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
This is the issue with the GT-R - the suspension is so hard that the wheels skim and skip, and you never seem to be able to get enough heat into the tyres on cold, wet roads. Combine this with a 4WD system that is ever so keen to show you how rear-wheel-drive it can be, an engine of monstrous power and a chassis with reactions and intelligence that are way better than yours, and the big Nissan can scare you deeply. Or utterly enthral you. On the right road at the right time - the dry B3223 the following day, for instance - the GT-R is dynamite, easily the fastest cross-country (such things matter to some people), but also the best-equipped to make you hoot with laughter at the acceleration, the attitude, the involvement. Provided you're prepared to show it who's boss, the GT-R is addictive, but it only knows one pace - flat out. It doesn't tootle.
The Jag has its weaknesses to be sure - primarily steering that spins as freely as a bike wheel and body control that just can't cut it in this company. There's an off-putting touch of slop just off centre that's manifested in a slight on-centre steering deadness, too. For a fraction of a second after you turn in, you're not absolutely sure if the car is with you. But, for an evening flight across misty moors, the XKR-S is thoroughly enjoyable. Your heart rate stays settled, and it glides along and keeps momentum through corners so much you barely seem to trouble the V8's torque and noise foundry. More's the pity.