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DCT and Turbo combo < C7 stick

 
Old 01-17-2019, 03:30 PM
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SBC_and_a_stick
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Default DCT and Turbo combo < C7 stick

I owned the C7 Z06 Z07 and tracked it for three years, and now have tracked the following DCT/auto cars:
Porsche GT3 RS
Lamborghini Gallardo 550-2
Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4
Lamborghini Huracan Performante
Lamborghini Aventador S
McLaren 570S
Acura NSX
Nissan GT-R
Audi R8 V10 Plus
Ferrari 488

By far the most boring cars to drive are the turbo ones. They get the job done, indeed there is little or no lag in top of the rev range, but they are completely lifeless. Even the 488 which I expected to sound good and build up power like an NA engine had none of the charisma of the naturally aspirated cars in the group. It is beyond me why anyone would spend huge chunks of cash for cars powered by engines so dull. Porsche has proven that a 4.0L 6 cylinder all motor beetle can hang with the best boosted exotics. Isn't that something to stop and think about?

Whether a car had a DCT that was a decade old (Nissan GTR) or the best of the best (Porsche GT3 RS) was hardly noticeable. The experience is identical, and the shift speed rather irrelevant. I found two distinguishing features, both also fairly irrelevant. Some of the paddles are on the steering wheel and some are mounted to the steering column, so you have to verify which type it is before getting in. The Aventador S is the only other mention, the jolt you get in some of the modes is simply childish. None of these transmissions hold a candle to a proper h pattern stick, which lets you feel the power curve of the engine and takes real skill to drive. There is zero fun with auto transmissions as expected, they merely get the job done. Some of these DCTs fall flat on their face at 15,000 mile requiring large cash outlays to keep them going. It's the price to pay for being too lazy to learn how to drive a fun and reliable manual.

I really hope GM will release at least one version of the C8 that's stick and naturally aspirated or supercharged. In my opinion, any of these cars are fast enough. You can be competitive with them in advanced groups at HPDE without a sweat. The distinguishing factor will be how fun and exotic they are. The sweet spot for me is a V10 with stick. It sounds exotic at 1,000 rpm, something the Porsche GT3's flat 6 can't do. The throttle calibration on late V10 Lambos is insanely direct, the gas is wired straight to your tendons. Though the carbon tub McLaren was the best chassis, the all aluminum or mixed metal ones are just fine, just a bit heavier. So perhaps the best cash saving move is to keep going with aluminum frame. However, don't make it as big as the Aventador S, that car is just way too big. It's unruly to move around and when you go to the brakes it reminds you it's really a tank.

My wish for the C8 then is to keep it small, aluminum, stick, and naturally aspirated. Forget about laptimes GM, the C7 Z06/ZR1 are already fast enough. Make a true exotic for a low price while saving money on the transmission and tub materials. This is the time, since almost all exotics are starting to feel like common pedestrian modes of transportation.
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:04 PM
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All of the EU companies, save for Lambo, are building what they are confined to based on emission/mpg mandates and engine displacement taxes. The next gen Lambos will also be turbo BTW. American car companies still can pretty much do whatever they want, within reason. I share the same feeling as you: I like the NA, big displacement engines. My hope is that EU and California regulations don't start affecting what the American car companies are willing to produce. I have tried to drink the turbo cool-aid and just can't stomach it. I didn't come up with this quote but, "the way forward may be backwards." I'm sure the next corvette will be great in every metric, but will it have that great vibe that just resonates through you?
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:49 PM
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^
Two posted based on real life. Not marketing material and keyboard racing.
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:01 PM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by SBC_and_a_stick View Post
I owned the C7 Z06 Z07 and tracked it for three years, and now have tracked the following DCT/auto cars:
Porsche GT3 RS
Lamborghini Gallardo 550-2
Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4
Lamborghini Huracan Performante
Lamborghini Aventador S
McLaren 570S
Acura NSX
Nissan GT-R
Audi R8 V10 Plus
Ferrari 488

By far the most boring cars to drive are the turbo ones. They get the job done, indeed there is little or no lag in top of the rev range, but they are completely lifeless. Even the 488 which I expected to sound good and build up power like an NA engine had none of the charisma of the naturally aspirated cars in the group. It is beyond me why anyone would spend huge chunks of cash for cars powered by engines so dull. Porsche has proven that a 4.0L 6 cylinder all motor beetle can hang with the best boosted exotics. Isn't that something to stop and think about?

Whether a car had a DCT that was a decade old (Nissan GTR) or the best of the best (Porsche GT3 RS) was hardly noticeable. The experience is identical, and the shift speed rather irrelevant. I found two distinguishing features, both also fairly irrelevant. Some of the paddles are on the steering wheel and some are mounted to the steering column, so you have to verify which type it is before getting in. The Aventador S is the only other mention, the jolt you get in some of the modes is simply childish. None of these transmissions hold a candle to a proper h pattern stick, which lets you feel the power curve of the engine and takes real skill to drive. There is zero fun with auto transmissions as expected, they merely get the job done. Some of these DCTs fall flat on their face at 15,000 mile requiring large cash outlays to keep them going. It's the price to pay for being too lazy to learn how to drive a fun and reliable manual.

I really hope GM will release at least one version of the C8 that's stick and naturally aspirated or supercharged. In my opinion, any of these cars are fast enough. You can be competitive with them in advanced groups at HPDE without a sweat. The distinguishing factor will be how fun and exotic they are. The sweet spot for me is a V10 with stick. It sounds exotic at 1,000 rpm, something the Porsche GT3's flat 6 can't do. The throttle calibration on late V10 Lambos is insanely direct, the gas is wired straight to your tendons. Though the carbon tub McLaren was the best chassis, the all aluminum or mixed metal ones are just fine, just a bit heavier. So perhaps the best cash saving move is to keep going with aluminum frame. However, don't make it as big as the Aventador S, that car is just way too big. It's unruly to move around and when you go to the brakes it reminds you it's really a tank.

My wish for the C8 then is to keep it small, aluminum, stick, and naturally aspirated. Forget about laptimes GM, the C7 Z06/ZR1 are already fast enough. Make a true exotic for a low price while saving money on the transmission and tub materials. This is the time, since almost all exotics are starting to feel like common pedestrian modes of transportation.
I think you will be disappointed. I predict it will not be small, maybe some aluminum, DCT and turbo charged.
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:24 PM
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I agree with the transmission aspect. I know that DCTs are marginally faster on a track and quite a bit faster off the line, but I don't really care. Their user experience mirrors that of an automatic, and while I don't mind an auto when stuck in stop and go traffic up a steep hill (happens very frequently on my commute), for a fun car, even one I commute in occasionally, I would prefer the manual. Very happy that Ford released the GT350 with a stick, and hope they eventually add one to the GT500 (although I'd likely stick with the GT350 anyway).

I hope that GM can put a stick in the C8, but those interior spy shots make the packaging look tricky due to the size and layout of the center console area.

I haven't had much experience with the turbos, so I can't comment too much on that, except to say that IMO the turbo/hybrid engines have ruined F1. For me personally, it is a sound issue. I know that the BMW M3/M4 sounds like crap, but not sure if that is more about their execution than the turbo's inherent dampening of the exhaust pulses. I had a VW GTI with the turbo-4, and that engine really pissed me off due to the lag. Coupled with the FWD and lack of limited slip diff (except for using the brakes), and it was annoying to pull into a heavily trafficked road. Gutless, then tons of inside wheel spin. My wife has a Volvo XC90 with the turbo/supercharged four cylinder, and that engine works pretty well. No real lag, but it is definitely tuned for fuel economy so again hard to judge against a high performance turbo setup.

I do think the emissions and fuel economy aspects make modern turbos drive more like diesels, with tons of low-end torque but then they fall off up top. The Ecoboost Mustang for example needs to be short-shifted for best performance, since the power falls off so much. That low-end grunt is good for acceleration numbers (good launches and large area under the curve), but it doesn't feel exciting as you run through the revs. I would hope that the high performance engines would at least maintain the torque curve up top, but it sounds like maybe they don't.

The superchargers actually seem like a good solution here, as their boost is more directly coupled to engine speed (especially positive displacement types) and therefore they tend to shift the torque curve up across the entire rev range, rather than boosting only the portion where they are most efficient (like modern turbos tend to do).

Will be interesting to see how GM is able to setup the C8 in that regard.

I do think the auto MFRs also struggle with customer perception, where numbers are often the selling/bragging point. Look at how hung up people get on 1/4 mile times, HP, and lap times. Very little discussion surrounding whether the car is actually fun, but lots of hot air dedicated to which one is .5 seconds faster on this or that track. I see people call out a car as being a failure if it isn't the as fast as something similar. I feel like that type of response must have some influence on the decision making process.

-T

Last edited by Trackaholic; 01-17-2019 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:31 PM
  #6  
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it will be aluminum mostly so you will get your wish there, there maybe be a non turbo at least at least early on ala todays ohv engine, but the high hp ones are probably turbo according to the cad leaks etc and you dont care about gobs of power so you may get your wish there. Stick... well on one hand corvette is one of the only high end sports cars with a stick so that bodes well but on the other hand the interior leaks points to no stick so you probably wont get your wish there IMO, but who knows on that one, jury is still out since the corvette team has been very stick friendly and there is a vocal pool of buyers for that, but the cost savings of focusing on one tranny might win out. Forget about forgetting about the lap times, because to get street cred you gotta perform up there with the best performers and the corvette team knows this and does this and will probably continue to strive for this, but they have a whole range of performance options and that will continue most likely. I.e. they wont abandon striving for high lap times but the lower end will exist too. As a side note, I am wondering how you would enjoy driving an electric sports car like the 2020 Roadster, Taycan, etc. It has the instant throttle response you want and maybe much better than ICE, but maybe not the noise.. though i wonder if the super high end electric sports cars will have some cool electrical sounds.. not fabricates sounds but just by virtue of it being high perf electric.. probably not but I can always hope.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:06 PM
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I drive a lot of rental cars for work, some even with DCTs. All the cars I own have manuals, even my SUV. When I get back in my own cars, it always feels good. There is just something extra that is missing with an automatic. I feel like I am driving the car more. I can control exactly how much torque reaches the rear wheels. My cars are all naturally aspirated, so again variable boost isn't getting in the way of controlling the torque. Starting from a stop is especially noticeable. No automatic, even a DCT lets the driver control the torque from a stop. The computer does.

I will say I have driven some turbo cars where it was actually hard to tell it even had a turbo. I've driven others that were abominable. Most are poorly done. It takes a lot of engineering to build a good turbo engine. There are so many variables that can kill response or kill power. Also if you start out with a larger displacement engine, that doesn't need a lot of boost, it could be decent. The rumored 5.5 liter engine would be a good starting point. That would be much bigger than most turbo engines.

I agree with the OP, that a well designed naturally aspirated engine always feels best...until you get to high altitude.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SBC_and_a_stick View Post
You can be competitive with them in advanced groups at HPDE without a sweat.
I was 100% with you until that line. HPDE is not competition.

Originally Posted by Trackaholic View Post
I haven't had much experience with the turbos, so I can't comment too much on that, except to say that IMO the turbo/hybrid engines have ruined F1. For me personally, it is a sound issue.
Conversely, the turbo F1 cars of the 80s/90s sounded insane. I think it has much more to do with the MGU-H in the current cars, combined with a different power delivery because of the hybrid system as well as the fact they really aren't hammer down and revving it all the way out due to fuel.

I'm also very concerned about DCT only. I realize the technical superiority of the system in terms of quick shifts, protecting the systems, etc over a traditional manual, but that also puts the intangibles at risk of being lost. As both of you have in some way pointed out, there is that enjoyment of that perfectly executed rev-matched downshift (without the computer's help) that sends a tingle down the spine. The additional concentration and coordination of both feet operating three pedals at the same time combined with both hands steering and intermittently one making a shift, really rewarding, especially when driving at 8,9, 10/10ths. A hard launch with little to no wheel spin and the tires just at the edge of grip brings a grin every time, and the power of the car really doesn't matter.

I've driven (on the road and on the track) several DCT vehicles and they have always left me a bit torn for the very reason above. Around town, some were basically as smooth as automatics except in parking lot situations. On the track, some were better than others, and while I had to be honest it was probably quicker, it left me feeling a little disappointed in the experience as a whole.

Last edited by vndkshn; 01-17-2019 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:38 PM
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You think those are boring? Just wait till every sports car is electric powered. No transmission, perfect traction, no noise and faster than anything else ever made.

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Old 01-17-2019, 06:38 PM
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I think that when people are discussing the operational characteristics of DCTs they should specify whether or not they are shifting manually (using the paddles) or letting the DCT's computer do the shifting.

It seems to me that using the paddles is not that far removed from shifting a manual. Please note, many current motorcycles can be driven without using the clutch, but they don't have DCTs.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:59 PM
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I'm surprised to hear someone call that list of cars boring! I'm with you in hoping that the C8 comes manual. If it doesn't, it won't be the end all be all for me but at the same time i won't be as quick to jump on the next gen bandwagon.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by SBC_and_a_stick View Post
The Aventador S is the only other mention, the jolt you get in some of the modes is simply childish.
The Aventador has a single clutch gearbox, not a DCT. I'm going to have to lower your credibility for that oversight. The reason that the Aventador has a single clutch is because when Lamborghini was developing it back in the mid 2000's, DCT wasn't nearly as good as it is today. It also adds a lot of weight, plus Lamborgini wanted it to have harsh shifts to be more sporty and unrefined. Previously, their V12 cars were available with a stick so Lamborghini wanted to kind of mimic a manual shift, and not make it smooth.

Originally Posted by evolmotorsprt View Post
The next gen Lambos will also be turbo BTW.
That is not true. Lamborgini has said they will make their cars naturally aspirated for as long as they can. Their next generation cars will be hybrid. Do not spread false information. Battery tech is just not advanced enough for them yet, so their cars will not be fully electric for a long time.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by PurpleLion View Post
I think that when people are discussing the operational characteristics of DCTs they should specify whether or not they are shifting manually (using the paddles) or letting the DCT's computer do the shifting.

It seems to me that using the paddles is not that far removed from shifting a manual. Please note, many current motorcycles can be driven without using the clutch, but they don't have DCTs.
Definitely an interesting situation here, as a regular automatic has paddles and from a user interaction point of view is identical to a DCT in that regard. Still doesn't do it for me.

I think for me it is the action of taking my hand off the wheel and shoving a stick around. I don't mind the automatics with the "bump shift" manual mode as much as the paddles. Still prefer the clutch pedal though. And I guess the biggest fear is the deep seated knowledge that it is practically inevitable for the traditional stick shift to die off. That makes me cling to it even more.

-T

Last edited by Trackaholic; 01-17-2019 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:21 PM
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I agree with the OP 100%...there is a sect of people who aren't seeking this "ultimate speed" via DCT and turbo, and would be plenty happy with a capable and respectable "driver" car. I think the fact GrandSports sell so well, are a testament to that. There is a lot of fun to be had in a "slow car driven fast"...and I say slow relative to the top of the chain right now with Mclaren 720's and 488GTB's, etc. Plenty of people would be happy as a peach with 500hp and a manual gearbox...myself included.

If indeed Corvette goes all in with DCT, turbo's, etc...unfortunately my enthusiasm will likely end with C7 and will probably look to other brands offering something for the niche groups still...even if it means Superlite SLC's and Factory Five 818's, etc. There will always be a car for the purists, just comes down to who builds it. Porsche seems to always find a way, and wins every time they do...they do this repeated tease with "the end of an era" and then poof, a manual is back again.

We'll see...all the prediction bs with these cars gets old. The fiasco over the 9yr wait for LFA, the 7yr wait for NSX, the constant leaks with Supra, constant leaks with Corvette....again, I like Porsche...they just said "F it" and out popped the 992 Carrera with no camo, outa nowhere almost...no games, just bam...there it is.

GM seems to be mirroring Porsche in a lot of ways, so it's my secret, deep down hope, that this mid engine car serves as a big distraction to just bam, unveil a front engine C8 55k car side by side, when no one sees it comin.
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:32 PM
  #15  
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Some great comments here!

In terms of emissions, isn't the Huracan with a 5.2L NA engine the contradiction here? McLaren, Ferrari, Nissan, and Acura have all made turbo cars for a huge time period where the large displacement high revving Lambos pass the tail pipe test. Perhaps 2022 forward or some time in the future turbo or hybrid will be the only way to pass, but until today and for some time going forward the automakers had and have a choice. Since hybrid can meet emissions, I presume you don't have to turbo the engine in the future at all. So where is the evidence that exotic manufacturers were forced to make turbo cars? I don't see it.

As far as shift times go, again negligible gain by going auto over stick shift. All of these cars have lots of power, I think a distinguishing feature will be aero going forward. Aero done right will make some cars much faster than others. Imagine the kind of speed you can sustain even with the lowest power car in this group if you didn't have to hit the brakes that much.

Note that the jolt in the Lambo is done on purpose, as in some other modes the Aventador S is quite a bit smoother. Again, not a big difference from single clutch to dual clutch imo, smoother in DCT but to me more of the same. I selected the gears myself in all of them, never in full auto.

One thought is to have clutch by wire. The NSX's brake by wire was not all terrible, though I must say the gas with the hybrid drivetrain was wonky at times. It was moving about without my inputs, almost like gas ABS!

It is indeed politically incorrect to state HPDE is competition. Though if you want to talk exotics in the context of wheel to wheel racing I think your sample would be close to 0! There is probably a better forum to discuss pro racing in exotics. This is more about track days with no speed limits and street.

The Chevy V8s sound like thunder at the moment, and stick is available in all of them. In a world where C8 is turbo and DCT only why would anyone not just buy the 570S for example? Seems like it would be tough to beat the exotics at this game. It's hard to know whether you're in one DCT turbo or the other based on feel or track times. So why wouldn't someone just buy the fanciest badge or the cheapest of the bunch (Nissan GTR or a used McLaren 570S)?
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:43 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Trackaholic View Post
Definitely an interesting situation here, as a regular automatic has paddles and from a user interaction point of view is identical to a DCT in that regard. Still doesn't do it for me.
No, a paddle shifted slush-box automatic is not the same as a paddle shifted DCT!

Especially when downshifting. A paddle shifted DCT is identical to a manually shifted transmission, but without the clutch.

Last edited by PurpleLion; 01-17-2019 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:10 PM
  #17  
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As an owner of a GTR I couldn't disagree more. I've driven the PDK cars, and they are were 10x smoother.
Nissan has had nearly a 10 year TSB because every GTR before 2017 would rattle itself to death.
Several threads on the forums echoing this comparison from GTR owners themselves who owned both.

A turbo V8 DCT ME car is the REASON I want to come back to Corvette.

Where is this 15K limit for DCT operational life coming from? Source?
Also, what is a "low priced exotic" in terms of definition?
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:29 PM
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You really think a PDK 911 is boring to drive? I loved the pdks I dove, I'd take one over the tractor-pull-lever in my GS any day.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:34 PM
  #19  
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So much feel good BS from the buggy whip fans. MT has been done for a long time except among the great drivers who tell you they are great driver because they can push a clutch pedal. When big time racing goes back to a MT you might have a case to make. Agree that MT is fun to drive but don't see it as anything super special that separates the"real" drivers from everybody else.

Before anyone gets two out of shape I drive 3 MTs on a regular basis, also owned a 7DCT & drive an 8ZF. A 7DCT in the C8 can do nothing other than help make it a success. For people who want stick there might still be that wonderful 7MT you have now
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by TheSenator View Post
As an owner of a GTR I couldn't disagree more. I've driven the PDK cars, and they are were 10x smoother.
Nissan has had nearly a 10 year TSB because every GTR before 2017 would rattle itself to death.
Several threads on the forums echoing this comparison from GTR owners themselves who owned both.

A turbo V8 DCT ME car is the REASON I want to come back to Corvette.

Where is this 15K limit for DCT operational life coming from? Source?
Also, what is a "low priced exotic" in terms of definition?
To folks form rice-countries, there can be as many as 400 varieties of rice. So here, you may find DCTs to all be different and full of personality but to me they are all the same.

Service limit was given to me by the folks who instruct at rental companies that allow track rentals. 15K is not unusual for DCTs that live on track. On the road I'm sure you can go many more miles. It's really not too bad if the service was cheap. I calculate ~180 track hours before replacement, it's not terrible. Although, I would expect the number to be much lower if driven by a pro vs. average folks who rent.

You can argue back and forth whether the GTR is an exotic. I'd say 150K is about the entry price. Some of the R8s, NSX are thereabouts and those certainly qualify.

Also, the GT-R I drove is a 2017...

Last edited by SBC_and_a_stick; 01-17-2019 at 09:59 PM.
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