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Godzilla. It's a name that strikes fear in the minds and hearts of giant monsters (Mothra!) worldwide, not to mention a number of automobile manufacturers that produce high-performance coupes... including Chevrolet. The Bowtie-cladded company has one rather obvious model that lines up squarely in the sights of the Nissan GT-R, that being the Corvette.
Interestingly, though, Chevy's halo coupe isn't the vehicle the boys from Motor Trend decided to match up at Barber Motorsports Park against the Japanese Godzilla, opting instead for the brand-new Camaro Z/28. A glance at the spec sheet of the Z/28 clears up any consternation regarding MT's choice - more horsepower for the Nissan, more torque for the Chevy and roughly the same weight means they are on pretty equal ground when it comes to what's under the hood.
The rest of the spec sheet looks to tilt the argument in the GT-R's favor (especially considering that MT's test car is a Track Edition model), as it boasts all-wheel-drive traction, a quick-shifting six-speed dual-clutch transmission and a price tag that's about $40,000 higher than that of the Z/28. Oh, and don't forget the GT-R's legendary computer-controlled reflexes. Does any of that matter with a professional race car driver like Randy Pobst behind the wheel? Scroll down and watch the video to find out.
Ram has used Cummins engines in its heavy duty trucks since 1989, and it is the only pickup truck brand to use products from the Indiana-based engine maker. With the announcement that the next Nissan Titan will also use a Cummins powerplant, and a Nissan spokesman having already said "We will definitely leverage the Cummins brand name," a piece in Automotive News wonders whether the deal will affect the way Ram markets its tie-up with Cummins.
The question really is, how intense is this competition? While it is the first time that trucks from two different brands have used Cummins engines, they'll be two different engines in two different kinds of trucks; Nissan is going to put a 5.0-liter turbodiesel in a non-heavy-duty Titan, Ram only uses its 6.7-liter, inline six-cylinder turbodiesel in heavy-duty offerings. The diesel that Ram will offer in its light-duty, half-ton 1500 is a 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel with 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque - compared to about 300 hp and 550 lb-ft expected from the Titan's Cummins - and its marketing so far has focused on the fuel economy gains.
If Nissan was going to prove its commitment to the segment, it had to do something compelling. If we're talking about sales competition between Ram and Nissan, Ram has sold 201,633 trucks as of July this year, up 24.2 percent, 31,314 of those sales coming last month; Nissan has sold 10,020 Titans through the end of July, down 21.1 percent, and just 1,168 in July itself. Nissan's new truck boss - who hopped there from Ram - said that buyers have asked for a powerful turbodiesel in something other than a heavy duty pickup, and from what we've read on various comment boards, the pickup truck crowd is excited about Nissan's move.
Toyota back on top, Barrett Jackson, Crowdsourcing your Dodge Dart payments, Nissan and Toyota double down on pickups
Episode #318 of the Autoblog Podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Zach Bowman and Michael Harley talk about Toyota regaining the No. 1 sales crown, getting your friends and family to buy you a Dodge Dart, Barrett-Jackson, and Toyota and Nissan remaining committed to their pickup trucs. We wrap with your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Keep reading for our Q&A module for you to scroll through and follow along, too. Thanks for listening!
Autoblog Podcast #318: