2020 Nissan GT-R vs. 2018 Audi R8

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the GT-R. But it costs extra on the R8.

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

Warranty

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the GT-R 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the R8. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the R8 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 4 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the GT-R’s warranty.

Reliability

The R8’s redline is at 8700 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The GT-R has a 7100 RPM redline.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.

Engine

The GT-R’s standard 3.8 turbo V6 produces 25 more horsepower (565 vs. 540) and 69 lbs.-ft. more torque (467 vs. 398) than the R8 V10’s standard 5.2 DOHC V10. The GT-R’s 3.8 turbo V6 produces 54 lbs.-ft. more torque (467 vs. 413) than the R8 V10 Plus Coupe’s standard 5.2 DOHC V10. The GT-R Track Edition/NIMSO’s standard 3.8 turbo V6 produces 68 lbs.-ft. more torque (481 vs. 413) than the R8 V10 Plus Coupe’s standard 5.2 DOHC V10.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the GT-R gets better fuel mileage than the R8 V10 (16 city/22 hwy vs. 14 city/22 hwy).

Transmission

The GT-R’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s at 4100 in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The R8 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the GT-R’s brake rotors are larger than those on the R8:

GT-R

GT-R opt.

R8

R8 opt.

Front Rotors

15.35 inches

16.14 inches

14.4 inches

15 inches

Rear Rotors

15 inches

15.35 inches

14 inches

14 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the GT-R has larger front tires than the R8 (255/40R20 vs. 245/35R19). The GT-R’s front tires are larger than the largest tires available on the R8 (255/40R20 vs. 245/30R20).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GT-R has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the R8.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the GT-R can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The R8 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GT-R’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the R8 (109.4 inches vs. 104.3 inches).

The GT-R’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (54.7% to 45.3%) than the R8’s (42.3% to 57.7%). This gives the GT-R more stable handling and braking.

The GT-R NISMO handles at 1.02 G’s, while the R8 V10 Plus Coupe 4x4 pulls only .99 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The GT-R NISMO executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the R8 V10 Plus Coupe 4x4 (22.9 seconds @ .92 average G’s vs. 23.5 seconds @ .9 average G’s).

Chassis

The design of the Nissan GT-R amounts to more than styling. The GT-R has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .26 Cd. That is significantly lower than the R8 (.34 to .36). A more efficient exterior helps the GT-R go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the GT-R get better fuel mileage.

The GT-R uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The R8 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The GT-R has standard seating for 4 passengers; the R8 can only carry 2.

The GT-R has 29 cubic feet more passenger volume than the R8 (79 vs. 50).

Cargo Capacity

The GT-R has a larger trunk than the R8 Coupe (8.8 vs. 8 cubic feet).

With its coupe body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the GT-R offers cargo security. The R8’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics

The GT-R’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The R8 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The GT-R’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them. Audi does not offer a locking feature on the R8’s standard power windows.

The GT-R’s sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The R8’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.

The GT-R’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The R8 doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

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

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