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Handling a Nissan GTR on A Wet Track - A Closer Look

I have talked to many people who tried to argue that AWD gives the Nissan GTR a traction advantage over RWD competitors.. which is true. However, they argue that, because of the AWD drivetrain, the GTR has another advantage which is that it can be driven year round, in inclement weather. They also usually refer to the GTR's Nurburgring lap time as a wet lap time because the track was slightly damp at a few spots and that it would be several seconds faster if it had been completely dry. I disagree.

The GTR's power and suspension setup isn't meant for all weather capability.. add that to a performance oriented AWD drivetrain, and all weather capability starts to seem very unlikely.



The video shows an Audi A1 quattro with just over 250 hp that has no problem at all keeping up with a Nissan GTR, which has more than twice the power, on a wet course. In fact, at several points in the video, the Audi A1 seems like it had a good shot at passing the GTR. The advantages of the Audi, as explained in the video, are skinnier tires and lighter weight. I am sure the much higher hp and drivetrain setup (which allow the GTR to be as fast as it is in the dry) also hurt its performance in the wet because the car seems very easy to slide and lose composure. Motor Trend actually noted in a long term test that grip between the left and right side of the car seemed to be mismatched in the wet.

MoraI of the story? The GTR does not have an all weather AWD system. Just because a car has an AWD does not mean it can easily be driven in dry, wet and snow conditions. The GTR would be able to put its power down better than a RWD car with similar hp in the same conditions but on the road, with good road tires, if you're careful with the throttle, you'd be hard pressed to notice a difference in most situations.

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