When Rod mentioned I would need to get a car feature ready for the opening of AWD month here at Speedhunters.com I knew just the car to use. Mine’s is without a doubt one of the most recognized names in the Japanese aftermarket tuning scene, specializing in building some of the most responsive engines out there. They are of course known for their impressively fast R34 Skyline GT-R demo car that has blitzed competition for years, but now it’s their latest creation everyone is eagerly following the development of.
Niikura-san at Mine’s didn’t waste any time with the R35 GT-R. The day the car was on sale in Japan back in December 2007 he picked one up, stuck some Mine’s graphics on it and went straight to Tsukuba circuit for the Super Lap Battle. From that moment on Mine’s has been leading the parts development race, with the first batch of products already available back at the 2008 Tokyo Auto Salon show.
Fast forward to the present day and the whole R35 GT-R tuning scene has exploded. A few months ago I got a call from Mine’s inviting me to join them at Fuji Speedway for the shakedown test of their new demo car, curiously named SpecX 6.0.
Tarzan Yamada was called in to put the new car to the test, set-up the suspension and see just how fast it could go around the F1 track.
Mine’s showed up with both their cars, the carbon-clad track spec on the left and the more sedate looking street spec vehicle on the right. Quite a sight seeing these two GT-Rs parked next to each other in the Fuji pit. Intimidating would be the right word!
Mine’s was also carrying out some testing on their latest line-up of carbon parts including the hood you see here.
It was to be the more extreme track version I would do a shoot of later on in the day, so I was free to wander around the pits while Mine’s were busy getting the cars set-up properly.
Mine’s has never really gone too extreme on the aesthetic side of things, preferring to concentrate on the oily bits that make the most difference to performance. The same approach has been used on the R35, everything you see is there because it is either lighter, improves aerodynamics or increases downforce.
The all-carbon front splitter is the the perfect example, together with the canards it helps generate more front end downforce helping the heavy GT-R feel more planted around those fast turns at Fuji.
Since the SEMA 2008 show the demo car has been sporting the new Volk Racing TE37 Generation 2 wheels from Rays Engineering, finished off in black to match all those wonderful carbon parts the car is fitted with. Behind the 20-inch wheels you can easily see the Mine’s brake upgrade kit, which consists of massive ø 400 mm 2-piece slotted discs at each corner. These, along with the Pagid RS-29 high friction brake pads, help increase brake force and reduce brake fade under hard use on track.
Here is Tarzan Yamada behind the wheel of the street-spec car on the back straight. Within a few hours of testing Mine’s were able to get under the 1-minute 50-second barrier with a 1’49″782, a great result for the new car.
For me this is probably the best angle of the Mine’s GT-R. The car sits very low on its prohibitively expensive 3-way Sachs suspension kit, with the carbon side and rear bumper sections giving an even more planted stance.
Mine’s called in the help of Mooncraft to design and create the dry-carbon engine cover, which definitely looks much better than the cheap plastic thing Nissan throws on there!
To increase engine power to 600 PS Mine’s has worked hard in developing a very aggressive ECU map. Along with a substantial boost increase, the engine breathes more freely thanks to the Mine’s VX panel filters while back pressure has been reduced with the full Mine’s VX titanium exhaust system. Modified turbine actuators are also used along with the HKS EVC boost controller to control the boost curve more efficiently. Mine’s next step of modifications will call for something more extreme with a set of forged pistons and lightweight titanium connecting rods to help increase the engine’s response and take a lot more boost.
The signature Mine’s exhaust tail pipes peaking through the carbon rear bumper protector.
The interior is just as functional as the exterior with only a pair of Recaro carbon-Kevlar racing bucket seats replacing the heavy, electrically adjustable stock items.
What would a tuned Japanese car be without the obligatory Takata racing belts!
This is pretty much the only purely non-functional part fitted to the Mine’s R35, the carbon cover for the mirrors.
I have always appreciated the Mine’s approach to tuning, when you concentrate on making the best and most focused products available there is really no chance you can go wrong. 2009 will be an important year for the R35 tuning scene, we will see more substantial increases in power as the industry catches up to the request for more specialized parts. It’s going to be great seeing what Mine’s and other tuning shops come up with!
: Dino Dalle Carbonare