2018 Honda NSX VS Nissan GT-R; Japanese Beast Comparison – Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini or McLaren do not have the monopoly of the sports car. In terms of supercars, the Japan is a fertile land, as evidenced by these two specimens. Remains to be seen which of the legendary Nissan GT-R or the technology 2018 Honda NSX, remains the best Japanese sports.
It is the story of a chance meeting, happened ten years ago, on a certain Nürburgring North Loop. At the time, (future) 2018 Honda NSX and Nissan GT-R roll in camouflage. Multiplying the laps. Refine their settings. The first, to finally replace the NSX first name, released in 1990. The second, to renew illustrious lineage of the ‘Skyline GT-R’ with a specific model.
The duel could continue at the hands of passionate customers, two Japanese supercars to be marketed a few months apart. Legend has it, unfortunately, the 2018 Honda NSX was so slow, compared to the GT-R, that Honda chose to abandon this mule to imagine a completely different: the supercar of the future, hybrid… Despite new delays in development that resulted in this second project.
A Honda NSX, four engines!
We are ten years later and the second Honda NSX name finally is. Without denying any of its commitments: a heat engine, plus three electrical two animating each of the front wheels. History to imitate a Renault Zoé under 50 km/h in Quiet mode, can lend a hand to the 3.5 V6 biturbo (507 HP) and finely adjust the distribution of the torque in Sport, Sport + and Track modes.
Despite quasi-annually changes, the 2018 Nissan GT-R becomes a Nokia 3210 compared to the latest iPhone: a single 3.8 V6 Biturbo (spent 485 HP to 570 HP over developments), a box dual-clutch six-speed instead of nine, and AWD much more classic. If the adjective may be suitable for a car with two drive shafts (front engine box in the back!).
On arrival? These extreme technical differences give birth of surprisingly comparable supercars: power (570 ch for the GT-R against 581 ch accumulated for the NSX), torque similar (637 Nm against 645 Nm combined), all wheel drive. And the same language of wood for 0 to 100 km/h: ‘3 seconds’ Honda ‘unmetered’ Dixit Dixit Nissan. Of course.
Similar on paper, the 2018 Honda NSX and Nissan GT-R admit however a major difference. Their purchase price: €101 900 for the Nissan GT-R Black Edition (or even €99 911 for the version of ‘base’), €197 500 for the Honda NSX without options (and there are many!). Remains to be seen, beyond its much greater technological content, if the Honda NSX knows justify this gap once in motion.
At the wheel of the Nissan GT-R 2018
Our trip starts in Nissan GT-R, that we had not ridden for a long time. Despite its four Mercedes (!), nothing has really changed at the wheel: at low speed, the feeling of driving a Nissan Qashqai (high driving position, Board of edge and counters any) who would forget to lubricate transmission (sports and strange noises in the jams…).
Then, at the slightest pressure on the accelerator, printing to be propelled at the controls of a supersonic jet. Not particularly musical, nor especially flexible at low revs, but powerful enough to exceed 300 km/h in less than 40 seconds on German Highway, or humiliate any what sports car to any open pressure on the right pedal. Staggering.
“”A little surly at soft pace, the GT-R reveals his character as the pace increases… then becomes enjoyable, once rushed!””
Balance in turns follows the same logic with an effective auto. which doesn’t really finesse: the GT-R goes fast into curves but by screeching his front tires, before starting a nice comma to the resumption, while its monstrous torque is sent back to the axle head.
Braking, it is enough to slow the car, but still, the grunts to the deceleration and the “spongy” feel of the pedal show that the GT-R runs more that it seeks to cure his feeling when driving. An authenticity that makes however endearing!
At the wheel of the Honda NSX 2018
The NSX passage back to make a leap into the future: in the city, the Honda boom on its electric motors in a confusing silence reported at the silhouette of the car. Then she wakes up the slightest smoothly its 3.5 V6 Biturbo, waiting for the passage in Sport + or Track mode to release his clear voice in the cockpit.
No inertia at low speed (thanks to electric motors!), pushed gradually over the revolutions per minute, sound more acute with the approach of a red box well above: the NSX little distance the GT-R acceleration but offers more feel. His nine reports box appears also better managed (in Auto mode, the GT-R does not Sports mode), whereas its behavior in bends is the most glaring gap.
“”Seen from outside, the NSX seems not go faster than the GT-R. Behind the wheel, the feelings have nothing to do.””
More direct management, more incisive front, Center of gravity below, taken less marked roll: the passage of the GT-R to the NSX returns to that of a sports car than a race car, more comfort. On road or bumpy track, the NSX swallow deformations without that trajectory frowning, but most stunning perhaps is his motor skills (see our video in NSX at the Nürburgring ).
Output pin, the 2018 NSX seems both a giant hand-driven and guided by a rail, both self-extracted strong turns through the management of a couple of a rare finesse. In very sporty driving, one wonders where are two declared tons by Libra Honda, as well as the braking when the carbon-ceramic option has been ticked. €11 700 all the same, but at this level of weight, better not skimp.
2018 Honda NSX VS Nissan GT-R Interior
Abused in terms of driving, the Nissan GT-R takes here an opportunity to regroup: four seats and a trunk of 315 liters when the rear central engine of the Honda removes the seat and strangling his chest 110 small liters of capacity. Of course, it is better to not measure over 1.40 meter to feel comfortable at the back of the Nissan, at the guard to the roof and puny legs.
But these two places have at least the merit to exist, and can still help an adult or to amuse a child. The extra storage space in the front end to make the GT-R more livable daily… but not more comfortable: seats more closed, more fractious orders and most important noise tire more on long journeys.
“”Only two seats and a tiny trunk for the Honda NSX. But every day, it is she who holds the best comfort””
Beyond his on-board computer amazing (6 pages of customizable menus showing some 17 different functions, the oil pressure of box to the torque split front/rear through the angle of the steering wheel…), the Nissan GT-R also suffers from an outdated operating system, including GPS mapping would make laugh a restyled Qashqai owner.
But on this point, the Honda NSX is not much better: Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Sockets USB more powerful to recharge its smartphone certainly, but a bit intuitive system punctured on a simple Honda Civic, which is slight ‘task’ in an if technological environment.
At this price level, the materials lack finally standing, even compared to the 2018 Nissan GT-R which now furnishes his dashboard for a rate two times less than the purchase of leather. This brings us to the section of the budget.
2018 Honda NSX VS Nissan GT-R; Prices
€101 900 for the Nissan GT-R, €197 500 for the Honda NSX, whose price has still increase by €5,000: is no longer a gap, but a chasm, especially as the best equipped of the two is not what we imagine. At nearly €200,000 before males, the NSX Bill indeed supplement his navigation GPS, its parking radars, or its electric front seats trimmed in leather.
For lovers of supplements, there are also elements in carbon outdoors (€9 800), indoors (€3 200), or to cover the engine (€3 900). In front, the GT-R limited his options to the spoiler in carbon (€3,000) or metallic paint (€1,000) and since we are on the subject, the sublime Andro of our test NSX red hue is exchanged for the modest sum of €6 600.
Therefore, much lower consumption of the Honda is really an argument: 2 liters of gap recorded at 130 km/h for the NSX (10.8 l / 100 km, against 12.8 l for the GT-R), and up to 7 liters less to conduct urban! Alas, this does not alter the malus, maximum in both cases: €10,000 to buy. To be eligible for the bonus, the Honda NSX should be able to recharge his batteries on the sector and know more than 2 km on 100% electric.
The Winner is 2018 Honda NSX
The huge difference in price between the 2018 Honda NSX and the Nissan GT-R should fold this match in seconds: not in a straight line as in turns, a Nissan GT-R to €100,000 is never very far from a Honda NSX to €200,000. But this “drama-Japanese” game comes close to compare an athlete opportunity to a new generation model. As docile in traffic jams that irresistible on circuit, as strict on smooth asphalt and comfortable on the road bumpy, as impressive to watch that discreet listening through town, the NSX belongs to a sphere apart, which gratifies his driver to a whole other sensation: that of riding an exception rather than a high-performance sports car. That’s what earned him our subjective preference, but be careful: the new Nissan GT-R is coming soon.
Photo Credit: motortrend.com