RB26 Dreams Are Made Of Carbon Fiber

Ever since we saw it at last year’s Tokyo Auto Salon, I’ve been waiting for HKS to tell us more about the RB26 complete piping kit conversion they teased us with.

Back in January 2022, we were not only shown the Advanced Heritage RB that HKS is currently working on – more on this in a moment – but the sort of piping and air box setup that RB26 dreams are made of. Think Nismo carbon inlet piping and carbon air box on steroids and you get the idea.


Last year, the package was in the first stage of development; the design had been locked down and the first 3D-printed prototype was shown to the world. Fast forward 12 months to Tokyo Auto Salon 2023, and the printed white segments have magically turned into pre-preg carbon fiber pieces.


The result is something pretty spectacular, especially when presented in its entirety, all plumbed together and out of a car. This is really the only way to fully understand the complexity of it all.


For how pretty this ultimate solution may be, it will be challenging for HKS to break it down into packages that make sense for as many users as possible. For example, there may end up being two versions of the air box, one with an air flow meter flange and another without.

Then there’s the turbo fitment. This kit has been designed around HKS’s own GT25-sized GTIII twin-turbo upgrade, which is by far the most popular and widely used HKS setup among Skyline GT-R owners. If you run something different you will have clearance issues.


The turbos are mounted onto the stock cast iron exhaust manifolds and dump spent gasses into HKS outlet pipes.


This first piping prototype has been designed to fit the BNR32 GT-R. BCNR33 and BNR34 applications will require a slight redesign, same going for the air boxes.


Then there’s perhaps the most exciting part of all this – HKS is rebuilding their Zero-R BNR32 complete car, first seen 30 years ago, to develop the new Advanced Heritage engine setup. Talk about going full circle!


The iconic GT-R was shown off at Tokyo Auto Salon over the weekend in a largely stripped state, sporting a slightly different version of the piping kit.

Looking at it, this one might be more track/performance focused, or just a higher tier version. As you can see, HKS have swapped silicone hoses and traditional metal clamps for AdelWiggins hardware.


The Advanced Heritage engine itself is now in the testing and development phase, as the goal HKS have set for fuel consumption isn’t exactly easy to achieve. Just to refresh your memories, HKS is aiming to have this engine not only develop 600hp and strong and flat mid-range torque, but also be able to return 20km/l (47mpg) fuel consumption under normal driving conditions. That’s where all the technology HKS have thrown at it comes into play, starting with the twin-chamber carbon/billet aluminum intake plenum, a dual injector setup, twin V-CAM, electronic wastegate control and electric single throttle body.

You may also notice that the vertically-mounted twin-turbo arrangement we saw in 2022 is not fitted to either display engine. If that turbine placement goes ahead, it will require another version of the carbon piping kit to be designed and adapted.


It’s really amazing to see how a 30-plus-year-old engine continues to get so much attention. Skyline GT-R owners are crying out for new parts and many manufacturers and tuners continue to respond, making this the most exciting period ever to modify, perfect and modernize these cars.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare



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It looks nice but is the thermal conductivity coefficient of carbon fibre better than aluminium?


Thanks Dino, if I am reading it correctly this means that it is less likely for heat transfer to occur. Therefore, carbon fibre will limit the amount of external heat interference whilst also making it harder for heat to get out, much like a stainless steel or porcelain exhaust system. Please forgive me if I am wrong, (and I am happy to learn), but wouldn't an aluminium boost pipe allow slightly cooler air to arrive at the intercooler or is the intercooler efficient enough that this thought is negligible to performance?


similar to what Fabrik8 said, you would apply this properly by checking intake air temps after the intercooler and ambient engine compartment temps. If ambient is higher then CF would benefit you, if intake temp is higher then aluminum might help shed off some heat here.


The radiant heat from the exhaust and turbine housing is usually far higher than the charge air temp from the turbo, so it is more important to block thermal gain from the exhaust into the compressor piping. Heat flows from an area of higher temperature to an area of lower temperature.




I like the whole article. Technical, industry important, and professional. It's unfortunate that people demand we "respect the craftmanship" of stuff that is just weird and different but the same people won't give very very cool stuff like this the light of day.
I don't like turbos or jdm cars. Regardless, this is awesome, and it should be appreciated for what it is.
I wish the developers involved the best.


CF is indeed a very sexy material. I can bet my last dollar that HKS delivers.

Pretty sure I couldn't afford them in my lifetime, but still just like to ask "how much does it cost?"

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Pricing won't be discussed until they complete the R&D on it all. Seeing that the Nismo carbon piping + air box comes to around 1 mil Yen ($7,500), you can sort of gauge where something like this would sit.

Dimitri Roumeliotis

No one does it like HKS.


That thing is sexy.
With all the rules our governements are tthrowing at us I think a lot of people will consider the heritage program not only the CF intake even with a high price tag. Plus a 20 Km/L wil also be tempting, coming from a 3.0 turbo straight 6 owner (but in form of BMW) that make around 8 Km/L.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Makes a lot of sense. My BMW does 16 km/l when setting it to cruise on the highway, 7,5 km/l around Tokyo. I actually managed to get 11 km/l in the GT-R once driving down to Hakone on a chilled cruise. Up in the mountains it would drop to 3,5-4km/l


Love this! Please keep us updated on the latest development of HKS' engine and surrounding components.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

You can bet on it, keen to see how it evolves


thats cool.


To showcase the carbon fiber setup in a stripped down paint free chassis is brilliant.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

And what a special chassis!


Now that's a gorgeous art piece
Amazing craftsmanship right here
It just looks beautiful really

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Pity to drop it and hide it in an engine bay


Engineering at its finest, HKS is going to make something to replace every part of those RB engines. Going to be able to build entire units eventually LOL

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Well all you need is an RB26 head, everything else these days is being made starting from billet blocks from Straya!


Given how much chrome and red/blue anodisation was still on display this year, it's great to see HKS taking such a clean & modern visual approach to their products. Also super interested to hear more about that exhaust v-cam.

Ever since you first featured this project I've been dying to hear more, so thanks for this!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

No prob I am just as interested and excited to find out how it all pans out.



ICE will continue like archery in the time of drones and AI: the niche will get focused on just the passionate, and the passionate will be nerds that agonize every link, every material, every shape. This is the best and hopefully only future of ICE. HKS understands more than Toyota it seems, here's hoping we reward them with our money rather than more weight, brute power, less design, less real, more "lifestyle".

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah most of us are already on that path, it's great to see so many companies out there noticing the market and coming in with great products. Now, if someone out there could start making the hard to find plastic and rubber bits and pieces we all need to keep maintaining these cars that would be super


This is the HKS we know and love. Back in the heyday of the Japanese movement, they were the gold standard for a wide array of parts. It's good to see them innovating like this, and, doing it for an older car that has now really come back into favor, and commanding big dollars.

Also interesting to note - proper hose clamps! Either a good worm style (my guess is a sleeved type. No BS T bolts, or, the Wiggins bar clamp type.

Great detail shots too Dino!


5l/100km? Are they out of their minds XD

Christopher McElligott

"...it will be challenging for HKS to break it down into packages that make sense for as many users as possible."

Really? I've always gotten the sense that Japanese hot-rod-part companies such as HKS are like New York realtors, in that they charge as much as they think they can get away with, and there's always SOMEBODY who'll pay it.

[DJ NADJIB - Beatz]

Thanks for the article dino, This is mind-blowing can you imagine a 30years old petrol inline 6 2.6L engine twin with turbo and dual injection getting 5L/100 (47mpg) that will be the peak tuning dream, my lame 2.0L 150hp DIESEL Tiguan consumes more than 7L/100 or (30mpg).