It’s Not A Nismo Z-Tune GT-R… It’s Even Better

Getting yourself into a well-sorted BNR34 Nissan Skyline GT-R isn’t easy these days. Not only does buying one in the first place require a substantial investment, but then you need another bag full of cash to add some quality modifications or rectify shoddy ones.

The owner of this particular R34 GT-R V-Spec II bought the car with every intention to modify it. Yes, the final RB26-powered GT-R is an epic car in stock form, but by today’s standards they’re lacking in the performance department. Even modern day sports saloons are quicker, and dare I say, more exciting than an R34. But what these cars have is an unbeatable cult status and major tuning potential.

Not everyone dreams about owning an M3, but I can guarantee you, almost everyone dreams of owning a Skyline GT-R.

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Like the 700whp Lancer Evo X and fully-built R32 Golf I recently shared with you, this Nissan is another build out of the Powertune Australia stable, and it’s impressive to say the least.

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The BNR34 has one of those bodies that doesn’t really need any work, but a few select products can definitely enhance it. Any Z-tune item from Nismo is most welcome, and this car wears a lot of them – front bumper, front fenders, hood and rear over-fender flares no less. Nismo side skirts are also used, along with a Knight Racer carbon fibre front splitter with under-tray.

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There’s really only one set of wheels you can fit to a Skyline GT-R with most of the Nismo catalogue thrown at its exterior, and these are them. Manufactured by RAYS, the glossy black Nismo LMGT4s measure 18×9.5-inch at all four corners and are wrapped in Yokohama Advan AD08R rubber.

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The brake system has been given an upgrade too. Using a Supertec Racing brake adapter kit, the Skyline features R35 Brembo 6-pot callipers up front and R35 Brembo 4-pots at the rear, and these clamp on 380mm AP Racing 2-piece rotors via Endless MX72 pads.

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It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the Skyline’s suspension has been enhanced, and Powertune have done this through a combination of MCA Street Ultimate coilovers, and a Nismo Pro II Circuit link set, Nismo stabiliser kit, Nismo underfloor reinforcing bars, and Nismo titanium tower bar.

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These handling upgrades would certainly improve the factory-spec car with an advertised 276hp (300hp+ in the real world) on tap, but there’s a lot more power under the hood of this one, so the modifications were more of a necessity than a simple enrichment of the brakes and suspension.

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Four-digit power figures aren’t all that uncommon in GT-R tuning circles these days, but you’ll find most cars eclipsing the 1,000hp mark to be of the R35 variety running a VR38DETT. The engine build in this car is still based on an RB26DETT, albeit using an N1 block and a Brian Crower stroker kit to pull capacity out to 2.8L.

Along with the BC forged pistons, connecting rods and crankshaft, the engine features ARP hardware, an N1 water pump, Tomei oil pump and an oversized oil pan. An ATI 1,000hp Super Damper harmonic balancer is also employed to eliminate any torsional crankshaft vibrations.

Up top, the cylinder head was CNC ported and hand finished, and runs a shim-less setup with Supertech oversized valves and Tomei dual valve springs. An HKS V Cam Pro 262-degree/10mm-lift camshaft features on the intake side, with an HKS 272-degree/10.2mm-lift cam on the exhaust.

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Turbo-wise, the GT-R’s original Garrett GT2556R twins have given way to a big single BorgWarner EFR 9174 mounted on a custom twin-scroll Powertune manifold that uses dual Turbosmart 40mm wastegates for boost control.

On the intake side of the equation you’ll find a Plazmaman 100mm competition intercooler feeding into an 80mm drive-by-wire throttle body and a serious fuel system to match the air flow. The latter is comprised of an Aeromotive 325 Stealth in-tank pump, surge tank, mechanical Kinsler 400 Tough pump, Aeromotive Extreme Flow regulator, and twin fuel rails running six 1,600cc and six 1,650cc injectors. The exhaust features a custom 4-inch down-pipe flowing into a 4-inch system complete with an electronically-valved Varex muffler.

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It’s obvious to see that no stone was left unturned in the pursuit of power and performance with this build, and to extract every last drop of potential out of the package Powertune went with a race-spec MoTeC GPR-M150 engine management system.

Of course, all of the engine modifications would be in vain if the car couldn’t get the power to the ground, but that’s not a problem when you’re running an OS Giken OS-88 6-speed sequential transmission with ATS triple-plate carbon clutch and a Quaife ATB helical limited slip front diff. Powertune also installed a custom gear position sensor.

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If this were an early ’00s build you might find an interior peppered with aftermarket gauges and accessories, but that’s not the case here. The interior modifications are totally restrained and limited to a Nismo 300km/h cluster, Mine’s steering wheel, MoTeC control panel in the centre console, and a MoTeC C187 colour display unit neatly mounted in the original MFD position with a custom pod.

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The beauty of this car is in its simplicity; a combination of high quality parts that have been pieced together in an ultra-clean way. It’s well beyond an ‘OEM+’ build, but it still kind of feels like that – at least from a visual perspective. And then the boost hits, and you wonder why anyone in there right mind would want to keep a BNR34 GT-R stock.

Stefan Kotzé
Instagram: stefankotzephoto



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So how much power does this actually have? You hinted at 1000hp but never actually said.

Super clean car regardless just curious.


At the wheels.


I was about to ask the same question!


firstly WOW, he was able to execute the tuning itch but damn loot so clean stock but will definitely put a grin to who ever will drive.


WOW so clean. Amazing


All this and you didnt say how much hp it actually makes


I would love to have the Skyline GTR R34
Hopefully by the time, I can import one their value doesn't skyrocket yet


they will. there's nothing you can do but import one now and hold onto it.


1999 is the earliest year.


Why did they leave the H pattern shift knob if it's sequential now?


Photo's were taken just prior to the OS-88 sequential being installed and it now runs a Motorsport System Strain Gauge shift knob.


"It’s obvious to see that no stone was left unturned in the pursuit of power and performance with this build, and to extract every last drop of potential out of the package "
Is it a secret how much they found then ?


This car is actually perfection.


Yes there are still some GTR fans who want to own a piece of history but the game has moved forward and automotive technology has progressed rapidly. It may be considered classic but then again so may the current hot hatch like the AMG A45S or Dodge Demon. Stoc vs stock this GTR won;t see where the A45S goes. The latter will cruise at 75 mph on the freeway in top gear at low rpm whereas this GTR has to spin above say 2800 rpm to maintain the same speed.


2800 RPMS really isnt that high.


The game has moved forward and automotive technology has progressed rapidly.

The best time recorded on an OEM A45S is 12.4 seconds in the 1/4 mile.
A 1989 BNR32 in factory trim's best recorded time was 12.7 seconds.

I'm an automotive technician and won't argue that lots of technology makes new cars "nicer" to drive yet more boring to some, but man, some people gotta learn some facts before they state their opinions as if they're worth listening to.


I completely agree. Also claiming that newer saloons are "more exciting" is fighting word: faster maybe, but definitely not more exciting, pure or intense than a more analog experience an older car gives.


The appeal of golden era turbo Jap cars isnt keeping them stock..

A45s arent playing the same ballgame against modded GTRs


id keep one stock.

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

The same question can be asked about fans of other classic models as well. But the single biggest reason why is the way these older cars drive. Modern cars today may be faster, but they also have a lot more electronic nannies and just don't have the same driver engagement that these older cars have.

One can also say the design of these cars play a role. Remember all the hate the new A90 Supra get for not looking like the A80?


id say that the A90 is a really good transition on the A80 and people need to stop living in the past. this type of thinking "its not the same" is really killing the car community because people hyper focus on one vehicle and then new cars come out absolutely suffer in terms of styling and everything because people are just buying old cars, so we now have a bunch of ugly house of kolour sample car style melted soap bar design cars. most cars will sit comfortably at 100 mph you can thank Mercedes for that. Sure 90's classics are great but what happens when the bubble pops? what happens when there are no more cars to modify? how many 90s vehicles must we ruin and artificially inflate the price of stock ones just to ruin them again? when does it ever stop?


Look not a negative criticism but value for money wise - to me - isn't there. Maybe there is for some. Sellers of many R34 ask for "ridiculous" prices and given that you can't find the second hand value in Kelly Bluebook then it is up to the buyers whether they will pay those prices. I am not arguing the way 'classic' cars drive but when you spend hours and hours of interstate driving this GTR, it becomes tiring as the engine spins at much high revs compared to modern cars.


pressing a pedal aint that hard.

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

I see your point, but if these owners buy what they want, all the power to them. Maybe they don't daily these cars but are just weekend toys. Who knows?

Even if we talk about value for money, no cars are perfect. There's bound to be trade-offs somewhere. Even the likes of the example that you gave (Demon and A45), you wouldn't get the kind of fuel economy of the average family sedan now, do you? One just has to learn to live with it.


You will with the A45S as the top gear ratio is set for low rpm cruising which the GTR isn't. Demon, yes at cruising speed it will pull at low rpm but the combination of big displacement and 4400 lbs will impose fuel consumption penalty. I liked the GTR when it came out decades ago (of course my personal opinion here) but nowadays automotive technology progresses rapidly that stock GTR is no longer fast.

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

In terms of value, sure these old cars will never be worth it. I can even argue EVs are much faster than most modern cars today as well, but do they have the same feeling to drive as machines with ICE?


Nismo kit is all it needs. Love the sound of a screaming RB


anyone in *their* right mind...


Respectfully disagree with the statement that this R34 is better than a Z-Tune. Anyone can throw money can build a 1000hp engine or whatever number it can hypothetically be.

That does not constitute it is better than a Z-Tune. Or adding a list of very high quality and desirable parts which is genuinely the case here and i do find the quality of execution to be...... immaculate.

I guess what i am trying to say is. Sure, 900hp's a bragging right right there. But how much of this is actually put to the ground on a daily basis really.

The Z-Tune has 500, which imho is a very usable powerband, non wasted. But more importantly it has a factory spot welded chassis, and carbon infusion in strategic areas of chassis that will flex. This alone makes the Z-Tune better than any tuned R34.

Don't misunderstand, this is a lovely GT-R and if i have the fortune to own 1 some day, this one sets the standard, without the slightest doubt.

But its not better than a Z-Tune.


what id love to see is a stock tommy kaira R34 blah blah blah blah max spec blah blah blah acroynms.


But... But.... Resale value... Every mod is reversible, right?


That was essential with the build; no holes were to be cut, piping was painstakingly crafted to utilise original entries and exits, original engine & gearbox are stored....the list goes on, it was imperative to keep the GTR heritage, minus the Twin Turbo setup.

Mind you though, no way on earth it would want to be returned to original after driving the modified example, particularly just for "resale" value.


It was meant as a joke, seeing how GT-R prices have gone through the roof these last few years :-) But very cool to know! It is an amazing car :-)


they will pop. R32's used to be 40k. now there like 12-17.


It's definitely not something better than the Z-tune. Well, it might makes double the power, but nothing would beat the Nismo heritage and value of the Z-tune.


Beautiful car but surely he could have found a better looking exhaust for the car?


looks like an ebay special.


right up your alley then


Apologies. thought you were talking about the whole car lol. My inner GTR Fanboy feels got hurt