We didn’t have YouTube when BMW was selling the M5 E39 and Nissan the GT-R Skyline R34, but thankfully, these cars have withstood the test of time. Some 20 years since they’ve been discontinued, the hugely desirable machines have met at the drag strip to see which is faster in a series of drag and rolling races followed by a brake test.

Although they’re both performance cars, that’s where the similarities end as we’re dealing with a four-door luxury sedan competing against a fully fledged supercar. The M5 E39 sends its power to the rear wheels only whereas the GT-R R34 benefits from all-wheel drive. There’s also a significant weight discrepancy between the two considering the German super saloon is 235 kilograms (518 pounds) heavier.

A look under their hoods shows vastly different solutions taking into account that the BMW uses a naturally aspirated 4.9-liter V8 as opposed to the twin-turbo, straight-six 2.6-liter of the Nissan. The M5 has a massive power advantage as it pumps out 400 hp and 500 Nm (369 lb-ft), which is 120 hp and 108 Nm (80 lb-ft) more than its Japanese contender. Can the extra oomph compensate for the much higher curb weight? Yes and no.

drag race, m5 e39

Although the M5 won the first drag race, the GT-R had its revenge in the second duel after the driver had a much better reaction off the line. It was neck and neck throughout the third drag race, but the BMW driven by carwow’s Mat Watson managed to cross the finish line first. It completed the quarter mile in 13.3 seconds or a tenth of a second quicker than the Nissan.

The showdown continued with a rolling race from 30 mph (48 km/h) in second gear. There’s not much of a story here as the M5 won by a significant margin thanks to the crisp response of its naturally aspirated V8 with a lot more power. The subsequent rolling race from 50 mph (80 km/h) in third gear was more of the same, with the BMW taking a comfortable win.

The third and final rolling race was conducted at 60 mph (96 km/h) in third gear to allow the GT-R’s pair of turbochargers to kick in. With forced induction into the mix, the Nissan was able to keep up the pace with the BMW, and yet the E39 ultimately won.

The final test involved braking hard from 70 mph (113 km/h), which Godzilla won thanks to its much lower curb weight and better brakes.

Source: carwow / YouTube

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