25.10.09: Audi R8 versus Nissan GT-R

Time 12 years ago

Our favourite photo location near Crickhowell

Our favourite photo location near Crickhowell

DAY two of our Road Test of the Year and my mind is ever so slightly warped – but in a good way!

Today I’ve been mostly driving the Hollywood pair in our five-car line up – the Audi R8 and Nissan GT-R.

Both have similar levels of performance but deliver it in hugely different ways.


For all that’s been written about the GT-R, it’s impossible to fathom its power delivery without actually experiencing it yourself.

You would never guess it’s giving away some 50bhp to the R8 with 473bhp to the Audi’s 518bhp; driving the two back to back and the GT-R feels much, much quicker.

In town, though, you can feather the throttle in the GT-R and pootle along. Here it’s manageable and sedate with the automatic gearbox snapping up through the gearbox in lightning speed, reaching sixth just as you hit the 30mph limit.

But select paddle shift when the roads allow and prepare for a nuclear explosion. Ease in the power and it explodes along the road, corners appear rather too quickly – in fact it’s like driving in fast forward.



At first, you brain just can’t compute the information the GT-R’s throwing at you; it takes a good few miles for your reactions to readjust.

I hated it for the first 10 miles or so; it was just too much. But the more I drove it, the more I got used to it and when you gel with the GT-R, nothing is going to stay with it.

Not even the Audi. That being said, the R8 is still my favourite so far. I think that’s all down to what’s nestled behind your left shoulder though.

photoThat 5.2-litre V10 has got to be one of the all-time great powerplants. It’s brilliantly flexible and destroys straights – combined with a noise that would have even Friends of the Earth members back tracking.

The R8 feels a lot more planted than the GT-R too. It conjures up grip where the GT-R is left wagging its tail, inspiring confidence even in treacherous conditions.

We spent most of today scoping out locations for tomorrow’s photo shoot and enjoying the four cars before the Road Test proper starts tomorrow.

I plan to spend a bit more time in the Focus RS and Evo X FQ-400 tomorrow, so thoughts on that pairing on Monday.


Blog: Day one of our Road Test of the Year

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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