The Z32 is one of those cars that has never basked in the same limelight as the Skyline GT-R and Toyota Supra. It’s a pity, as it is a great ride and like Kitabayashi-san of Pentroof likes to show us with this bright orange example, one with tons of potential. This is by far the most powerful and impressive Z32 I have ever shot and had the pleasure of riding in, one that really made me respect the good old 300ZX, a car that is now 20 years old!
The idea with this project was to create a very powerful Z, capable of running with the fastest cars on the wangan.
Like the Revolfe Supra we saw yesterday the problem with creating powerful rear wheel drive wangan racers is dealing with rear end stability and grip. To get over this problem Kitabayashi-san fitted a massive adjustable carbon GT-wing…
…along with the carbon rear diffuser, which stabilizes the Z at speed helping it stick to the ground easier. The rear Pentroof bumper is cut out in order to channel additional air smoothly away from the car.
Up front the Z32 sports a Pentroof bumper with tons of air intakes cut into it, after all the big VG30DETT motor requires a lot of cooling sitting in that tight engine bay!
Lightweight CE28Ns were chosen, finished off in a special-order metallic silver. They measure 9Jx18″ at the front and 10Jx18″ at the rear. For the best possible grip Kitabayashi-san went with a set of Yokohama Advan A048 semi-slick tires, 245/45/18 up front and 255/40/18 out back. The braking was upgraded with F50 front calipers and Lotus ones at the rear, both made by Brembo.
Sticker says it all!
Handling is kept in check by a set of special HKS dampers built to Pentroof’s spec and set up by Kitabayashi-san. Ride height is kept nice and low, giving a planted look to the Z32 from every angle you look at it.
The custom Pentroof titanium exhaust system starts off with ø 60 mm piping, moving on to ø 70 mm and ending up with twin ø 90 mm tips which protrude pretty aggressively from the bumper.
I don’t know what was more surprising when I first lifted the paper-light carbon hood, the amount of tuning bits in there or just how packed it all looks!
To strengthen the VG bottom end Kitabayashi-san balanced the stock crank and mated it to Tomei connecting rods and forged ø 89 mm Tomei pistons. The heads were ported and polished and fitted with upgraded valve springs and 260º camshafts, all top of the line products made by Tomei. HKS GT2530 turbochargers take care of supplying the boost, carried to the intake plenums via custom piping. 668 PS are developed at 6,200 rpm but it’s the killer mid-range that makes this car so darn fast out on the street, with a max of 77.8 kgm being developed at 4,680 rpm. Tire-shredding stuff!
You can see the twin Trust intercoolers through the central opening of the bumper. There was no way the stock transmission would be able to take almost 80 kgm of torque so an OS Giken 5-speed close ratio gear-set was fitted along with an OS Giken twin plate clutch. A Tomei LSD was chosen to complete the driveline upgrades.
One of the things I like most about this Z32 is the interior. Everything has been kept very simple, like the non-intrusive roll-cage to stiffen up the shell. The HKS bucket seats replace the stock comfort-oriented ones…
…while the Sabelt suede-clad steering wheel is fitted to a Super-GT-style lift-up boss. Additional equipment includes a big AutoMeter tacho, HKS boost controller and four GReddy gauges fitted in the glove box.
Kitabayashi-san took me out for a pretty crazy run on the wangan going full out through every gear until we hit the top of fifth. The acceleration comes at you with an unrelenting urge and felt more savage once we hit third gear when wheel-spin was no longer an issue. The head-snapping torque was as impressive as the powerful Brembo brakes which shaved off speed instantly when leaned on hard. I would really like to see more Z32s like this out on the streets of Japan, the potential is definitely there!
-Dino Dalle Carbonare