A GT-R For The Street & Track… By Nismo
Impossibly Japanese

Nismo – which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary – has always had very cool and direct link to us enthusiasts. Back when the RB26-powered GT-Rs and SR20-powered S-chassis cars roamed the streets of Japan, Nissan’s motorsport arm created a comprehensive list of road car tuning parts – many of them developed through knowhow gained from its factory-backed racing exploits.

I’ve never known how to best categorise the tuning wings of Japanese manufacturers. Most westerners will always try to compare them to say, AMG for Mercedes-Benz or M for BMW – but it’s not quite so simple. In creating a ‘tuned’ line of Nissan production cars, Nismo is certainly delivering something new and exciting.

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The Nismo catalogue is nothing short of a bible. It’s what people like me would take to bed, flicking through the well-organised sections making mental lists of what was needed to create the perfect street car. Nismo, however, was usually seen as the expensive option, ultimately leading many Nissan owners to less expensive aftermarket tuning brands for their upgrades. 

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Forget about the price tags for a moment and imagine what you’d end up with if you took all the best gear Nismo has to offer and put it into one car. Well, if that car happened to be the BNR34 Skyline GT-R you don’t need to dream, because Nismo Omori Factory have created it, and are calling it the Clubman Race Spec. Using parts from its expansive catalogue, including some previously reserved for the Z-tune edition, Nismo has reengineered a classic and tuned it with the trackday enthusiast in mind. The ultimate street BNR34 perhaps…

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This dark metallic silver demo car was built to showcase the best parts Nismo have developed for BNR34 since it went on sale in early 1999. Take the exterior for example – the bodykit is a mix of Z-tune parts as well as regular Nismo aero upgrades that have been available for the last 15 years. Except it’s taken one step further, because the Z-tune front bumper and wider front fenders are now also offered in dry carbon. Yes, these pieces are very expensive, but they’re also meticulously crafted with a OEM-like fitment – you get what you pay for.

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The popular carbon fiber front lip spoiler that’s been seen on many Nismo demo cars over the years was a given. This readily-available part favours a closed-in design over the stock, vented, Nissan item.

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Inspired by Super GT race car vents, the openings on the Z-tune fenders are totally functional. They not only channel hot air away from the engine bay, but also allow the R34 to cut a cleaner path through the air. I love the way Nismo have worked in an unpainted Omori Factory logo so you can appreciate the carbon construction that lies beneath the paintwork.

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Despite having been around for 13 years or so, Nismo’s R-tune carbon fiber bonnet still manages to look impressively modern. Again, its construction is all about function too. Like all of the other carbon parts fitted to the car it’s very light, and it also helps more hot air escape the engine bay. And the double-skin design effectively channels water away from the engine when it rains.

Borrowing Anchors From The R35

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If you regularly point your car at challenging roads or the track, brakes are something you need to splash out on sooner or later. Nismo offers an upgrade kit for R32, R33 and R34 comprising of the same Brembo calipers and rotors fitted to the R35 GT-R. The kit comes with model-specific caliper brackets as well as braided lines and Nismo pads.

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The 380mm front rotors just manage to fit inside 18-inch Nismo LM GT4s, which like all of Nismo’s wheels are made by RAYS. Great both on and off the track, Advan Neova AD08 tyres get the nod too.

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Nismo side and rear skirts feature as well, along over-fender strips at the rear. The latter are actually more of a requirement to pass Japan’s shaken test, which has a limit on how far out wheels and tyres can stick out from the body. There’s no issue at the front end as the Z-tune fenders are already slightly wider than stock. Looking at the Clubman Race Spec it’s hard to gauge just how much preparation work went into making it look this good, but I can tell you that absolutely no corners were cut in its creation. The particular car’s began as used Midnight Purple 2 V-spec model, which Nismo stripped right back down to a bare chassis and placed on a chassis alignment machine to make sure that it was factory-true. Reassembled, it was finished in Nissan’s KAD Gun Metallic with many layers of clear laid over to obtain an extra deep look.

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One of the finishing touches is the Nismo carbon fiber adjustable lip for the rear spoiler. Again, this is a part that has been around as long as the R34 itself, and is still available off-the-shelf today. The subtle Gurney flap helps increase downforce.

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For track regulars, tow hooks aren’t much use unless they’re within easy reach. That’s no problem for the rear of the car at least, where this billet and anodised hook has been fixed onto the center part of the chassis just above the carbon diffuser.

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In the engine room Nismo threw their entire catalogue at the Clubman Race Spec, and the result is nothing short of exquisite. If you like your RB26s with giant high-mount turbos and 1000hp-plus, this is probably not going to impress you much; but Nismo takes the conservative road with its modifications – especially when it comes to the engine. The R2-spec RB26 is nothing new – it’s been around for over a decade and it boasts around 450hp thanks to an N1-base block built up with Nismo goodies. Nismo R1 turbos supply 1.2-bar (17.6psi) boost, and to this Omori Factory have added an R35 injector setup to boost mid-range response and cut on emissions. In the mix is also one of the most sought-after Super GT inspired parts: the Nismo GT intake plenum, which goes a long way in equalizing the volume of air headed into each cylinder for optimal combustion.

Details Count For Everything
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The Clubman Race Spec is also the guinea pig for the development of carbon fiber turbo inlet pipes. There’s also a carbon air box, but that was removed at the time of my shoot. Both of these – along with a new generation titanium strut tower bar – show that Nismo is not giving up on these older cars, and in fact, is catering to them at a higher quality level than ever before. The carbon inlet pipes and intercooler piping might make it into production one day, but don’t expect them to be cheap!

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As far as Nismo is concerned, there was no need to make any improvements in the exhaust department, which is why you’ll find the same Weldina NE-1 stainless steel system that’s been available since the early ’00s.

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I for one have always liked Nismo’s approach. There’s actually a lot going on under the bonnet here, but the fit and finish is understated and factory-like.

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The R-tune carbon bonnet comes with a carbon air guide option which attaches to the stock air box.

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You can see the entire piece here, with a scoop that picks up air from the grille and channels it directly to the air box. At speed this creates probative pressure – a sort of ram air effect. It’s all in the details!

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While Nismo won’t disclose any actual figures, it’s safe to say that with the modern additions – like the R35 injectors and retuned ECU – the Clubman Race Spec should easily develop 500hp. To meet that power Omori Factory has sat the factory Getrag six-speed gearbox on a set of stiffer transmission mounts and added in a Nismo Copper Mix twin-plate clutch. Up front the BNR34 runs a 1.5-way Nismo LSD, while the rear has been upgraded with a 3.9:1 final gear set, slightly tightening the ratios for optimum punch out of corners. This was always one of Mine’s secrets, along with a custom made LSD which made the car untouchable on the track. Extracting the most out of the driveline is the Nismo Z-tune Attesa ET-S ECU – a reprogrammed unit with much more aggressive settings that keeps the car in full AWD-mode for more of the time to take full advantage of the mechanical grip the system can generate. This works hand in hand with Öhlins DFV adjustable suspension and a full line-up of Nismo links and firmer sway bars.

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Nismo’s main aim with the Clubman Race Spec was to create a street-legal car that was also capable and fun on the track. This called for an HPI half-rollcage, an Alcantara-wrapped Nardi steering wheel, a Recaro SR-6 seat for the front passenger and a Recaro RS-G SK seat fitted with a Nismo harness for the driver.

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Nismo’s iconic 320km/h and 11,000rpm combination meter features to, as does a Nismo upgrade for the Multi Function Display.

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Oh, and how could I possibly forget the Nismo-branded foot mats!

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They may not be building high performance production cars like BMW M and AMG do just yet, but Nismo is definitely headed in that direction. What makes JDM tuning outfits like Nismo so special though, is that they have supported enthusiasts. And 30 years on Nismo is continuing to do so by catering to the cars that we love with ever-expanding parts catalogues.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

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Comments

108 comments
maigaolimpeh
maigaolimpeh

as a nissan fan, i find this to be dissapointing. dumping parts existed over the years into 1 iconic car. honestly im only amazed by the r35 stuffs in this car, which is really something. many years have passed & all the special edition r34 comes with the same old dashboard, absence of nissan vvel, billet duralumin block & what happen to engine downsizing & hybrid turbocharging? how bout a stronger but lighter chassis(subframe,front rear axle). steel as the chassis is pretty heavy. all the money nismo earned all these years? come on.....still using cast iron block? same old rear spoiler ever since the base version? how bout a titanium alloy chassis or something even better than that if its too heavy. its pretty absurb that most hypercar have good rigidity but thats not equal to safety. the tech is so old in iconic jdm & the mpg sucks. why cant people just enjoy skylines with good mpg like LS cars? if nismo were to sell a very expensive car, at least make it worth the buy

RGoz
RGoz

@maigaolimpeh LOL!!! xD Seriously, new dash, vvel??? Nismo is NOT another car making company, Nissan handles that part. Nismo is their tuning arm, and they are not gonna make commercial cars just yet! This is another example of a "customer requirement" GT-R.

Ebrahim
Ebrahim

WoooooooooooooooW very ver very excellent . my dream car <3

Geong
Geong

la R34 Z Tune reste ma voiture de coeur

mikeado66
mikeado66

This exact car in Midnight Purple (or Bay Side Blue with the same finish as this silver) would be my dream Japanese car. I say that as someone who's been taken around a track in an LFA!

yunusjambangs
yunusjambangs

@syed_yasin nope so far.. not really sure whether there's an r-tune gtr here. Btw kau prgi pj esok?

yunusjambangs
yunusjambangs

@syed_yasin yeaaap I think after that they wanna jalan jalan and wangan kot usually matcanyon buat gituuu

fabulous71
fabulous71

I'm with you on the understated look--especially the engine bay. Function, function, function. The extra clear coats are definitely key in making that color outdue how it usually looks. Almost every Nissan sold in the States has Gun Metallic as its gray. Also need to say that air intake contraption is just badass. 


Just beautiful.

PoPo5o
PoPo5o

I saw this baby when i visited Omori Factory in August ! unfortunately i was only allowed to take pictures outside T_T 

Datsem
Datsem

The Perfect Car.

Style
Style

What color is that valve cover and intake manifold. Plz dont say black! It looks like a grey/light purple/black???

Jeremiahori
Jeremiahori

That's awesome!!  Dino, please tell us you shot the R32 as well!!!

LukeEVOVIII
LukeEVOVIII

This is something that has brought me back to nissan. I love the fact that NISMO have given the time and money to develop something that isn't brand new or super modern, but can still keep up with the modern day super saloons. NISMO, I salute you

yanes33537E
yanes33537E

I thought Nismo didn't do that anymore. But what a catalogue it is. Especially the carbon fiber pipes. Hope it'll go into sale. But still I think it'll be better in Midnight Purple haha.

iProGam3r
iProGam3r

My dream car but it has to be bayside blue or midnight purple, I like the grey but the blue is my favourite, like Dino's car but with stock mirrors.

Joeguard1990
Joeguard1990

Honest question, is this for sale or is it for display purposes only?


Also, in terms of handling, speed, etc - would you say that this is superior to the Z tune or not so, seeing as how most are off the shelf upgrades and the Z tune featured one-off parts and a proper hand built engine.


I would be interested to hear your thoughts Dino as something tells me the Z tune is still the Daddy, but would the R35 calipers on this be better than those crazy ones the Z tune had, as well as other comparable parts?

speedhunters_dino
speedhunters_dino moderator

@Joeguard1990 The Z-tune had more power, Sachs 3-way dampers, a few better touches so it would still have the upper hand - but then this gets pretty close and has some new type of parts over what the Z-tune came with...

TomRich
TomRich

I'll always be a VW guy, but I love NISMO for this exact reason. Always got a finger on the pulse beyond most "comparable" factory backed tuners as you mentioned :)

AndyLy180sx
AndyLy180sx

 Ahhh this color is beautiful in person. My 180 is painted in similar/exact (KAD) color. It looks ordinary from a far but as you get closer its a very beatiful color (better then I expected!)


Gianluca FairladyZ
Gianluca FairladyZ

If i would win in Euro Millions.... I would go for it... I like the mentality of Nismo. No exagerated designs, true understatement sports car. Powerful and beautiful, just so right!

greenroadster
greenroadster

I wonder how much would this car cost? Fully loaded... :) AMG money?

greenroadster
greenroadster

@speedhunters_dino @greenroadster  That's a very expensive Nissan. And they get away with it :) That's why I demand Nissan to take a good look at Toyota and make a new S chassis car like the new GT86. That's a win-win combination. You can't live forever with a memory of a affordable sports car.

EnzoTanYuxu
EnzoTanYuxu

If I was given a choice to have just one sports car for the rest of time, this will be that one car. Just absolutely magnificent!

TokyoCarGuy
TokyoCarGuy

Another article proving how ageless the R34 is and how much potential these cars have.  It may seem that every route has been explored, but there is always something new and original!

LNDNFSU2
LNDNFSU2

Awesome! but they should have left it in Midnight Purple!

Chris
Chris

Very cool car with all the bits you would expect a top level GT-R to have. Would love to own one of these in the states. Good choice of color too. Everyone has a different idea about what the perfect power level is, but this looks like a very well balanced car that ticks all the right boxes. Ohlins are about the only thing other than Penske that I would want on a car like this. 


It might not make the most power in the world, but it's very tastefully done, and I'm sure it offers a great feel to the driver with a nice balance. Excellent. 

speedhunters_dino
speedhunters_dino moderator

@Chris You can always go for bigger turbo/s if power is an issue of course. 

Chris
Chris

@speedhunters_dino Exactly, if theres one thing we know it's that GT-Rs are fully capable of making more power if you want it! I'm more taken by the Ohlins / cleanliness of the car overall than the power levels. This is a great GT-R imo.  

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