Nissan GT-R vs Porsche 911 vs Jaguar XKR-S
Sometimes, a car is too lairy and scary. Sometimes, it's too comfy and boring. But sometimes, it's just right...
Posted: 15 Jun 2012
It's taken some of the steering reaction away with it, but, even so, the electric set-up doesn't really offend me. The weighting through your palms is great, and even if your wrapped fingertips don't fizz and tingle quite so much, this is still a bloody brilliant thing. You can drive it as hard as you dare, and it's always on your side. The engine may need wringing out to keep pace, but that's part of the fun, and it's just so rapid over the last 2,000rpm. So keep the throttle pinned, hear the hollow, guttural flat-six yowl and bark, and take liberties with it that you wouldn't dare in either of the others - or earlier 911s. It's small and lithe, has tremendous brakes and magnificently supple yet informative suspension.
Nevertheless, you think that the conclusion I'm going to draw is that the 911 has shifted into softer focus, don't you? How else could it match the Jag's nonchalant ease and flow? But, unlike the XK, the Carrera S will also charge with almost as much vigour and determination as the Nissan. It's not softer, then - it's just different. If it has a weakness, it's that the car, much like the PDK gearbox within it, is maybe just a touch too... polished. Excitement sacrificed on the altar of competence.
It has the Jag covered and beaten and is a far more rounded proposition than the GT-R. But is it actually better? Here we loop back round to my earlier point about stuff that matters. If you are willing to compromise massively on ride comfort, fuel bills and all the rest, go for the GT-R. Nothing else is as remorseless in its pursuit of speed or able to compress time and distance into such tiny chunks. It's hilarious. And naughty. But if I were going to live with one, do the daily stuff and revel in the ownership as much as the driving, then I'd have the 911.