Living With A Widebody GT-R
Can Function & Form Coexist?

Before you flick to the next story, give me a second and hear me out. I’m sure many of you are already rolling your eyes and thinking, ‘Here we go again, another car running overfenders.’

But there’s a reason you’re seeing this, and it’s more to do with the fact that I had the chance to scratch an itch with this Pandem-kitted R35; an itch I’ve been wanting to scratch for a very long while…


Ever since the day I shot Kei Miura’s Scion FR-S at Fuji Speedway in 2012, I’ve always wondered what it must be like to own and drive one of these slammed cars. The overfender craze is… well, pretty crazy right now, and despite the hate it gets from lots of people, there are just as many who would give anything to rock the look.


Back at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January, we shared our Speedhunters booth with the guys from Hashimoto Corporation who distribute our merchandise throughout Japan. They also import and sell many other products from respected companies around the world, and put together this GT-R to showcase their range at TAS. It was there that Aki, one of the brothers that runs the business, asked me if I’d like to take the Nissan for a while. Well, I thought, here was the perfect opportunity to really experience living with a car like this.


And seeing that I’ve driven more R35s than I can remember, I’d have a decent amount of knowledge to compare it against too.


So, here’s a quick rundown about this specific car… The base is a 2008 R35, meaning that it’s one of the early production cars. Sure, it might not have all the refinements and extra power that the current model does, but it’s still a GT-R! As a side note, because Nissan started building these cars in 2007, the san-go is nine years old now. Can you believe it?!


The Hashimoto GT-R has been fitted with Miura’s recently-released wide-body conversion, which if you glance over might not look any different, but in fact is somewhat evolved from the first version. You may have already noticed the redesigned front bumper with those four large openings on the bar that cross over the center grille. The way the two-piece front fender flares merge with said bumper is new too; there’s a more profiled, curved finishing section which gives more continuity to how it all ties together.


Look at it from the side and it makes more sense. From this angle you can also see just how far the front lip spoiler now sticks out.


Hashimoto chose a set of FS-Line wheels from Schmidt, a German wheel manufacturer it distributes for in Japan. The 3-piece custom construction allowed the guys to order sizes with enough girth to fill up the widened arches and allow the stretched Michelin Pilot Super Sports to align perfectly. I’m told that stretching tyres is a must when you go for the ultimate stanced look.

Getting The Look Right

Filling up those fenders took 11-inch and 12.5-inch-wide wheels front and rear respectively, with the stock GT-R diameter of 20-inches being retained.


There’s actually some additional space in there to go even wider, but as Aki told me, driveability was a big factor, and they didn’t want to build a car that would send the wrong impression to potential customers. Back to the Pandem aero, Miura has changed up the design of the rear overfenders as well; they don’t extend right up to the door line and the bumper lines as the Version 1 kit does.


To me, it actually looks better this way. I know that minimalism is a big thing with this sort of bolt-on look, but I’d love to see the gas filler cap not forgotten; it just looks wrong in my opinion.


Then there’s the rear. The stock bumper remains, but a diffuser section with an in-built fog light has been added.


When you order the kit from Miura you have two choices, either a duck-tail trunk spoiler held in place with two supports, or this massive GT wing.


The duck-tail is for those who want something a little more subtle, and the GT wing option is pretty much the opposite of that.


But I guess when you choose to take a GT-R and transform it in this way, you’re seeking attention. If you’re not, you better get ready for it! I spent most of the weekend driving around some pretty wealthy Tokyo neighbourhoods where supercars and even hypercars are commonplace on the road, just to see what reaction I got. It was fun too; some people almost looked offended by a gaijin dude in a hashirya-type car!


Oh, did you spot the big GReddy logo on the intercooler? You’re probably wondering what the car is running under the bonnet…

Small Touches, Noticeable Differences

Under-hood modifications have actually been kept pretty simple. A GReddy piping kit gets rid of the cost-cutting use of silicon hoses and cheap cast aluminium piping.


The kit also comes with a pair of Airinx filters, which means the stock air boxes have been eliminated. The Pandem bumper ensures there is more air flowing into the engine bay through the grille, so these little pods probably don’t suck in as much hot air as a car running a stock bumper would.


The factory plastic recirculating blow-off valves have also been swapped out for these GReddy items which still recirculate but also dump to atmosphere. It adds some lively character to the car and a bump in response and performance too.


Oh yes, and it all makes the VR38DETT a little more presentable.


The upgrades to the intake side of the engine meant that there was a need to sort out the exhaust too, which even on a GT-R is pretty restricted from factory. This was quickly taken care of by fitting a titanium Akrapovič exhaust system, which by itself boosts power by 17hp and weighs 17.3kg less than the stock item. It adds a sonorous boost to the raspy V6 nature of the VR, but never feels intrusive; it’s a tad louder and probably expands on the lower frequencies, but it’s spot on for a car driven on a daily basis. And that’s exactly what I did with it.


As for the other aspects, I really can’t fault any of the additional aero; there was no impact on the drivability of the GT-R. The wheels and tyres aren’t that much bigger than stock either, and the bump in offset means the increased front and rear tracks actually seem to make the car more planted through the bends and more reactive to steering inputs.


From a front seat perspective, the interior hasn’t really been messed with; it retains all of its comfort and sportiness.


You’ve got all the toys you would ever need in any type of car, let alone a supercar-slayer like the R35 has become known. That said, this R35 is strictly a two-seater as the rear portion of the interior space has been fitted with a serious looking bolt in half-cage that truly stiffens up the chassis. Then there’s that little red button on the side of the steering wheel.


Pressing it actuates the lift system on the KW Variant 3 adjustable coilovers, allowing the R35 to fuse the best of two worlds.


KW’s system is hydraulic, and pretty unobtrusive as it consists of a compact pump that can much be hidden away anywhere. It’s also very quick and very quiet allowing you to lift or drop the car when needed without worry.


In its highest position, the Hashimoto R35 had no issues tackling steep ramps in underground parking areas and just general manoeuvring around. The lowest setting – as you can see in all these images – is the one you select to look good on the street; you can safely drive around at this height with only the faintest of rubbing at full lock. I get the same amount of rub on my R34, so nothing dramatic.

This was an educational test drive for sure, and one where I learned the tricks needed to pull off that often questioned synergy of form and function.


It can be achieved, you just have to think and plan it out a little.

While Project GT-R won’t ever be fitted with overfenders, what I dream about at night now is the KW HLS4, which theoretically would allow me to run a track-spec ride height and at the flick of a button lift the car and drive it around without any issues.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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"Living With A Widebody GT-R"...

Did I miss the "living with" part? Misleading titles suck.


To a certain extent, lower and wider is better. The overfender craze has been a bit played out, but if if you're not scraping and rubbing too much, than it can improve your handling quite a bit. If you've got money to buy a gtr, then modify it to that extent, good for you. Make it your daily and enjoy. I would.


i was looking for more insight like if it's harder to park in tight parking spaces? haha


@uhg I too am a fan of Dino's work.


Very interesting car!   I am continually disappointed in the photos, not because the photos are not good ( I love this site for the great photos that are large format), but because I am 6'2" and I love to see photos that give me some feel for what a car looks like in person.  The preponderance of photos probably give the average dog a good sense of what the car looks like in person.  I appreciate the occasional low, artsy shot, but these squat down views are overdone.


Speedhunters TmarTn U0001f409


As someone who has owned a substantial number of sports cars with one-off custom bodywork, and at least two sports cars with (factory) overfenders (e.g. 993), can someone explain to me why these guys spend an enormous amount on overfender bodykits where the gas cap is so poorly integrated? I mean, it really isn't that hard to either relocate the fuel filler neck to an entirely new location, or create an overfender kit that doesn't look like "oops, we forgot about the gas door." Why is this detail overlooked on nearly every overfender kit I see, from RX-7's to GT-Rs to etc.?


Lemme just note that my response to your disclaimer is that I don't roll my eyes at 'another' post about a widebody vehicle. I'm starting to roll my eyes at the fact that you guys constantly need a disclaimer. If you didn't mention it every single time I wouldn't notice as often that certain trends make their way into articles often. my $0.02, been on this site for a long time.


A photo of the active suspension in its highest setting would have been a nice comparison.


johnbezt Dudes kinda got a point here...


Just a random question: How's the performance of Air suspension compared to Coilovers for some track day use? let say for someone who hits the track and just hotlaps for fun. I've read somewhere that coilovers for track use and air is just for the looks, but I'm guessing it's not the case anymore. Could air hold up in the track like coilovers do?


@uhg Sorry I don't get it. I had the car for a week and used it every day. Surely that's better than driving it a few hours on a simple test. Did you think I got married to it ;) lol


butterballs Not at all, once you lift it it's as manoeuvrable  as a stock car. I did say that in the text :)


@guest I'm just over 6'2", trust me, our perspective will make everything look like rc cars haha On a side note, I've become a very good squatter, my knees however do complain at times


KarlMuth Yes, that's exactly the point I made in the story


Paolo Siega Not sure, this car was on coilovers and no air in sight


johnbezt Do you mean my stories? Or are you generalising?


speedhunters_dino probably more photos of you getting milk and chilli... or of it being stuck in traffic... or running over speedbumps.. you know, daily things... lol


Like the car overall, but I think it's pretty stupid that they decided to sacrifice rear seat functionality by installing a half cage, and still retained the rear seats and all the panelling at the back. They could have stripped it completely to lose huge amounts of weight and create a huge luggage compartment...


speedhunters_dino Paolo Siega Oh sorry my mistake! I kinda misread it to be an air system, it was only now that I saw it was on Hydraulic Coilovers. Never knew those things existed


"KW exhaust system" I thought it had an Akrapovič exhaust system


Mayank0809 Well, since it's a bolt in cage, I would imagine this gives them the possibility to install it for shows and remove it for daily driving since that seems to be the focus of the build. Also stripping out the seats and paneling would add a lot of drone from the exhaust. So may have been left to seal off and absorb some of the sound.


Bridges Mayank0809 Didn't know that, Thanks!


speedhunters_dino butterballs He's probably talking about the width, Dino...


Speedhunters cool

turbo BEAMS ae86

johnbezt get u're eyes checked if can not see rivets


Beautiful car. Absolutely love it.

I also have a dumb question. Is it pronounced Greddy? or G-Reddy? I've always said the latter, but after seeing the video on the FuguZ in Jay Leno's Garage, where it was pronounced Greddy, I have begun to doubt myself. Anyone know the correct pronunciation?


The photo of the rear wing stays told me everything I needed to know about this car.


RotaryNissan Gu-reddy :)


RullyAgungP speedhunters_dino No speed bumps in Japan, my milk gets delivered and I have a stock of dried chillies in the kitchen. As for the traffic, yes always stuck in it so I thought I'd show you the only pick of me NOT in it. Ha ;)


@Kenny Yes, well that's not a function part is it. I'd have rather seen it with the ducktail option ...


speedhunters_dino Not just that but the center of the Pandem "OK" symbol will fall out within 1000km driving I reckon.



Ok, Gee Arr Eddy it is then.


Mayank0809 Bridges No problem! I have a hatchback, ask me how I know about exhaust drone, lol. :)


KarlMuth As someone that owns a global fast food chain, a Major League Baseball franchise, large tracts of land in southern Florida, and several private islands in the Bahamas, I also like to make public posts listing my collection of expensive, opulent things.


Would very much like to see a more critical and in depth comparison of how the overfenders/stance affect cars whose handling are very fine tuned stock with their tire/suspension/aero setups. Thinking of course of the GT86 and the 458.


Meh, B-minus, but A for effort.


speedhunters_dino I think the title expectation set less of "here's what they choose to do to the car" and more of - here's how it drove, here's how it handled speed bumps, etc.

For instance, I really, really wish someone would have warned me truly how hard driving a widebody s2k around town is without ruining your rear flares and things to look out for - parallel parking forget about it people purposely will block you in, parking close to a store's entrance get ready for people to key it, driving 80 on the freeway and hitting a pot hole will definitely compress the rear suspension and cause a crack where the rear fenders were molded and riveted to the body, etc.

And if there aren't that many things in Japan that would relate to others "living" with a widebody - just change the title to something else :D I'd still read it!


RotaryNissan speedhunters_dino GReddy is a (contraction?) of "GREAT eddy". It would be pronounced as it is simply written: 'GReddy' - 'gureddy'.


Not a fan of this style but great article either way. The one thing that immediately stood out for me was non-led lighting on the bumper, which I expected to be at least current to the time and the fact that it's a version two kit.


Nice apartments


Paolo Siega speedhunters_dino
It has a small amount of hydraulic ride height adjustment, it is still steel sprung. KW install a little Hydraulic cylinder between the spring seat and the spring which has 45mm of range. It's a hydraulic version of things like the Roberuta air cup kit.


Shaunock It's not really active suspension, it's just hydraulically adjustable.


with a driver that is very reliable car that can drive very well


the car was very good 
really really like to see the car that shiny new car fits like made ​​for walking trailsthe car was very good" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> and very fast" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> mix of colors" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> from which to" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> make want pobud see hatnya" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> kecepatanya" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> was very nice ," rel="dofollow" target="_blank">  suitable for a "" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> sharp bend or not sharp I guess motorists like this is" very skilled in the speed I hope I can membilinya someday will whether there are new cars are better I" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> 'll wait for it , with a stylish car classic" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> style I" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> also like" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> to see would be whether there is a" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> car that is as fast and forius like in the " movie , the car very good car designed a way apparently hopefully there will be new cars more good and the price is quite pantastis then chances are I can membilinya the same as you have at this time


What about the offset of the wheel both front and rear???????