To get started with our extended Tokyo Auto Salon coverage I thought I'd get things rolling with a post dedicated to the Nissan GT-R. Just over three years from its Japanese launch in December 2007, the R35 has been met with nothing but praise from both the media and happy customers. The apparently "unmodifiable" new-generation GT-R, as Nissan would have liked us to believe back in 2007, has turned out to be quite the tuner-friendly car, able to crank out 600 HP with only a few minor upgrades. But now, thanks to continuous R&D by parts makers, things are really looking pretty good with lots of cars moving towards the 800 to 1000 HP range. Let's take a look at what TAS had in store for the san-go GT-R.
The Option Magazine stand this year was dedicated exclusively to the R35 with some of the county's most respected tuners displaying their latest demonstration cars…
…as well as parts.
The cars were nicely arranged around the most imposing GT-R of them all, the Sumo Power FIA GT number 23 R35. This is the same car we saw last month at the Nismo Festival and the actual development and test car Nismo keeps in Japan. Nice choice of stickers…
With the HKS Kansai Service R35 getting more and more extreme and tuned towards on-track performance, the guys from Nara also had a second street-tuned version.
The big Voltex GT-Wing is obligatory once you begin to take lap-times seriously.
Tanabe-san of Amuse will continue to be remembered by everyone in the industry, he was nothing less than a tuning genius and a man with a well thought out and clear vision. It was quite emotional seeing his R35 GT-R on the Option booth, the final car he worked on before passing away in 2008. With his end very much in sight he dedicated all his time and resources to creating the fastest R35 around Tsukuba, a car that two years on very much remains at the top.
I always thought the R35 is quite the wide car, but I guess not everyone shares my sentiments. Abflug impressed everyone with this widened beast…
…wearing a full body conversion following the sort of design we have all come to expect from Abflug. It might not be for everyone but it sure makes the GT-R that much more imposing.
On the mechanical side of things the Blitz GT-R has taken another very big step towards becoming one of the most unique R35s out there. Not only has the transaxle been dropped in place of a good old fashion mechanical sequential from Hollinger and an R34 rear subframe…
…but now the VR38 seems to have been worked on quite heavily with the stock turbos being replaced by a rather big pair…
…of top-mounted Blitz units. All of this should be good for 1000 HP, enough power to give Nomuken infinite tire-shredding potential.
Niikura-san at Mine's sure doesn't hang around! He got his hands on the 2011 GT-R the day it came out and proceeded to outfit it with the full Mine's carbon aero package as well as new Volks VR G12s.
On display next to the car was Mine's complete VR38, a motor built for response and unsurpassed in gear acceleration thanks to lighter engine components and an original turbocharger kit.
Every time I see the Sumo Power car I just can't believe nobody out there has attempted to create a body kit that emulates its design! Someone please get on this!
The Option Magazine area was one of the busiest displays of TAS, which is quite impressive as there was only one race queen in the whole place!
Trust, still recovering from its financial trouble, skipped out in setting up a booth for this year but was nonetheless present with this VR38 display engine fitted with the full line up of upgrades they have developed for it, which of course includes the TD06 turbine kit.
The Tommy Kaira tuned R35 we saw at the R's Meeting in Fuji in the fall was attracting a lot of attention…
…which I believe is the whole point of the car as it isn't exactly understated!
I still think the Esprit R35 runs the best rear wing replacement, that dry carbon work of art suits the big GT-R better than anything I've seen elsewhere.
JUN never fails to impress with its performance-oriented line up of products and there were tons of upgrades to transform your VR38 into a 4L beast, capable of supporting savage boost levels.
Their new intake plenum, which not only improves flow to each of the six cylinders but also carries a higher volume of air, perfect for engines running upgraded turbos.
They even had a second demo car, proving just how much Japanese tuners are leaning towards the new-gen GT-R.
Axell Auto from Nagoya have spent the last few months working hard to complete their demo car, wearing a full front and rear wide body kit.
You really need to look at it from the side to get the full impact of its girth!
This thing is competing with the Rauh Welt Porsches in the big-butt awards!
Phoenix's Power have one of the biggest R35 customer base in the whole country so it's not surprising that they had a massive display area in the "RH9 alley" with no less than four cars. We've seen this light-silver example at Fuji during the R's Meeting, one of the first cars to be fitted with their carbon bumper and front lip spoiler.
The demo car that I spotlighted last summer is looking even better thanks to the JUN-built plenum, polished to a mirror finish for added bling. But it isn't only shiny things that have been added, the engine has been rebuilt with the JUN 4L stroker kit, along with the Trust turbos it was running before. The engine is still being run in and at just 1.1 bar of boost develops 750 HP. 900 + HP is the target!
On the Tommy Kaira stand I spotted their demo car which seems to be pretty much the same as last year, except for LED daytime running lights and BMW-like angel eyes. Literally "light tuning" …sorry I couldn't help myself!
We've already seen the Nismo RC version of the GT-R…
…a ready-to-race package that I'm sure will appeal to lots of aspiring privateers and teams out there. Super Taikyu might get even more exciting this year if this car actually meets all of the regulations.
Endless also had their R35 on display, fitted with their prohibitively expensive monobloc brake kit, 6-pots up front and 4-pots at the rear.
Team Impul proudly exhibited their GT-500 R35 and Formula Nippon race cars as their main cars, attracting race fans wanting to get a closer look!
What would the Tokyo Auto Salon be without the presence of Top Secret. Nagata-san has been busy trying to extract as much power as possible out of the R35, not forgetting to create a series of aero parts…
…that help add that true Top Secret look. He had two GT-Rs on display, this street tuned car…
…and the more extreme wangan-spec gold demo car. Thanks to reworked ball-bearing turbos the car will soon be capable of running 900 HP…
…ready to begin shooting for some serious top speeds.
And finally the HKS development car, on display at the Yokohama Wheel stand fitted with the new and very light TCIIIs in what looks like 18-inch size.
The car was used to develop the HKS GT800 kit that is now available to the public, nothing short of a work of art when it comes to packaging with its symmetrical turbine set up that allows optimal positioning of the big external wastegates.
That's it for the R35 GT-Rs. More to come from TAS soon!
-Dino Dalle Carbonare