This is 0to60’s first review of high performance vehicles and these two cars come in the form of the Audi R8 and the Nissan GTR. More specifically, I’m comparing the GTR with the 4.2 V8 Coupe R8, because they’re the most similar in price. These are two cars from very different manufacturers, but they’ve more in common than you might think.
We’ll begin with the outside of the cars and, on looks, the R8 is certainly the better car.
Its sweeping lines, distinctive sideblades and snarling mouth really do make it stand out. The GTR’s looks are also far from normal, though they take a more aggressive but less unique approach, with jagged edges being the prevailing feature. The problem with the V8 R8 is that it just doesn’t look as good as the V10, which costs a phenomenal amount more. If a V10 pulls up nearby while you’re sitting in a car which cost ‘only’ £85000, you’ll feel more like David Miliband than Iron Man.
Again, the inside of the R8 is certainly more luxurious than the GTR, but Audi are generally better at that sort of thing. Having said that, the GTR doesn’t fall far short and plenty of leather has been spread around the inside of each car. But is luxury really what you want in cars like these? The Nissan’s red leather trimmings and multitude of flashing dials and instruments, I think, suit better; they serve as a constant reminder that the driver is in control of a monster. Meanwhile, the gentleman, who probably has a large amount of excess skin, in the R8 has an interesting gearstick and a steering wheel with a flat bottom to whisper that, if he desired, he could go rather quick. One can specify bucket seats for the R8, but not many people are going to order those because of their extraordinary price. Both cars are equally comfortable and pleasant to be in, but the Nissan does it in a way that suits the genre.
And the point about the bucket seats brings me onto the real cost of each car. The Audi has a typical German options list. The Nissan… doesn’t really have one – everything (or just about everything) is standard. To really compare the cars, you would have to add on to the price of the R8 everything that the Nissan has already. So: it’s £500 for light and rain sensors, £300 to check the tyre pressure, £1700 for carbon inlays, £1400 for a similar ride comfort, £2000 for Sat Nav and the list goes on and on. Those options are before you consider the pointless ones available like £440 lights for the engine bay, leather air vents or £7500 ceramic brakes.
Now for the specs of the R8 vs. the GTR:
Price: £86290 £71950
Engine Size: 4.2 V8 3.8 V6
Power/Torque: 424bhp/317lbft 523bhp/451lbft
Max. Speed: 187 196
0-60 time: 4.6 3.05
Economy: 19.9mpg 23.5mpg
CO2 emissions: 332g/km 279g/km
Insurance Group: 49 50-(the highest)
So it’s a no brainer. The Nissan is faster, cheaper, more efficient, kinder to the environment and as good at handling. It’s also more practical as the boot is bigger and has space for twice as many passengers. It’ll even wipe the floor with the V10 R8 in the speed stakes and that car costs well over £100,000. But don’t be fooled, even though there are no Nissan badges on the car, it still is one.
I still love the R8, it really is a beautiful and incredibly fast car, normally, I’d give it 5 stars, but when comparing it to the GTR… well, it’s just not as good.