Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2009 Nissan GT-R VS 2009 Ford Shelby Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2009 Nissan GT-R

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2009 Ford Shelby

Safety Comparison

The GT-R has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The GT-R has standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC-R), which uses the antilock brake hardware along with powerful software and additional sensors to detect the beginning of a skid. VDC-R then intervenes by automatically applying the brake at one appropriate wheel, preventing a skid. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer skid prevention. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study showed that skid control systems reduced single-vehicle car crashes by 30%.

Both the GT-R and the Shelby GT500 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, available front seat side-impact airbags and head airbags.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Car and Driver the Nissan GT-R is faster than the Ford Shelby GT500 (base engine) (manual transmissions tested):


Shelby GT500

Zero to 60 MPH

3.3 sec

4.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

7.8 sec

11.1 sec

Quarter Mile

11.5 sec

13.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

124 MPH

108 MPH

Top Speed

191 MPH

155 MPH

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the GT-R’s engine produces its peak torque at lower RPM’s than the Shelby GT500:


GT-R 3.8 turbo V6

3200 RPM

Shelby GT500 5.4 supercharged V8

4500 RPM

Shelby GT500KR Coupe 5.4 supercharged V8

4500 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The GT-R has 3.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Shelby GT500 (19.5 vs. 16 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the GT-R’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Shelby GT500:


Shelby GT500

Front Rotors

15 inches

14 inches

Rear Rotors

15 inches

11.8 inches

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The GT-R has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The GT-R stops much shorter than the Shelby GT500:


Shelby GT500

80 to 0 MPH

191 feet

216 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

145 feet

172 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

122 feet

Road & Track

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The GT-R’s 255/40R20 front and 285/35R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio), which provides a stiffer sidewall than the Shelby GT500’s standard 45 series front and 40 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GT-R has standard 20-inch wheels. Only 18-inch wheels are available on the Shelby GT500.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the GT-R can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the Nissan GT-R has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Ford Shelby GT500 has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The GT-R has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Shelby GT500’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The GT-R has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GT-R’s wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the Shelby GT500 (109.5 inches vs. 107.1 inches).

The GT-R’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56% to 44%) than the Shelby GT500’s (58% to 42%). This gives the GT-R more stable handling and braking.

The GT-R handles at 1.01 G’s, while the Shelby GT500 Coupe pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Road & Track skidpad test.

The GT-R goes through Road & Track’s slalom 8.1 MPH faster than the Shelby GT500 Coupe (73.4 vs. 65.3 MPH).

For better maneuverability, the GT-R’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Shelby GT500’s (37.4 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The GT-R is 4.7 inches shorter than the Shelby GT500, making the GT-R easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Road & Track while at idle, the interior of the GT-R is quieter than the Shelby GT500 Coupe (54 vs. 57 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The GT-R has 1.9 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more front hip room and 2 inches more rear legroom than the Shelby GT500 Coupe.

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