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Nissan to Porsche: Need Driving Lessons, Chumps?

Posted: Oct 09, 2008 10:19 a.m.

There's a fight brewing in the rarefied world of exotic supercar performance measures.  Last week, Porsche accused Nissan of cheating.  Now Nissan is smacking back.

After Nissan claimed that its GT-R set a record-breaking time on the famous Nurburgring test track in Germany, Porsche engineers bought one - and said they couldn't duplicate the feat.  They alleged that Nissan must have used non-stock racing tires in order to achieve its jaw-dropping 7:29 lap time.

Australia's CarsGuide reports, "Nissan is standing firm on its claim to the production car lap record at the Nurburgring."  The company is "offering video footage shot by the Japanese magazine 'Best Motoring' during the high-speed runs," insisting that the video shows the car equipped with Dunlop SP Sport 600 DSST CTT tires, one of two types of tire available on new GT-Rs.  It is possible, Nissan concedes, that Porsche purchased the lower-performing Bridgestone Potenza tires available on the GT-R, which are "not as quick on a track as the Dunlops."  And, CarsGuide notes, "In a back-handed slap at Porsche, it has offered driving tips for anyone trying to get the best from a GT-R."

Pointedly, the automaker did not offer access to data from the GT-R's unique "black box," which records so much data each time the car is driven that some customers have cancelled their orders, fearful of the Big Brother-esque consequences of a car that keeps detailed records of their driving.

In a statement republished by Jalopnik, Nissan says, "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."

We await Stuttgart's snippy response. 

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