The HKS Driving Performer GT-R Is About To Evolve

If you have followed the JDM tuner-verse for the last few decades, then HKS’s Driving Performer is a car you’ll likely be familiar with.

Back in 2006, this was the test-bed and demo vehicle for the V-Cam system, which for HKS was at the core of creating a comfortable yet explosive RB26 setup for the street. I actually ran a story on the R34 Skyline GT-R in 2009.

With RB-series GT-Rs exploding in popularity around a decade after, HKS pulled the R34 out from the depths of their storage garage and used it again for R&D, this time to develop the new lineup of GTIII turbos. Then, a few years later, it helped develop and longevity-test HKS’s current RB28 High-Response complete engine offering.


With close to 25 years of use, this might just be HKS’s longest-serving demo car. However, this is how I found it when I spied the Skyline tucked away in the corner of one of the company’s new warehouses. Could it be the end of the line for this well-known BNR34?


It’s sitting with protective sheets of plastic around the bumper and fenders, and currently missing its engine and transmission.


Of course, the originally-fitted bronze Advan AVS Model 5s were replaced a long time ago, this set of Advan Racing RSIIIs doing the rounds for many years now.


The Robson Leather-clad interior remains, but there are a few items missing around the cabin.


But as I held the key to this legendary car again, I was relieved to hear from the HKS guys that this GT-R is going to be used for another round of R&D.


They couldn’t really tell me what that will involve, but as the RB28 High-Response engine is out, perhaps some other RB-based power-plant is on the cards.

If you recall, last year HKS built a very curious RB26 prototype called ‘Advanced Heritage’. The aim was to inject as much modern tech into the engine, to help owners of neo-classic GT-Rs enjoy them well into the future. An interesting list of technical solutions were adopted, things like vertically-mounted turbochargers for better flow and catalizer efficiency, a dual-chamber intake manifold for increased flow and knock resistance, dual injection and pre-chamber combustion design for more efficient fuel atomization, and an ignition upgrade to boost response and lower emissions.


The goal was 600hp, yet have the engine be able to return 20km/L fuel consumption, which is pretty much a dream for GT-R owners.


Seeing the BNR34’s Getrag 6-speed transmission on the floor, I did wonder if the next RB26 in the car might be mated to a twin-clutch transmission for optimal control.


Whatever HKS are planning on doing with its new RB study and the R34 Driving Performer is bound to help GT-R owners keep running their beloved cars into the future.

I’ll be taking a closer look at the car later in the year when testing is scheduled to begin, but in the meantime, I’m looking forward to more RB-related updates at HKS’s 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon booth later this week.

For now, check out the quick video I shot in the HKS Garage by hitting play above.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare



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cool to see the transformation of this car!

quantum solution

his is my first time ever relying on a vehicle transport company .quantum service and toch were phenomenal 10/10 recommendation their staff to their shipping!

quantum solution

this is my first time ever relying on a vehicle transport company .quantum service and toch were phenomenal 10/10 recommendation their staff to their drivers


"The goal was 600hp, yet have the engine be able to return 20km/L fuel consumption", that's 5L/100km....Is that even possible, that's diesel econobox fuel economy levels!


The centerpiece of their plan was a passive turbulent jet ignition system which can produce near-diesel levels of combustion pressure. It needs a lot less ignition timing which also helps. The problem is that controlling that combustion so it doesn't literally twist the crankshaft to death requires cooled external EGR, which is a very serious retrofit to undertake.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I mean I'd imagine that would be at a constant 100 km/h on the highway, no way would and RB be able to drop down to numbers like that in any other driving situation


My alpina d3 does that in most european countries. In germany and poland it is a different story, but it is the fasted point a to b transportation device in all weather conditions money can buy. With normal japanese highway speed that might be possible. But including city traffic, that is impossible or one would have to use formula one technolgy in a road car. That would mean, one has to use a new engine.


My guess is, if they switch the transmission they will use one of those bmw/getrag 8speed transmissions. The BMW all wheel drive system is quite similar to the one used in the Skyline.


Always excited to see progression on the Rb's and the aftermarket picking up the " discontinued slack " of nissan / nismo.
These motors look quite impressive and look forward to see the final result. Sadly these motors are going to be out of reach for many of us and strictly for those baller gtr owners out there. Building an RB ones self is daunting expense wise as it is, this just adds salt to the wound seeing what these go for lol.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I think motors like these will end up being the affordable option seeing what Nissan and Nismo charge these days lol


Dino, what's the latest news on the CT230R? Is it officially retired?

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yep, it was used as a CNG dev car years back and has now been put away


Damn I'm really hoping that this demo car gets back on the road
It's too cool to be sitting there like that


I wish HKS would bring back more of their heritage parts for cars like the Early Evos (1-3). There's more to their fan base than just GTRs, but maybe thats where the money is (ie no budget builds).


Ballpark pricing on the Advanced Heritage engine package?

quantum solution

this is my first time ever relying on a vehicle transport company .quantum service and touch were phenomenal 10/10 recommendation their staff to their drivers