V8 Vantage vs Nissan GT-R when is there too much power?

As a petrolhead it has to be said you can never have enough power, however lately I’ve really thought that I’m pushing the boundaries of what I want. There’s 250bhp difference between the two cars in this article and Christ can I feel every last one.

Drivability

Again I appreciate this is entirely subjective but there’s something incredibly ego-stimulating about squeezing out every last Rev and changing gear yourself. You feel connected to the car, you’re going fast (ish) and you get to listen to the engine note change as the revs climb it’s bliss. However when you’re knocking on the door of 700bhp and 860nm things get a little dramatic. Whilst I’m well aware that A) that’s a shitload of power and B) the roads are cold and damp, there’s some really unpleasant moments to be had. Before my software update with Litchfield (linked below) the GT-R was a spikey car. Any kind of throttle or provocation and it snapped into oversteer. Great if you meant it, not so much if you just want to overtake the Bin Lorry on a Thursday morning at 37mph. I found myself short shifting to avoid the aggressive influx of boost pressure and subsequent torque as the car would just snap sideways and was quite tricky to catch smoothly. Also you can only shit yourself so many times in a short space of time before needing a bath.

Manual or Dual clutch

I’ve had this discussion many times when describing the GT-R in tuned guise to people. It’s one of the elite where robbing it of its dual clutch would genuinely make it much much worse. A dry summers day and full traction the acceleration is phenomenal and you’re happy to keep both hands firmly planted on the wheel, it’ll wag its tail and smash into the Rev limiter if you’re not quick enough on the paddles. However this being said the busyness of a manual gearbox can makes things frantic and thus feel faster than they actually are. On the right twisty road the Aston Martin was bliss, not much torque but a high redline and choosing cogs myself made me feel like a real mans man. So while the GT-R would be worse with a manual box because it’s too fast and hectic I think the Aston is the opposite, an automatic would ruin it. Not enough power or torque to occupy you and if you’re not changing gear, heel-toeing and feeding in the steering you’ll be quite bored between the bends as there’s just not enough happening.

Adjustable Maps

Typically used for juggling whichever fuel quality you’re to get hold of in unfamiliar territories to avoid knock, multiple maps are now a useful way to customise the cars behaviour to the conditions. Since the map tweak I’ve experimented on full boost and I’m happy to report the power is now turned up even farther, yet smoother in delivery. However with the wet roads and low temps I’ve found it’s much better to live with on 1 bar of boost and surprisingly frugal on a decent run. Actually achieved 315 miles out of a tank of V-power which with the JDM cars having a smaller tank I’m really impressed with.

I think to summarise you really can’t have too much power but there’s always a time and place for it. I’m more than happy with the boost wound back a tad during the rare winter use but I can’t wait for summer to give it a real poke and see what’s what. I will always secretly miss a manual box just a little bit though. perhaps a supercharged Vantage could be a laugh…

Published by Sam Busby

a big nosed bearded idiot who likes to write about cars. Lucky enough to have owned a few quick ones too.

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