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This 4-lap track battle between the 2011 Nissan GT-R and the best European supercars of the early 2010s is epic

The Contenders

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The Nissan R35 GT-R, driven by Formula 3 and JGTC driver Naoki Hattori, starts from position five. In 2011, the R35 GT-R received its first major update. The 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 is now producing 530 hp and 451 pound-feet (612 Nm). At 1,723 kg (3,798 pounds), the GT-R is still on the heavy side, but its incredible chassis and close-ratio six-speed dual-clutch automatic make it a formidable opponent on a racetrack.

Ferrari F430 Scuderia RSD

This 4 lap track battle between the 2011 Nissan GT-R and the best European supercars of the early 2010s screams epic - pic 1048931

Fourth on the grid is the Ferrari 430 Scuderia RSD. At 1,340 kg (2,954 pounds), the Italian stallion is the lightest of the bunch. However, it’s also the weakest, scoring 510 hp and 346 lb-ft (469 Nm) from a naturally aspirated 4.3-liter V8. The transmission is a six-speed “F1” that’s essentially a robotized manual. As the RSD, the Ferrari benefits from a more aggressive body kit consisting of a new lip spoiler, thicker side skirts and a high rear wing.

Porsche 911 (997.2) Turbo S

This 4 lap track battle between the 2011 Nissan GT-R and the best European supercars of the early 2010s screams epic - pic 1048932

The 911 Turbo S takes third place on the grid. The 997.2 Turbo S is considered by many to be the last 911 from the old school and is the first model with the PDK transmission – Porsche’s version of a dual-clutch automatic. This is also the GT-R’s closest competitor, as well as its toughest rival. It also features all-wheel drive and its 3.8-liter twin-turbo boxer engine produces an identical 530 hp. Torque is higher than the GT-R, though, and is rated at 516 pound-feet (700 Nm). The Porsche is also lighter at 3,682 pounds (1,645 kg).

Mercedes SLS AMG

This 4 lap track battle between the 2011 Nissan GT-R and the best European supercars of the early 2010s screams epic - pic 1048928

Second place on the grid goes to AMG’s first solo project – the SLS AMG front mid-engine. The spiritual successor to the 300SL is also the last supercar from Mercedes to feature the naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8. In this early version, the mighty V-8 develops 571 horsepower and 479 pound-feet (650 Nm) while mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. At 3,571 pounds (1,620 kg), the Mercedes doesn’t have a huge weight advantage. While the SLS AMG shines with straight-line acceleration, its chassis is the least suitable for the race track.

Audi R8 5.2

This 4 lap track battle between the 2011 Nissan GT-R and the best European supercars of the early 2010s screams epic - pic 1048938

The Audi R8 starts from pole position. Since it’s a non-GT version, the 5.2-liter V-10 makes 525 hp and 530 Nm (391 lb-ft). Being a 2011 model, it comes with the automated R-Tronic six-speed manual. Only in 2014 did the Audi R8 get the DSG dual-clutch automatic. That means it matches the SLS AMG’s weight of 1,620 kg, but comes in a rear mid-engine layout and with a much sportier chassis.

The race

This 4 lap track battle between the 2011 Nissan GT-R and the best European supercars of the early 2010s screams epic - pic 1048927

The Sportsland SUGO Circuit is 3.7 km long and looks like a mini version of the Nordschleife. Similar to the legendary German racetrack, the Japanese circuit is surrounded by a forest and has hardly any safety run-off zones in some areas.

round one the Porsche 911 Turbo S almost sees the early lead. But the Audi R8 closes the door in the first corner. Meanwhile, GT-R manages to slip past the Ferrari F430, leaving the Italian in last place. The long right sweeper leading to the finish line demonstrates Audi’s superior cornering performance compared to the 911.

round two shows the lighter Ferrari’s ability to brake much later than the GT-R. However, it’s not enough to recapture fourth place from Godzilla. The Drift King struggles to keep the rear end of the SLS AMG in place, allowing the GT-R to take third place. Meanwhile, Porsche drives down the back straight at higher speed and is able to overtake the naturally aspirated Audi.

This 4 lap track battle between the 2011 Nissan GT-R and the best European supercars of the early 2010s screams epic - pic 1048928

round three starts with the second place of the Nissan GT-R ahead of the Audi R8. Godzilla manages no less to overtake the mid-engine Audi from the outside. The defining moment was when both cars upshifted. Godzilla’s next target is the mighty 911 Turbo S. Exiting on the backstretch, however, reveals Porsche’s superior straight-line acceleration. Porsche’s PDK transmission is faster. GT-R makes another attempt to overtake the Turbo S, in the same place it has caught up with the Audi but fails again.

The fourth and final round begins with the Nissan outbraking the Porsche in a rather risky maneuver, ultimately giving it the lead. After a few corners, the GT-R gains a clear lead. The Porsche 911 Turbo S might be quicker in a straight line, but the Nissan GT-R is much more composed in corners, allowing it to maintain momentum. More surprising is the Ferrari, which almost manages to overtake the much heavier and softer Mercedes.

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