2020 Audi R8 vs. 2020 Nissan GT-R

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The R8 has standard Audi Connect CARE, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The GT-R doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the R8 and the GT-R have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

The R8 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The GT-R’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The R8’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the GT-R’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the R8 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The GT-R’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the R8 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the R8’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The GT-R’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 7 places higher in reliability than Nissan.

Engine

The R8 V10 Performance/Decennium’s standard 5.2 DOHC V10 produces 37 more horsepower (602 vs. 565) than the GT-R’s standard 3.8 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the R8’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The GT-R doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The R8’s standard fuel tank has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the GT-R (21.9 vs. 19.5 gallons).

The R8 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The GT-R doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Audi R8, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the GT-R.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction and acceleration, the R8 has larger standard rear tires than the GT-R (295/35R19 vs. 285/35R20). The R8’s optional rear tires are larger than the largest rear tires available on the GT-R (305/30R20 vs. 285/35R20).

The R8’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GT-R’s standard 40 series front tires. The R8’s optional tires have a lower 30 series profile than the GT-R’s 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the R8 is 2 inches wider in the front than the average track on the GT-R.

Chassis

The Audi R8 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 350 pounds less than the Nissan GT-R.

The R8 is 10.2 inches shorter than the GT-R, making the R8 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The R8 has .4 inches more front headroom and .8 inches more front shoulder room than the GT-R.

Servicing Ease

The R8 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The GT-R uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Nissan. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 25% lower rating, Nissan is ranked 17th.

Ergonomics

When different drivers share the R8, the memory system makes it convenient. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and climate settings. The GT-R doesn’t offer a memory system.

The R8’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The GT-R has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

If the windows are left open on the R8 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the GT-R can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The R8’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The GT-R’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the R8 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The GT-R doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The R8’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The GT-R’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

When the R8 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The GT-R’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The R8 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The GT-R has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Model Availability

The Audi R8 comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Nissan GT-R isn’t available as a convertible.

Recommendations

The Audi R8 outsold the Nissan GT-R by 72% during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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