Nissan 370Z versus Audi TT - Letter perfect

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Too bad this magazine does not usually come with freebies. Else we would have given an MP3 file free with each copy, with a recording of the Audi TT 3.2 V6’s engine intake snort and wild exhaust note. Listening to the wild noise of the car can intoxicate you enough to sell your 2BHK as well as your two-year old hatchback, pull your child out of school for the rest of her life and go and buy it. Heck, it outdoes even its bigger, serious sibling, the R8. The TT is like a mischievous, impetuous brat compared to the well-behaved, always-in-control elder brother (hey, there’s a story there!). The sound is muscular, throbbing with intensity and engineered to irritate the Devils of Maranello and Sant’Agata.

Now imagine putting these two wild things together. Maybe Metallica and Michael Kamen should re-record S&M with these two, instead of the San Francisco Philharmonic.

So what do we have here? One is a well-built German sportscar, more muscular and aggressive compared to its predecessor, both in performance and looks. And the other is a finely-crafted Japanese sportscar, more muscular and aggressive compared to its predecessor, both in performance and looks. Er, yes.

Both the cars are incredibly chuckable, but what a world of difference between the two. Quattro plus all the electronics makes the TT extremely surefooted and nothing, not even the laws of physics, seems to overturn what it’s been taught at the factory. It is like, um, er, safe se... er, fun... yeah, harmless fun, let’s say. It is not easily provoked and that can only be a good thing if - sorry to be sexist - your wife’s doing the driving (ah, that ‘s’ word came out somehow). 250 bhp is not to be sneezed at and having electronics govern it means you can have fun without getting hairy. That means the rear-wheel driven Z is the psychotic car between the two. It has a near 50:50 weight balance between the two axles, with a slightly higher bias at the front. Though the TT has a narrower wheelbase and overall lighter build, it is the Z that reacts even more immediately. Getting its shapely tail out is easily achieved because of its nimble chassis and having some oversteery fun at a track is a must-do with this car.

It’s a no-brainer as to which is the more fun car to drive, but it’s not that easy if you want to decide on pure appearance alone. The TT has the look and feel of a solid but exquisitely crafted A.Lange Et Sohne timepiece, both in terms of overall design as well as in the numerous details inside-out. The Z is a different kind of beast, more in league with manga comics and Electronic Arts games. It is more with-it for the now generation, inside-out; it is what a Porsche would look like if it spends serious time in Tokyo. Ignoring the similar price-tags (Rs 46 lakh for the TT and Rs 54.5 lakh for the Z) and the traditional premium a luxury German car commands, the madness of the Z appeals to me. Perhaps it could come with a music player to pump out the TT’s bassy soundtrack.