Watch A 2020 Nissan Maxima Drag Race Classic 1990 Skyline GT-R R32

Automotive technology has advanced considerably over the past 30 years. Cars today are safer, more powerful and equipped with technology. This puts the most modest mainstream vehicle, the family sedan, on an equal keel with the supercars of the past. An example of this is a new YouTube video from Hoonigan pitting the 1990 Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 against a 2020 Nissan Maxima sedan to see which is faster.

Don’t let the looks fool you because these two are more similar than you might think. While the Skyline packs a 2.6-liter turbocharged mill producing around 280 horsepower (208 kilowatts), the Maxima has a larger 3.6-liter naturally aspirated mill producing a similar 300 horsepower (223 kW). However, any resemblance between them quickly disappears beyond that. The GT-R has a five-speed automatic all-wheel drive and a curb weight of 3,153 pounds (1,430 kilograms). The Maxima sends power to the front wheels via a CVT. It weighs 3676 lbs (1667 kg).

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The first race sees both cars get terrible starts off the line; However, the GT-R is able to take a small lead over the sedan, leading several car lengths before crossing the finish line first. The second race is much closer. While neither of the two launches was much better than the start of the previous race, it is much more even with the Maxima keeping the distance close between the two. In the end, however, the Maxima was unable to overtake the GT-R.

There is a third race between the two cars, but it’s more for entertainment than for scientific analysis. The two line up for a rolling race, although the GT-R has a handicap – an extra passenger. The race is once again, even as the Maxima keeps its slight lead over the Skyline, earning the sedan’s only victory. The race is a good reminder of how cars and technology evolve, democratizing performance along the way.

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