The Nissan GT-R R35 might be getting a bit long in the tooth, but it can still hold its own in a drag race. Granted, the BMW M550i xDrive is far from being a supercar as it’s a luxury sedan at its core but with some serious performance credentials. In an unusual showdown, the mighty Godzilla was pitted against the Bavarian saloon to determine which is quicker in a straight line.
Both have all-wheel drive, twin-turbo gasoline engines, and automatic transmissions, but that’s where the similarities pretty much end. Japan’s supercar has a smaller 3.8-liter V6 and yet it makes 565 horsepower over the 4.4-liter V8 inside the BMW where it pumps out 523 hp. Bear in mind this is a regular GT-R and not the more powerful Nismo version with 600 hp on tap. There’s also an R50 special edition with a colossal 710 hp.
The M550i xDrive has the edge in terms of torque – 553 lb-ft (750 Nm) vs 467 lb-ft (633 Nm) – but it’s also substantially heavier, at 4,275 lbs (1,939 kg) vs 3,933 lbs (1,783 kg). Their gearboxes are also substantially different considering the BMW has an eight-speed torque converter while the Nissan uses a six-speed dual-clutch. For the facelift introduced in 2017, the GT-R received smoother and quieter gear changes while the engine got a bit more power and the redline increased to 7,100 rpm.
The two were neck and neck at the beginning of the first drag race but the GT-R gradually climbed ahead and was the first to cross the finish line. Some will be surprised to see the gap between the two wasn’t that big. It was a different story in the subsequent roll race from 32 mph (50 km/h) in second gear since the Nissan pulled ahead at a quicker pace. From 49 mph (80 km/h) in second gear, the GT-R once again took the lead and never lost it.
It should be mentioned the GT-R driver changed the gears manually using the shift paddles while YouTuber Sam CarLegion driving the M550i let the car do all the hard work on its own. Why? To offset the difference in how the gearboxes automatically respond under hard acceleration as the Nissan’s takes more time to downshift. Tests were conducted with the GT-R in auto mode and it was substantially slower than the BMW.
Some of you will recall the M550i xDrive had an issue during the 2021 model year with the software as the car was slower to 60 mph than the manufacturer claimed. The culprit was a miscommunication between the V8’s computer and the stability control system. An over-the-air update was pushed to solve the problem. With this car being a 2022MY, it doesn’t have that issue.
Source: Sam CarLegion / YouTube