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996 Turbo vs. R32 GT-R: A Closer Look at the Cars of Driver Battles Episode 3

Let’s meet our next two challengers. On one side of the ring, we have a ’01 Porsche 911 Turbo owned and driven by Scott Dukeshire; on the other, we have an R32 Skyline GT-R driven by Amir Bentatou.

Driver Battles Porsche Nissan Track

’01 Porsche 996 Turbo

With the values of air-cooled Porsches exploding in recent years, the water-cooled 996 has become one of the most attainable ways to get into 911 ownership. Plus, despite the 996 platform being more than 20 years old now, its capability still holds up today.

Driver Battles Porsche Solo

This bang-for-the-buck is what lead Scott to buy his ’01 911 Turbo a few months ago. After growing up with Hondas and BMWs, Scott was drawn to the 996’s underappreciated performance, styling and the overall presence the car offered.

Driver Battles Porsche Track

With five years of track driving under his belt, Scott appreciates the 996’s dynamics just as much as its actual performance. Primarily used on weekends and at track days, the car is sporting many of the popular modifications and upgrades 911 Turbo owners do.

Driver Battles Porsche Interior

Converting the car from AWD to RWD is the most substantial modification done, bringing it similar to GT2 spec. Following up on that, the car has also been fitted with a Guards LSD to put the turbocharged flat-six power to the ground. In the engine bay, larger K24 GT2 turbos have been added, alongside upgraded intercoolers, a 3-inch exhaust system, custom engine tune and more.

Driver Battles Porsche Engine

Underneath, the chassis has received various GT2 and GT3 factory components, including GT3 brakes. Riding on a set of KW V3 coilovers and 18-inch Advan TC3s, the NT01 tire widths are 275 in front and 315 out back.

Driver Battles Porsche Wheel

Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R 

Amir Bentatou is no stranger to track driving, and his personal machines have included everything from an E36 M3 to an Acura NSX, but for this battle, he’s going to be hopping behind the wheel of this R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R.

Driver Battles Nissan Solo

Known as one of the most important Japanese performance cars of all time, the R32 GT-R rewrote the books in 1989 with its twin-turbocharged RB26DETT engine and AWD system that helped it specifically target cars like the Porsche 911. 

Driver Battles Nissan Interior

These days, the R32 GT-R is quite popular in the U.S., thanks to the 25-year import rule, and this car is a textbook example of how to build one for a mix of road and track use with occasional daily driver duty thrown in.

Driver Battles Nissan Track

Under the hood, the legendary RB26DETT has been fully built and now displaces 2.8L with an HKS stroker kit. All of the internals inside the N1 block are forged, and up top is a ported head with Tomei cams with boost coming from a pair of upgraded Nismo R1 turbochargers.

Driver Battles Nissan Engine

FEAL adjustable dampers help the handling, along with a variety of chassis parts from Cusco and Okuyama. The transmission comes from an R33 GT-R and a two-way LSD helps distribute the thrust. Providing stopping power are a set of Brembo GT six-pit brakes up front, while the rear has been upgraded to R34 GT-R components. The lightweight forged wheels come from Titan 7 and measure 18x10.5 inches on each corner.

Driver Battles Nissan Wheel

Interestingly enough, these days both a Porsche 996 Turbo and an imported R32 GT-R are both priced in the same neighborhood. As each of these cars has been modified in a similar fashion, we can’t wait to see how things shake out on the track.

Porsche 996 Turbo Nissan R32 GT-R Battle Nissan Front

With fresh Nitto NT01s mounted and ready on each car, which of these two turbocharged six-cylinder performance icons will prevail under the sun at Willow Springs?

Driver Battles Porsche Nissan End Of Day

Watch the episode of Driver Battles to find out who wins!

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