Nissan GT-R

That ad tussle between BMW and Audi in South Africa back in 2006 is nothing compared to this latest feud, this time between Porsche and Nissan. What Porsche is doing right now is basically accusing the makers of the Nissan GT-R of cheating with the infamous 7 minutes 29 seconds lap time around the Nurburgring earlier this year.

Porsche purchased a Nissan GT-R and tried it out on the Nurburgring driven by one of Porsche’s chassis development engineers who they claim is an expert with the Nurburgring. According to Porsche, they only managed to get a lap time of 7 minutes and 54 seconds. On the same day, Porsche says the 911 Turbo managed 7 minutes and 38 seconds while the 911 GT2 managed 7 minutes and 34 seconds.

“This wonder car with 7:29 could not have been a regular series production car. For us, it’s not clear how this time is possible. What we can imagine with this Nissan is they used other tyres such as a semi-slick race-style tyre and not standard road tyres. The Nissan is a good car. I don’t want to make anything bad with my words. It’s a very consistent car. But this car is about 20 kilos heavier than the Turbo. For us it has been clearly the result. This technical puzzle now fits together. With the other (Nissan’s) numbers we had problems understanding it,” said Porsche’s product chief for the 911, August Achleitner.

Nissan has come out to defend itself, in a cheeky manner too! They say the tyres used during the Nissan GT-R’s 7 minute and 29 seconds lap driven by former F1 driver Toshio Suzuki are the standard Dunlop SP Sport 600 DSST CTT tyres that come with the car. In fact, the company still has the very same tyres used on the run and will be happy to exhibit the tyres along with the lap footage shot by the Japanese magazine Best Motoring.

But it’s worthwhile to note that in certain regions the car also comes with Bridgestone Potenza RE070R tyres, which so happens to be the tyres fitted on the GT-R that Porsche bought. Based on this, can we conclude that the Dunlop SP Sport 600 DSST CTT are better tyres than the Bridgestone Potenza RE070R?

The Japanese automaker added that it was pointless for Nissan to conduct tests using non-standard equipment as the GT-R was designed from the start to be a supercar that could be driven anywhere, anytime and by anyone so it is much more relevant and meaningful to test the car using standard production specification. In fact, the lap car was carrying an additional 50kg of equipment that was used for lap data logging and could have gone even faster without that equipment.

Nissan said Porsche’s inability to match their lap times could be because of improper run-in procedures and cheekily, “lack of driver skill”.

“We are aware that several auto makers have purchased the GT-R for their own testing and evaluation. Like all GT-R customers, we recommend that any auto maker buying a GT-R should follow the recommended run-in procedures, service schedules and maintenance to ensure the maximum performance from their car. In addition, we offer performance driving courses for prospective and current GT-R owners to help them get the best performance from their car. We would welcome the opportunity to help any auto manufacturer with understanding the full capabilities of the GT-R,” they said, probably while trying hard to suppress a snigger.