2015 Z06 v. GT-R – The Battle Has Been Waged

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 vs 2015 Nissan R35 GTR

Article by Anthony Alaniz. Images by Chevrolet and Nissan Media.

With no natural predators, the 2015 Corvette Z06 has dominance over the automotive savanna. There are few asphalt annihilators that are as capable as the Corvette, though that doesn’t mean some creatures haven’t adapted to give the American beast a run for its horsepower-for-dollar.

One car in particular has adapted in a unique way, bucking the trend of other, often failed, competitors. This creature grew out of the ancient depths of Asia—except it was created in the Nissan’s design studio and powered by petrol, as opposed to being a prehistoric creature empowered by nuclear radiation. Both however, go by the same name—Godzilla.

Comparing the new super Vette to the Nissan GT-R may not seem like a fair comparison, but engine and drive-wheels aside, they both boast similar performance and a relatively similar price—read: expensive, but still kind of a deal.

With 0 to 60 times in the damn-fast category of speed, there is little wonder the two cars are often pitted against one another. They come from two very different ideas of what a sports car should be, delivering two different driving experiences, and ultimately dividing the automotive community on which one is right.

While we have already looked at the numbers the Z06 is putting down, they do warrant a reexamination when being compared to Nissan’s ultimate sports car.

Looking at the Z06, power comes from a supercharged 6.2-liter, LT4 V-8 engine, sending power to the rear axel through either an eight-speed automatic or a six-speed row-your-own manual offering. Horsepower is rated at 650, while torque comes in at the same—650 lb-ft of the twist.

The GT-R takes an entirely different approach to putting power to the ground, from the mill to what wheels are powered. Power is produced in a twin-turbocharged, 3.8-liter, V-6 engine producing 545 horsepower and 463 lb-ft of torque. However, power can be pumped up to 600 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque (and beyond that fairly "easily”).

While power may be down compared to that of the Corvette, the GT-R makes up for that thanks to its all-wheel drive system. The only transmission available is a six-speed dual-clutch automatic with manual shift mode.

The only large discrepancy between the two is in price, and they are in a tax bracket many of us will never see. The Z06 starts at approximately $80,000 for the coupe offering. This is the base of the base for the Z06. Expect cars with any sort of options to jump over the six-digit mark.

The GT-R starts at $101,700. While it is more than the Z06, it does things in such a different way that it is okay Nissan asks for a little more spare change in terms of cost.

Until both cars are independently pitted against one another, the only hard numbers we can dissect are sub 3-second cars and break into the 11s when chasing down the quarter mile.

General Motors’ supercar for the masses takes a decidedly classic approach to its execution. A big, burly V-8 sends power to the rear wheels. The Asian monster has computers and circuitry in place to ensure all the power gets through all four tires effectively, making it a worthy predator to run in the ranks of the Corvette.

Regardless of what side of the fence you are on, both cars offering insane performance for a relative uninsane price. In the end, the Z06 and GT-R couldn’t be more wildly different. However, both offer similar performance for a similar price. Which would you choose?


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Anthony Alaniz (Anthony_Alaniz)

Born and raised in southeast Michigan. Chose to stay out of necessity. Staff writer at a small community newspaper covering city government, the schools and whatever else happens in town. J-school graduate from EMU, weekend mechanic, car enthusiast and open-road connoisseur. Open to all invites of hospitality and adult beverages.
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I have a 2015 GT-R and I love the way it hugs the road while still having my kids in the back and a full trunk of luggage. I also love the Z06 for its classic V8 RWD layout and stingray shape. These are both world class super cars priced well below what either will eat up on the road or on a track. The best of America and the best of Japan. I love them both.