It is possible, I wonder, to write this feature comparing the merits and similarities of the Audi Quattro 20V and it latter-day equivalent, the latest 2017 model year Nissan GT-R, without mentioning the phrase Vorsprung durch Technik? Oh well, there you go. Failed already.
Yet Audi’s much-parodied marketing mantra epitomises what this particular comparison is all about. Created in the early 1970s, then dropped quietly a few years later before being resurrected so memorably in the ’80s to advertise the then-brand-new Quattro among other four-wheel-drive Audis, it is the very meaning of Vorsprung durch Technik – progress through technology – that so obviously links Quattro 20V to GT-R.
Both represent cutting-edge technical genius on the part of their respective manufacturers, albeit expressed in a somewhat different way and separated by nearly three decades. Both cars, ultimately, are led by technology. And both cars, in their own way, pretty much obliterated any sort of competition when they were first introduced.
The 562bhp GT-R is massively faster and more capable than the Quattro, of course it is. It also feels much more expensive and luxurious and modern inside. It has everything you could ever wish for in terms of specification, with multi-adjustable air con, electric motors that move the seats, multiple data- logging facilities in its computerised infotainment screen, satellite navigation, a stereo that will make your eardrums explode if you want them to. And it feels like a hugely more sophisticated car than the Quattro as a result.
But there are aspects of the GT-R that you do wonder about, have always wondered about, and driving the Quattro 20V beside it brings those aspects more sharply into focus than ever before. They are, very simply, its size, its weight and its frankly ridiculous packaging.