I still remember the first few years when the R35 GT-R was launched. Nissan really did an amazing job with this car, and apart from a few people that didn’t see the R35 as a successful machine, it provided impressive results both on track and on the streets. With a 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V6 engine under the hood, turning potential was enormous, and these days you’d be shocked if you get to see one that isn’t running 700 horsepower.
And in today’s race, this street-spec GT-R is even higher up than that. Because it’s rated for about 1,000 horsepower, as it has been tuned by Litchfield in the United Kingdom. Its engine is now a fully-forged unit, running on EFR turbos, and with that in mind, it’s bound to be faster than perhaps 90% of all vehicles running on public roads. But, as it’s still being used for driving on public roads, it still has a full interior, and so weight figures aren’t very promising, at 3,858 lbs (1,750 kg).
In the other corner, we’re looking at an Audi TT-RS. Now, you wouldn’t consider an Audi TT to be a capable opponent for a tuned GT-R, but we all know how capable the TT-RS version is. When tuned, these cars can even make more sense than an Audi R8, at least if you’re looking for a good price to performance ratio. And the car they’ve brought over today is packing about 723 horsepower. Even though it’s still making use of a stock 2.5-liter inline-5 engine, a TTE 777 Turbo has been brought into play, alongside a series of further modifications.
But, as mentioned earlier, this car was built with one goal in mind. Going as fast as possible down the quarter-mile (402 meters). So it’s running a stripped-out interior, with only the driver’s seat in place, and the tires it’s running are way superior to those of the GT-R, given the circumstances. There’s nothing like a set of Hoosier slicks when you’re trying to maximize grip levels! Furthermore, the engine is running on E85 fuel, and the whole car weighs only 2,998 lbs (1,360 kg).
So this wasn’t going to be easy for the GT-R in any way. But the driver seems optimistic about the rolling race, which is just a part of the challenge for the day. For the first test of the day, we get to see how fast these cars can get from 0 to 62 mph (100 kph). The GT-R isn’t slow by any standards, as it only needs 2.96 seconds to finish the first test, but the TT-RS is a few steps ahead, with a time of 2.29 seconds. That makes it as fast as some of the wild Porsche 911 Turbo S units that have been at this drag strip before.
The second test of the day is most likely going to reveal the outcome of the race. The GT-R confirms the fact that it’s running a solid set-up, by completing the quarter-mile in just 10.07 seconds, with a trap speed of 152 mph (244 kph). But the Audi launches like a rocket, and scores its second victory of the day, with a time of 9.63 seconds, albeit at a slightly less impressive trap speed of 148 mph (238 kph).
With that in mind, it doesn’t look like the GT-R stands any chance of winning the third test of the day, the head-to-head drag race. And, as expected, the TT-RS is so fast it’s not even funny anymore, as it wins its third race in a row! Last but not least, we get to see a rolling race format. After multiple attempts in which the drivers are unable to synchronize themselves, we finally get to see a relatively clean run. And the GT-R washes away some of the shame by winning this hands down.