With all the exotic machinery in our paddock, you may be wondering exactly how they all compare. Some might think that when you’re dealing with Lamborghini’s, Porsches and Aston Martins, the experience is pretty much the same: exhilaration. And while we’d agree that all of our exotic car rentals provide a unique, exhilirating experience, delving deeper into the details uncovers a group of vastly different automobiles. Two of our have some strikingly similar intentions: the Porsche 997 Turbo and the Nissan GT-R Black Edition. But at what point do these turbocharged, all-wheel drive maniacs hit a fork in the road?
First, it’s impossible to mention how blisteringly fast these cars are. The Porsche rings in 60 mph at just 3.6 seconds, and the Nissan in a mind-blowing 2.9 seconds. Accounting for the difference are understandable differences in specs. Godzilla (GT-R) has roughly 60 more horses, but the Porsche has more torque and is over 300 pounds lighter. Both cars pack a 3.8 liter six that breath heavy thanks to twin-turbos. Some purists turn their noses up at the GT-R’s mass amount of computerization compared to the Porsche’s raw drivability (i.e. Porsche’s 6-speed manual vs. Nissan’s 6-speed dual clutch paddle shift mechanism), but those computers sure are doing something right by pushing the heavier and overall larger Godzilla quickly past the iconic Porsche Turbo.
Perhaps the main secret behind the speed-freak prowess of these two vehicles is their all-wheel drive systems. Neither car emits much wheel-spin, if any at all; that will help performance figures significantly. Although chirping the tires has satisfying nuances about it, leaping immediately to speed is just as satisfying. Even more satisfying are the sounds that come out of these majestic machines. The Porsche differentiates itself with that classic Porsche twang and the Nissan with its more artificial yet adrenaline-inducing guttural yell. But when accelerating so fast, the differences in sound tend to fade into pure turbo hiss and the sound of the atmosphere being completely sucked into the soul of the car…and you.
Okay, so these cars are similarly outrageous and fast, but their driving dynamics and feel from the driver’s seat pose potential deal breakers to renters and members. The GT-R is larger than the Porsche, with larger dimensions that are noticeable from inside. With attributes like a taller ride height and more room for your knees and elbows, the Nissan GT-R might be the preferable road-trip ride of the two. The trade-off? A taller stance means more pronounced lean when hard turning and nosedive when braking, but keep in mind that this is in comparison to the 997 Turbo’s exceptionally flat turns and agile dimensions. Plus, sometimes you just can’t deny the classically sporty and authentic feel of a Porsche interior, especially with the gorgeous sea blue leather in ours.
When behind the driver’s seat, controlling so much power demands attention and responsibility, but the Nissan is a bit more friendly. Steering in the Nissan is a bit heavier and demands more effort. Couple this with the steering’s exceptional accuracy and its sticky AWD and you have yourself a manageable speedfreak in the GT-R. The Porsche’s steering demands a bit less effort on the Bay Area backroads, but when mixed with its bigger rear you could find yourself in a slippery situation.
All in all, it still may be hard for some to take seriously the words “Nissan” and “Porsche Turbo” in a competitive environment, but those people need a wake-up call. Sure, the Nissan’s previous grey market prestige may not be on the same level as the legend of Ferdinand Porsche, but both of these cars have comparable soul in every aspect. And when it comes to value, the Porsche’s $45k higher sticker shouldn’t matter too much to you, because we offer both of these beauties at comparable rates if you’re looking for an exotic car rental. So whether you’re dead-set on the Porsche or fascinated by the GT-R, we urge you to challenge your preconceptions by coming in today and checking out both of these vehicles in our collection.