Opinion: Nissan's GT-R is a better all-weather car than the Audi RS6 | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear

Opinion: Nissan's GT-R is a better all-weather car than the Audi RS6

We suspect this argument might get a little shouty...

Published: 22 Aug 2019

Earlier this week, Audi showed us the all-new RS6 Avant. It looks bloody terrific. Great stance, proper attitude, correct amount of flare to the wheelarches. It shows where BMW went wrong with the current M5. Well, the visuals at least, there’s not much wrong with the way it drives.

So very shortly, probably before anyone outside the company has even driven it, people will start jumping up and down and declaring it the world’s best all-condition car. So we thought we’d get in first. And tell you that, actually, it probably won’t be.

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Now don’t get me wrong, it’ll be a monster thing. With 592bhp and 590lb ft of torque its four fat tyres will break down tarmac into its constituent elements, while inside all is calmness and space. It’ll mincify roads, no matter how wet, cold, oily, angled, lumpy or potholed. I already want one so badly it hurts. But is that all we want from the world’s best all-condition car? I used to run a C7 RS6, and despite its might, I often found myself wanting more interaction – yep, even when it was February. Especially when it was February, come to think of it.

Which is why I’m here to tell you that the best car for February is not the new RS6, nor the BMW M5, the Merc E63 S wagon or any other over-powered estate. And certainly not any lifted SUV, up to and including the Lamborghini Urus.

Nope, it’s the Nissan GT-R. I don’t really mind which, struggle to tell them apart in fact. Probably not a Nismo, as those are quite fighty, but one of the more recent ones where Nissan softened off the suspension and actually made a vague attempt at containing road noise. Nope, it doesn’t have a hound lounge out the back, but you show me a dog in the back of a fast-moving RS6 and I’ll show you quaking paws, a brown smear and a nasty smell.

Just because the Nissan doesn’t give you that option doesn’t automatically make it better, of course. It’s the handling that does that. Specifically the steering and chassis balance. Yes, it has daft grip, but better than that it only ever loses that grip at one end. Get back on the power, and you suddenly appear to be in a rear-drive GT-R, just one that’s moving far faster on a cold, icy road than it has any right to. While giving you massive confidence. And moving with real poise, finesse and feel, too. This is not a new trick of course – the R35 has been performing it since 2007 – but we tend to get distracted and only think about the GT-R in the context of supercars it can live with, not super-estates it can out-winter.

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So come on, name me a better all-weather weapon.

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