Tsukuba 3-Lap Battle: Honda NSX vs. Nissan GT-R NISMO

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The two top JDM super sports cars go head to head, place your bets.

When it comes to top JDM sports cars, the two that always come to mind are the Honda (Acura) NSX and Nissan GT-R. With the second generation NSX finally here, it’s time to see how it stacks up against Godzilla. The R35 GT-R may almost be a decade old, but it can still keep up with supercars today that cost twice as much. However, for about $75,000 more than the base model, you can own the full tracked-out NISMO version.

At the helm of the NSX, Dori-Dori himself, Keiichi Tsuychia goes out for some practice laps to get a feel for Honda’s super sports car. Sadly no subtitles were available for the video, but if you watch a lot of Best Motoring & Hot Version International videos like us, you’ll kind of get a feel of what was being said. Looking at the practice session, it seems like the NSX has a decent amount of power, but seems to be struggling with a bit of understeer at corner entry. Tsuchiya-San managed a best time of 1:02.47, not bad for being bone stock with street tires.

Honda-tech.com Honda Acura NSX Nissan GT-R GTR R35 Nismo Tsukuba

Does the NSX have a chance against the ultimate GT-R?

In the other corner with the GT-R NISMO, Akihito Nakaya takes Godzilla out for some practice runs. Straight away it’s very apparent how much more track-focused it is compared to the NSX. Braking into the corners and coming out of them, the GT-R shows much poise and precision. In every corner, the GT-R just seems to be putting down the power to the ground more effectively. And the faster 1:01.53 lap proves which JDM supercar is quickest in full-out time attack mode.

By the start of lap 2, Nakaya-san was simply playing around with Tsuchiya-san while being practically bumper to bumper. Enough was enough and the GT-R eventually overtook the NSX on the back straight as they were entering the final corner. After that, the GT-R cruised all the way to the checkered flag.

If you remember watching Type R Legend from Best Motoring, when the first generation NSX debuted, it went up against the R32 GT-R at Ebisu and was easily defeated. Hoewever, when Honda came our with the NSX-R, the tables turned putting the R32 in its place. How cool would it be if Honda developed another NSX-R with lighter chassis, track tuned suspension, and maybe a bit more power? Seems like the perfect contender to the GT-R NISMO if you asked us.

What did you think of the outcome of the 3-lap battle? Let us know on the forum!

Longtime auto journalist, editor and photographer Matt Eugenio has contributed news stories, features, reviews, photography and more for over five years to the popular automotive websites Both Hand Drive, Drive Tribe, Motor1, and other popular media.

Matt is currently a featured writer for Internet Brands Auto Group's Corvette Forum, Honda-Tech, 6SpeedOnline, and Rennlist, among other auto sites.

Eugenio can be reached at [email protected].

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