Supercar Smackdown Begins as Automakers Hurl Cheating Accusations

Posted: Sep 30, 2008 10:48 a.m.

Nissan GT-R Pictures
Porsche 911 Pictures

In the world of high-powered, high-dollar supercars, the ultimate battleground is a 13-mile long circuit outside the German city of Nürburg featuring 73 corners and elevation changes of hundreds of feet.  The Nürburgring, known in the auto industry simply as "The Ring," is where automakers bring their most monstrous creations for testing.  Professional drivers -- some of whom drive almost exclusively on The Ring -- take the cars through the course.  Automakers publish lap times to win bragging rights.  But no entity independently verifies 'Ring lap times...the automotive press has always trusted the times automakers claimed their cars had earned.

It was only a matter of time until a fight broke out.

Nissan claimed a lap time of 7:29:03 for its 2009 GT-R -- the fastest time ever achieved on the track by an unmodified, commercially available car.  A handful of cars have claimed faster times, but all admit to using modifications not available on showroom cars.  Now, CarsGuide reports, Porsche has accused Nissan of cheating in the GT-R's record bid." 

The German automaker claims it conducted "Its own back-to-back tests with the Japanese company's GT-R supercar and says it could not get within 25 seconds of Nissan's claimed record time."  The company ran two of its own cars - a 911 Turbo and a 911 GT2 -- and claims both beat what Porsche drivers could get out of the GT-R.

Autoblog continues, "How can Porsche explain the discrepancy? '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 tires,' says August Achleitner, the man in charge of the 911 program."

Nissan has not yet responded to the allegations.  When the company claimed its production-spec GT-R set the record in April, Nissan issued a press-release celebrating the achievement and so Autoblog comments, "We doubt this is something that will be taken lightly. There's a big can 'o worms here, and Porsche's in the corner holding the opener."

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