In this episode of Motor Trend‘s “Head 2 Head,” America’s finest sportscar, the 2015 Corvette Z06, squares off against Japan’s last living, true supercar: the Nissan GT-R Nismo.
Entering this competition of two greats, we felt that the Corvette Z06 had a bit more going for it. At 650 HP, its peak output is up 50 ponies from that of the Nissan, while torque is up an unfathomable 170 lb-ft. As if that weren’t enough, the Corvette also weighs in at about 350 pounds less, has a more favorable 50/50 weight distribution between the axles, and possesses seven forward gears to the Nissan’s six.
Now, in the Corvette, those are manually-selected gears, compared to the Nismo’s dual-clutch trans. But so what?
Motor Trend‘s testing of the two cars seems to prove us correct; the Z06 crushes the Nismo in nearly every quantifiable measure, with a 60 to 0 braking distance of 91 feet, and an incredible lateral acceleration measure of 1.17 G. The Nismo narrowly beats the Corvette in straight-line acceleration, due largely to the launch provided by its all-wheel-drive, and to its comparatively short gearing.
Upon taking the two cars out on public roads, Carlos Lago concedes that it will be a close match, as they each have their respective strengths. Because of the GT-R’s perfected AWD system, you can jump on the power a lot more soon through the corners, and of course, that’s long been the secret behind its near-physics-defying feats of agility. But the Corvette possesses such impossibly high braking and cornering limits – not to mention superb torque everywhere throughout the rev-range – it feels like you can push the car futher and further toward breaking traction with the pavement, and still have room to spare.
So which one proves to be faster around Willow Springs in the hands of Motor Trend‘s racing driver-on-retainer Randy Pobst? You’ll get no spoilers from us…