Summary of this week’s contents:
1. R35 GT-R Story
Worldwide Acclaim for Japan’s Supercar.
While the GT-R, which debuted on November 29, 2007, did not win the 2008 Japan Car of the Year Award (as the theme that was “eco” leading the Toyota iQ, and the next year the Prius), the GT-R nevertheless was awarded the “Most Advanced Technology” Award. It did win the “People’s Choice 2007-2008 Car of the Year” Award, followed closely by the Lexus LS600h/600hL, which was itself followed in third place by the Lancer Evolution X.
In Japan, the GT-R picked up several other awards, but it was overseas where the awards really counted. The British, being notoriously picky, had BBC Top Gear calling the GT-R the “World Supercar of the Year”, and Autocar Magazine awarding the GT-R the “Driver’s Car of the Year.” In the US, Popular Mechanic awarded it the “Automotive Excellence Awards 2008 (Design)” Award, while Motor Trend named it the “2009 Motor Trend Car of the Year.”
All in all, the GT-R has won almost 60 awards globally, in the short period since it was released.
2. Mechanism & Factory
The high capacity and high response Independent Intercooler System
The RB26DETT powered second generation GT-Rs, by design, necessitated that the twin turbos would lead to a single pipe that lead into the huge intercooler. And here was the problem – the length of the pipes from each turbo to the intercooler were different lengths – as a result, the rear turbos, which had longer tubing, worked less than the front turbos. The Group A cars, in an attempt to resolve this problem, tried different configurations of piping in an effort to even out the piping length.
On the other hand, the V6 engine in the R35 has turbos on either side of the engine, with dedicated intercoolers. These intercoolers, due to their symmetry, size and ideal piping radius and length, allow for rapid response to the accelerator. They also feed opposing banks of cylinders, further evening out response.
3. Racing Legend
The 2008 racing Super GT Nissan GT-R walked away with the championship trophy, despite having adapted the 2009 regulations a year early. For 2009, while there were further minor changes to the body/chassis in order to meet the 2009 regulations, unfortunately Nissan was not able to provide a regulation engine (3.4liter V8s) on time. Hence this time the engines did not meet regulations. As a result, the GT-R carried an additional 30kg weight penalty.
Modifications to the body/chassis were mostly aerodynamic in nature – smaller front spoiler, removal of canards, replaced by louvers. The front/rear overfenders were also reduced, and the front had built in louvers to increase air flow out. While the 2008 machines had a “power bulge” in the bonnet for the air cleaner, smaller engine meant flatter hoods. The engine was fitted with restrictors of 2x 28.3mm, and the car’s minimum weight was set at 1130kg.
Other notable additions were the addition of paddle shifting, and air conditioning ( in actuality half of the “Cool Suit System” the cars were outfitted with) in order to reduce driver fatigue.
4. How to Build
Mizuno-san quote – The GT-R has a 4 tail pipe, dual exhaust system. It gives off a unique powerful exhaust note. Also, please note that instead of bending pipe the shape is pressed in place, which gives a construction resistant to change due to heat.
5. History of Nissan
The Electric Car that was built in the immediate post war environment.
Tama E4S-47 I Electric Vehicle
Electric cars appeared after the Second World War in defeated Japan, which had very limited petroleum. Tama Automobiles – predecessor to Prince Automobile, now Nissan – and others made electric small cars, busses and trucks.
The “Tama-Go” was considered to be the best, used widely as taxis and other commercial vehicles. In a day when 10kg of rice was 150 yen, this car cost 250,000 yen – and even reached prices of up to 450,000. However, with the arrival of the Korean war and the need for lead, 50,000 yen per ton of lead suddenly became 450,000 per ton, while US forces allowed the influx of gasoline,– meaning that the electric car disappeared. However, the spirit of this electric lived on – and is now present as the Leaf.
Next week: Attaching the engine hoses.