Following the post on the Z-tune I think there is one other Skyline GT-R we need to look at, an R34 that like the Nismo car was built to be the ultimate street going modified “R.” When building the Driving Performer, HKS took a very different route to Nismo by creating something a little more extreme, at least in the engine department.
The whole point of this project was to create a comfortable GT-R, a car that could be driven every day but at the same time have enough reserves of power to satisfy even the most demanding of drivers.
HKS probably has the most vast parts catalogue for the RB26 and second-generation of GT-R (R32/R33/R34), and the Driving Performer gets the best of the best to achieve its goal.
To find out more about the car I headed down to Fujinomiya-city in Shizuoka-ken at HKS’s main factory and HQ where the BNR34 was waiting for me, all polished up and ready to go.
The body has been kept almost completely stock, only a set of side and rear Nismo skirts added to give the impression the car sits lower to the ground. 19-inch bronze Yokohama AVS Model 5s were chosen and wrapped in Yokohama DNA GP to offer the best all-weather street performance.
The stock Brembo calipers have been replaced by a full Endless braking system, massive 6-pot calipers up front and 4-pots at the rear. The calipers bite down on 2-piece slotted rotors and are fitted with Endless street pads all round.
Much like the Z-tune the interior has been kept stock looking but spiced up with full leather upholstering done by Robson Leather. Even the stock airbag equipped steering wheel remains. However there is a considerably high gadget-factor in the Driving Performer, after all what better way does HKS have to show off all their electronic modules!
On the silver carbon fiber center console, again done by Robson Leather, the Alpine CD headunit is joined by the EVC Boost controller LDC display and control unit as well as the EV-R system, which can muffle the sound of the exhaust at the flick of a switch.
The glove box has been turned into an additional housing for the F-Con V Pro ECU and the optional Navigator. You need very good eyes to see what the oil temperature and pressure gauges are showing all the way from the driver’s seat!
Here is a better view of the Robson Leather interior. The quality of the hide is very good and tight fitting while the stitching matches the yellow HKS/Robson Leather logos on the headrests.
This car is all about the engine and what a well-tuned unit this proved to be. At the heart of it all is their fully balanced 2.8L stroker kit which forms a pretty much bullet-proof bottom end for the engine built. Boost is supplied thanks to the T04Z single turbocharger, mounted on an HKS stainless steel manifold and controlled by an external wastegate. The HKS V-Cam introduces variable cam timing on the intake side of the engine which together with the extra capacity helps provide a decent spread of torque at low rpm for your everyday normal driving and when you find yourself on the right road the T04Z single turbine offers all the power and torque you would ever want, starting from the 5,000 rpm mark. The V-Cam helps in many areas like giving lower fuel consumption, smoother idle, lower emissions and of course a much more elastic engine throughout the entire rpm range. You really can’t argue with that!
Being an HKS demo car means the R34 received some mouthwatering one-off carbon goodies like the oil catch tank and fuse box cover. To this day I still don’t know why HKS doesn’t sell these things! I want one of each soooo bad!
Another nice touch are the two carbon covers on each corner of the engine bay that hide ugly things like the ABS unit and the steering servo. Oh and if this spec list isn’t enough for you scroll down for a more detailed one at the bottom of the feature.
Unfortunately due to some last minute alterations I was unable to savor the true “Driving Performer” concept. This was because HKS gave the car a bit of a wilder edge to compete in a recent circuit time attack session. Wilder cams and less conservative tuning gave a few more horses while a tight front LSD and triple plate clutch finished the package off. But despite this, the car’s dynamics weren’t disrupted much and it was still a great opportunity to experience what HKS have managed to obtain with this car. Apart from the erratic action of the clutch, cruising around normal roads is effortless to say the least with a strong pull even between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. Spool up of the T04Z begins soon after this and from then on it all becomes progressively faster until you hit the 5,000 rpm sweet spot when things really begin to get wild!
The effects of the V-Cam are instantly perceptible as the power delivery is very linear and smooth even when the turbine hits full boost. Kept on the boil this RB28 gives you a strong and very usable 3,500 rpm power band, which works very well on the twisty roads around HKS HQ. To complete the package HKS Hypermax Performer suspension keep the car very alert during spirited driving while offering an acceptable amount of comfort the rest of the time. Brakes are simply awesome.
The R34 has now been joined by the new generation of HKS demo cars like the R35 GT-R and the CT200Z Evo X-based time attack machine.
– HKS RB28 kit (forged pistons, conrods, crank) [2,771 cc]
– HKS V-Cam system
– HKS T04Z A/R 0.81 single turbine conversion kit, GT wastegate
– HKS metal head gasket
– HKS Power Flow filter
– HKS head
– HKS stainless steel manifold
– HKS metal catalyzer
– HKS High Power Muffler EV-R
– HKS R-type intercooler
– HKS oil cooler
– HKS F-Con V-pro ECU
– Custom carbon oil catch tank
– HKS Twin Power ignition amplifier
– Custom carbon fuse box
– Custom relocated power steering tank
– Carbon radiator shrouding
– HKS triple plate clutch
– Front LSD
Suspension & Chassis
– HKS Hipermax Performer adjustable suspension kit
– 9kg/mm springs (front & rear)
– HKS carbon front strut tower bar
Wheels & Brakes
– Yokohama Advan Model 5 10.5×19 (front & rear)
– Yokohama DNA GP (275/30/ZR19)
– Endless 6 pot front and 4-pot rear brake kit
– Nismo side and rear skirts
– Rear wing stay extensions
– Nismo clear front & side repeaters
– Nissan factory oil cooler intakes
– HKS Kansai Service FRP hood
– Full Robson Leather leather/carbon leather interior
– Nismo 320 Km/h orange combination meter
– Robson Leather factory steering wheel leather kit
– HKS Turbo timer
– HKS Circuit Lap Counter
– HKS A/F Knock Amp
– HKS EVC boost controller
– HKS EV-R control unit
– Alpine CDA-9805J CD Head Unit
– Robson Leather Carbon center console
– HKS D1 shift knob
– HKS F-Con Navigator
– HKS Oil pressure gauge
– HKS Boost gauge
– HKS Oil temperature gauge
– HKS V-Cam control unit
-Dino Dalle Carbonare