Nissan GT-R vs Audi TT RS: all the stats from the Top Gear drag race | Top Gear
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Top Gear drag races

Nissan GT-R vs Audi TT RS: all the stats from our drag race

Here's the full set of performance figures we recorded from our shootout

Published: 29 Aug 2017

Hopefully you’ll have watched the drag race between the Audi TT RS and Nissan GT-R by now. Because this relates to that. For this new series of drag races, we thought we’d do a Data Deep Dive (that’s a thing) on each test to give you a bit more detail on what went on.

So you saw the TT RS get close to usurping the mighty GT-R – which is exactly what we hoped would be the result when we first thought about putting them together. It might be that the five cylinder, single turbo TT RS, with only 394bhp and 354lb ft, gives away a chunk of power to the twin turbo V6 GT-R (562bhp and 470lb ft), but it also weighs a lot less (1,440kg plays 1,752kg). This levels the playing field substantially, so the Audi trots out with a power to weight ratio of 274bhp/tonne, the Nissan, 321bhp/tonne.

Advertisement - Page continues below

And the less weight there is, the less inertia there is to overcome, hence why the TT RS gets off the line so well. Well that’s my excuse for getting a terrible start in the Nissan, anyway. Above and beyond that, launch control systems have come on a lot in the last few years. The Audi’s was infallible and reliable while the GT-R’s system has always been a bit of a prima donna – attempt a launch more than 2-3 times and the clutches overheat and the car has to be driven around until it all cools down before you can have another go.

Anyway, the result of all this is that the TT RS was faster to 30mph (1.50secs plays 1.54), but after that started to give way as the Nissan’s power took hold. The Audi was 0.09secs back at 50mph, 0.23secs adrift at 60mph, 0.27secs at 70mph (gearchange and power band points account for the relative changes in time difference), and 0.56secs slower to the ton.

But that’s not much. We actually ran them both all the way to 130mph, and even then the Audi (14.20secs) was less than a second slower getting there than its Japanese rival (13.26secs).

What this means for the drag race (a distance challenge, rather than a time challenge, don’t forget) is that the GT-R struggles to create much physical distance between itself and the Audi. The TT RS is a ferociously fast car and surprised us all with how it maintained its acceleration at higher speeds. It went through the ¼ mile in 11.82secs at 120.9mph, while the GT-R was there just 0.20secs sooner, crossing the line at 122.2mph.

Advertisement - Page continues below

The timing gear also provides us with a peak G force reading. There isn’t much relevance to this, but it does provide a measure for just how hard a car goes off the line. The Japanese super-coupe managed to pull 0.937g, the German junior super-coupe hit 1.103g. So if you want to maximise your hit of acceleration...

The full figures are below. Have a look and feel free to comment.

               Nissan GT-R       Audi TT RS

0-10:      0.64                     0.59
0-20:      1.04                     1.00
0-30:      1.54                     1.50
0-40:      2.05                     2.10
0-50:      2.61                     2.70
0-60:      3.26                     3.49
0-70:      4.13                     4.40
0-80:      5.18                     5.48
0-90:      6.26                     6.61
0-100:    7.56                     8.12
0-110:    9.29                     9.80
0-120:    11.11                   11.71
0-130:    13.26                   14.20

¼ mile: 11.62s @ 122.2mph (GT-R), 11.82s @ 120.9mph (TT RS)