2012

 Seems obvious that Porsches changes to their cars have come in direct response to the challenge from Nissan, the lengthening of the wheelbase the expansion of electronic and stability control.  If their 911 Turbo or GT3 can't take the GT-R, they will have failed.

 Notice in the second video when he turns the stability control off, that reminded me of how the old Skylines performed. I don't think either of these drivers were pushing the Nissan to its real limits.  In the first video one of the guys was talking about how the GT-R never gives you a break as a driver, that's the control systems compensating for all that mass. Imagine the Nissans system in a car that weighs 3200lbs, something like if/when they decided to build the 380ZR.  A lighter weight short wheelbase car seems to be a natural course of development to follow, while continuing GT-R development. I hope they produce a four-door sedan GT-R as well.

Krish Chetty said... »October 12, 2012

the GTR is a perfect car with a perfect blend of tech, style and performance. Porsche has been making hardcore cars all its life and seeing the benchmark Nissan has set and it hasn't really ever made a supercar until the GTR, i think the GTR beats it by a mile!

Retsak said... »October 12, 2012

Don"t get me wrong here, I have a bunch of old Datsuns (280z as well as a 280zx) I think the GTR is a huge accomplishment for Nissan, as well as a feather in the cap of any Japanese auto manufacturer in showing off what they can build for much much cheaper than some of the other sports car companies. So I am kinda cheering for the underdog here as well.....however.

The comparison made here is a little un even at best, there is almost 200 bhp difference in the cars, yes there is a weight difference as well but not quite significant enough to make up for the hp difference. 

This test should have been against the new GT2 or possibly the GT3 ( Both of these cars are a huge achievement for both manufacturers, and to have a bunch of people typing away on their keyboards while never having driven either car is just juvenile. 

If the closest you have come to driving these cars is in a magazine or on PlayStation, I'm sorry but you don't have an opinion. Go to a track day and go for a drive in each car either a turbo, S, GT2 or GT3 and you will quickly understand why the Porsche is the better car. 

Let the hating begin. 

Spiros Ralliartgreece Mouzakit said... »October 12, 2012

 Excactly... It is a 60's styling with some minor changes. It has a better chassis but overall Japan gets the finish flag one more time!!!

Spiros Ralliartgreece Mouzakit said... »October 12, 2012

This article followed by these two videos clearly show that Japanese performance cars have always been way ahead of their time. Four years since GTR r35, EVO X, and the last Impreza were introduced and there is still no match for them on track.
German cars are so overestimated in performance and price tags!!!

Wjg12 said... »October 12, 2012

One of the criticisms the GTR has had from the beginning is that it's a car which does everything for you which I never understood because watching videos of the car being driven at its limits it's obvious that's far from the truth.  Watching these two videos was no exception and they even flat out say it its the car that makes you work the most out of the two, with the 911 being the easier to drive.  However, all of a sudden the very thing which supposedly made the GTR feel artificial in the past is being called natural and organic in the Porsche while the GTR which demands more of the driver is being called tiresome.  The Porsche bias is ridiculous.

And even though the GTR won the track test by a landslide, it looked like Tiff was not nearly pushing to car.  5th Gear on such a short tight track?  Give me a break.  If you're purposely trying to be out of the car's power-band than that's the gear to be.  

Fitaholic365 said... »October 12, 2012

Valid points all Retsak. But if you're going to call out the GT2 or GT3 then the scale changes once again. It's very hard to compare the Porsche and GTR for the simple fact that based on value per dollar the GTR wins. Period. I'm not a fan boy either. Personally I'd take the POrsche based on fit and finish as well as overall refinement. But back to the almighty dollar. For another $25,000, Hennessey will build you a Godzilla 700 GTR. You'll still come in at almost $100,000 less than both the GT2 and 3. Which by the way is enough to pick up a Porsche Carrera S to go with your new Hennessey GTR!

aaronbbrown said... »October 12, 2012

 Weight difference!  I like the way you tiptoe past that as if you were nothing.  Like a car that weighs 738lbs more is barely worth mentioning, an irrelevancy.  A car that weighs nearly half a ton more getting through the corners as quick or quicker than the much lighter car is hardly irrelevant.   I'll trade 145 hp for that weight advantage any day.  Hell I'll exchange 250 to 300 hp for that weight advantage.  Why don't you acknowledge that the fact is without that weight advantage this Porsche as well as the other new 911s coming out wouldn't even be in the running against the GTR

 And if it's irrelevant let's take a GT3 to track day with the Nissan, and put three 200lb passengers in it plus 138lbs of luggage in the boot, and then see if it can still keep up with the Nissan. If the weight advantage is truly irrelevant, that would be fair, wouldn't it? I'd probably rather have a GT3 as a daily driver as well, but we're talking performance, pure performance, and in that discussion Porsche is the loser every time up against the Nissan.  That's not something anybody would've imagined a decade ago.  In fact there are no other cars in the world by any manufacturer that can challenge the Nissan, unless you're willing to spend three times the price. And even so, if you were to take just half  the extra money it cost to buy a Ferrari or McLaren and put it into a GTR, well then you wind up with a performance machine that can take on virtually any million-dollar supercar in the world, and win.  Nissan changed the game, and we're still waiting for someone, anyone to respond.   Why can't they?  Why won't they?  How long has Porsche and others had to respond to this challenge, 5 years now.  Pretty pitiful I'd say.  The only thing more pitiful being Porsche apologists, and those who have the gall to write intellectually dishonest evaluations. Good day to you sir! :)

Pureworx said... »October 12, 2012

ok so the porsche is for old, unhealthy, unfit, golfing playing fat blokes and the gtr a drivers car! thats what i got from the first vid and you can see the excitement on his face when he's driving the gtr.

Treytreyhotboi said... »October 13, 2012

GT-R any day all day end of discussion

Retsak said... »October 16, 2012

ha ha ha ha ha 

do you own one? NO!!  so like I stated above you don't have an opinion. 

trex said... »October 24, 2012

911 - every day, any day, all day, all night! Nissan - only for race. When is that - 5% of the time of 95% of the people! So for the same price they are - every time Porsche (no matter which) than Nissan (no matter which). Not to talking about unpropitious GT-r and that it has a 4 seats - like the Earth is flat.

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