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Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and Nissan GT-R in the test: Super Plus Party

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and Nissan GT-R in the test
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E s drizzles in Hockenheim, the Palatinate asparagus sprouts - faster than any other vegetable. A few kilometers away, on the Grand Prix track, two horsepower cars are also making speed. Sometimes it's dry, sometimes it's wet, 1,062 horsepower are looking for tamers.

The route and weather fillet the strengths and weaknesses of the two steam hammers, reproducible lap times are not possible, but the endorphins of a car fan are constantly gushing in the limiter. It roars, it babbles, it splatters and screams. What a wet and happy super plus party.

At the end of the Parabolika it is dry, speed over 250 km /h, Germany's most famous hairpin lurks in the evening light. The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 tugs on the asphalt with warm Michelin Cup sports tires, as if to tear it to pieces and humbly brakes the Nissan GT-R into the radiator: 115 meters from 190 km /h. The combination of lightweight aluminum construction (1,481 kilograms), carbon-ceramic system and semi-slicks with good grip stops faster than the Brembo system of the Nissan GT-R and any competition so far.

The 512 HP giant Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Turn in - the American flounder Chevrolet Corvette Z06 hits a hook like a 512 hp giant hare, centrifuges gently on the gas, wonderfully precise. The Nissan GT-R wobbles and returns the favor not ten meters later. At the exit of the second-gear bend, Godzilla gets - as the fans call him - the very best from its 1.8 tons and punches it as traction force on all four driven wheels.

Now the slightly front-heavy touring car monster pulls wild on the asphalt, the driver's head claps the leather headrest and fires forward along with the car as if hit by a wrecking ball. Up to 100 km /h, Godzilla smashes the acceleration efforts of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with its engine power, which has been increased from 530 to 550 hp thanks to further dethrottling, and the 20-inch all-wheel-drive paws. Traction stands out, because the power-to-weight ratio of the Nissan GT-R is almost half a kilo behind with 3.2 kg /PS.

What it misses in the test, however, is its factory specification of 2, set up in Sendai /Japan, 8 seconds to 100 km /h. The measuring system still shows an excellent 3.2 seconds. Unfortunately, unconfirmed fabulous times are a tradition at Nissan. The needle of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 scurries again 1.1 seconds later over the 100. The Nissan GT-R coordinates oneLaunch-Control speed, slip and gear changes of the six-speed dual clutch transmission reinforced on the shift fork and flywheel housing perfect; Only a five-stage traction control helps the Z06 driver in the struggle with the rear wheel grip, the performance and the stubborn manual gearbox.

On Take a bath in the V8 rumble

The fast right in front of the Mercedes grandstand goes in the fourth. Both cars rattle with a bit of play in the drive train, but are greedily attached to the gas, the seven-liter Corvette small block is even a twitch of the valve more directly. You bathe in the V8 rumble of this engine archetype with its free-sucking capacity and torque, enjoy smacking gas change grunts when downshifting, cut the curbs of the tight links and are sure that you will never want to get out of here again - cheap plastic interior or here. Not unimportant for long-distance fans: The LS7 block of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with 17.2 L /100 km swallows almost one liter less than the Nissan GT-R.

Cut and what feels like a leap in time: The Nissan GT -R as a prototype of the fully regulated 21-century sports car with high-power downsizing. Short, violent and loud, the double clutch shifts the gears at the command of the shift paddle, and a biting biturbo whirring like the battle cry of a ninja mixes with the rumbling of the 3.8-liter V6. Godzilla likes the fast right, as he loves wide cornering radii, and hooks into the ideal line at a terrifyingly high speed. In the fast ISO-Wedeltest he was therefore ahead, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 in the slalom. Free, again you are sure that you will never want to get out of the 2 + 2-seater. Also because of the fixed sports seats and the twitching Playstation displays, which give the driving dynamics visual drama. As a reminder: These are the toys from the manufacturers that Tiida and Orlando brought us.

Nissan GT-R pulls with us Circle pulled past

The exit of the narrow links gets nasty: puddles - and the Z06 tamer is right in the middle of the so-cross-she-so-excursion. The end of the still wonderful neutrality, the bottom slides over the soft grandpa chairs against the warm central tunnel. The Nissan GT-R, although with a respectable roll angle (at least twelve centimeters higher than the Chevrolet Corvette Z06), also pulls the power of its variable power distribution on the rear axle (torque vectoring) as if drawn with a compass.

It is the Corvette's wet-phobic cup tires, specially fitted for the Centennial Edition, that create so much more excitement in the cockpit. Especially since in the hustle and bustle of the action the transverse gear lever also blocks the second alley - take a deep breath. Four Japanese stove pipes with a car on them are the first to reach the Motodrom from a deep Z06 perspective. The Nissan fires rumbling and gently understeeringGT-R first through the Mobil 1 and then the Sachskurve. But the V8 breath of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is already back. Here it is changeable, dry and flat - under these conditions the light, flat and equally balanced Z06 according to classic sports car theory hardly has to fear opponents in its class. Unless the pilot steps on the accelerator at the apex like a free kick, then there is the bloodstreak of the rear axle.

On undulating country roads for fun, however, work

In the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, the driver needs more rest when accelerating, in the Nippon rocket Nissan GT-R, which is more sensitive to load changes, when steering. On undulating, narrow country roads, fun in the Chevrolet turns into work, however, when the front tires sniff after every groove and jump roughly over frost breaks - lightning-fast dampers, whose magnetic fluid regulates their viscosity via the flow of electricity, regardless of whether they are.

Yes let's leave this bitchiness out - on the racetrack the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 shows the shape of its life. With every meter of drive, the respect for the engineers grows, who conjure up a sports car miracle from the supposedly antiquated technology on a US test track inspired by the Nordschleife, bumper V8s and carbon leaf springs are not evidence of yesteryear, but of an eye for the essentials.

Nissan GT-R is easier to care for in everyday life

The equally fast Nissan GT-R is easier to care for in everyday life , safer and answers bad trails with easier, drier movements. This suspension competence is based on thousands of hours of development on the Nordschleife. GT-R boss Mizuno also created the paradox of a heavy and at the same time fast athlete whose performance has so far only been marred by the frequency of failure of the engine, transmission and brakes. Here the pounds take their revenge. Nissan wisely lets the guarantee expire in the event of unauthorized use on the racetrack.

Now the Trumm Nissan GT-R should hold, because after all, two factory GT-Rs finished at full throttle in the production trim in the 24-hour race on the Nordschleife -Torture. In this comparison test, it even crosses the finish line as the winner because it is more balanced and cheaper than the more pointed Chevrolet Corvette Z06. In their price environment, however, both should shout provocatively: 'Against us everything else is lame vegetables.'

Driving safety in everyday life

On a wet and narrow country road, extreme caution is required with the Cup sport tires of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06. They tend to aquaplaning at an early stage, smear away at lightning speed when wet and are extremely sensitive to ruts. With its Dunlop tires, the GT-R is considerably more calculable, but it also has sudden load changes.

Kazutoshi Mizuno: This way and no other

A blackboard and a thick felt pen are enough for Kazutoshi Mizuno - and at least 90 minutes. The now 70-year-old Japanese explains with great enthusiasm Dedication to why his baby Nissan GT-R drives as strikingly agile as it drives. The pen screeches around, sketching why mass is not as terrifying for a super sports car as is generally claimed. 'The GT-R acts After all, it's a road car, so it has to be easy to control. Good grip is essential for this. In motorsport this is generated via massive aerodynamic downforce, which is of course not possible here, 'explains Mizuno, probably for the thousandth time, but always smiling in a friendly manner.

Also typically Japanese: he joined immediately after graduating from university in 1972 Nissan and stayed there to this day. During this time he also took care of earthly projects such as front-wheel drive platforms. But between 1987 and 1995 Mizuno was involved in the Group C project, later headed the motorsport activities and got out after Nissan withdrew the prototype series to head of development for series vehicles. Since 2003, the Japanese has mainly been concerned with Infiniti - and of course the GT-R. And what about retirement? Apparently not an option, because in interviews Kazutoshi Mizuno likes to emphasize that the GT R concept is far from being exhausted, and the drive's performance has allegedly not yet reached the end of the flagpole either surely a considerable number of felt-tip pens still have to believe in it.


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