CarWow has a 1990s automotive icon fight. From Japan, there is the Nissan Skyline GT-R R34, and challenges the BMW M5 E39 from Germany.
The Skyline GT-R packs a 2.6-liter twin-turbo inline-six. On paper, the engine produces 276 horsepower (206 kilowatts or 280 metric hp) and 289 pound-feet (392 Newton-meters) of torque. This is because of deals between Japanese automakers at a time where neither of them will quote output higher than this horsepower figure. The actual number is likely higher. Power is channeled through a six-speed manual to an all-wheel-drive system.
The BMW M5 of the E39 generation boasts a naturally aspirated 4.9-liter V8 engine that pumps out 394 hp (294 kW or 400 metric hp) and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque. It uses a six-speed manual that drives the rear wheels.
The challenge begins with three drag races. The first, the GT-R failed, which allowed the M5 to win easily. Other times, the Nissan driver had things called and got a better start by letting him win about half the length of the car. The final run was the closest, and BMW managed to be the first to cross the line.
For their best run, the M5 covered the quarter mile in 13.3 seconds. The GT-R was right behind him with a time of 13.4 seconds.
Next, there are three runs of the roll. However, the race setting gives the M5 an advantage. Both vehicles start at the same speed and in the same gear. The GT-R’s engine doesn’t spin high enough to generate thrust. BMW won all three times.
Lastly, there is a braking test of 70 miles per hour (113 kilometers per hour). This time, the GT-R has the upper hand as this particular M5 uses curved rotors. The Nissan stops a shorter distance and ends up roughly parallel to the BMW’s rear bumper.