Build Your Own R35, Week 12

by James Moss
5 years ago

Summary of this week’s contents

1. The R35 GT-R Story

The new GT-R was promoted in a most unusual way before and after the announcement

Normally, with a new car, the manufacturer releases photos and data to the press so as to account for printing times, etc. With the GT-R, which was shown to the public on 24 October 2007, there were two events for the media on the 22nd and 23rd. Held at night, and not, as usual, at headquarters, but at an underground parking lot in Odaiba.

At this pre-event, a veil covered the new car, which was surrounded by panels and displays showing the development story. Hand made over several months. The development team unveiled the car. Mizuno-san himself did his press presentation, taking over an hour.

But actually, the promotion of the car had started earlier, on 26 September – the “Black Mask Campaign” – two GT-Rs with their front and rear covered were carried around on a transporter through the busier sections of Tokyo (Roppongi, Shibuya). At the same time, a Nissan GT-R website in 6 languages was created.

Then, even after the public unveiling at the Motor Show, on December 5, there was a “Tokyo Underground Night NISSAN GT-R x SHUTOKO YAMATE TUNNEL” all night party – held in a section of Tokyo expressway that had just been built but not yet opened to traffic (scheduled for December 22). Dress code for this event was “Elegant Chic and Red on Black.” An actual GT-R was driven in with Nissan COO Shiga at the wheel, with the woman voted to “look good in a super car” – actress Ryoko Yonekura, wearing a bright red dress.

With the change from the “Skyline GT-R” to the “Nissan GT-R” – the press events had to change as well.

2. Mechanism & Factory

Final assembly in the Clean Room

Final step is to attach the timing chain to the engine which has had its camshafts and oil pan attached. (upper middle small photos). Once the chain goes on, the front cover is then affixed. (upper right photo)

Then, the head cover, like the oil pan, made of magnesium in the VR38DETT, is attached. Expensive and not normally used in production cars. Easily oxidizes, hence a special coating is applied – but if for some reason it is scratched during production, those magnesium pieces are thrown out. (right middle top photos)

Then, the front differential is attached to right side of the engine block – it is separate, unlike the older GT-Rs where the oil pan was incorporated. (right middle lower photos)

Finally, the spark plugs and plug harness are attached, and the engine is sent to final testing. (right bottom photos)

3. Racing Legend

The mysterious production car.

The Nismo Festival has been held since 1997 as a “thanks” event for its fans. They showcase machines and drivers from the past /current seasons. And, sometimes “surprise” with sneak previews of machines for the next upcoming season. This is usually on the Saturday before the Sunday event.

Sometimes though, there will be machines that test on the Saturday, and without fanfare, are loaded onto a transporter. This is one such “unknown racing car.” To this day, Nissan/Nismo have not released any information about this car – so all is speculation based on the photographer’s notes.

Obviously R35 based, thought to be very similar in spec to the production car. The photographer claimed the engine to sound like the VR38DETT, however the exhaust note was something special. And from how it accelerated out of corners, the 4WD system was still in place, accelerating with seamless shift ups.

The car is unrelated to SuperGT spec cars, or the FIA GT1 Spec cars. Could be a Super Taikyu (endurance) spec, but the tires were not slick tires, but a development model of a Bridgestone S-tire. It could be a car used to test the effect of lightweight-ness. The fenders, bonnet, trunk, front and rear bumpers, and doors were all (based on leaked info) made of carbon fiber. Also, cooling was improved with larger cutouts.

The development driver was Nismo race driver Masami Kageyama, but Nissan VP Carlos Tavales was a surprise driver – and by the look on his face, the car was an amazing drive.

4. How to Build

Lower Rear Suspension Member

Mizuno quote – the Rear suspension member also serves double duty as the mount for the transmission. The tube framing results in never seen before precision and rigidity. Also, with 6 mounting points, we were able to obtain comfort and direct control.

Note: No History of Nissan this week.

Next week: The Upper Rear Suspension Member.