Summary of this week’s contents:
1. R35 GT-R Story
Finally Released – the “track” Spec V
January 2009 – finally the rumored Spec V was released. Fans of the GT-R believed this to be the top GT-R model. However, during its development, Mizuno told the press he wanted the Spec V to be the following:
1) A special car geared especially toward circuit driving
2) A car that would be left at the track
3) No comforts such as sound and vibration damping. No A/C or audio
4) As an unusual car, the method by which it would be sold would also be different (serious)
5) Maintenance costs of 3,000,000 to 4,000,000 – just to replace the rotors and brake pads.
6) The pricing would be several million more than the standard car
7) Production of 20-30 cars per month
8) People who daily drive their cars should stick with the standard GT-R
9) Completely different in concept to the “Skyline GT-R Vspec” models.
Mizuno stressed that the standard car is number one. Instead of waiting for the SpecV, which is designed for the circuit and will cost too much in maintenance, please buy the normal car. However this did nothing dissuade the GT-R fans, who realized it to be a special car. In fact even media began to say “the SpecV is the GT-R of GT-Rs.”
The developmental SpecV was spotted at Nurburgring , and featured the following to distinguish it from the standard GT-R: the front lip spoiler had brake cooling ducts, the top of the rear spoiler was made of carbon fiber, new wheels, use of carbon ceramic brake system, carbon bucket seats, carbon fiber material around the MFD and steering spokes.
Power of the car was unknown, although some speculated a horsepower boost to 530ps. There was also speculation that the car had been lightened between 100-150kg. So the rumors were of a “2 seater spec” and “special tires for the SpecV” and “Nurburgring under 7 minutes and 20 seconds.”
Mizuno did justify the seeming contradiction in the weight of the car. For the standard GT-R, designed to be an all around (multifunction supercar), the weight of the car, carried very low, was instrumental in maximizing tire traction, useful in snow for example. But the SpecV, as a track only car, that kind of extreme weight distribution wasn’t necessary on a dry track. In the beginning , Mizuno also speculated that the SpecV could lap Nur under the 20 second mark, but later refused to release the official time, stating that the standard GT-R was to be the benchmark (see Week 18). So it would be interesting to see exactly how the SpecV turned out…
2. Mechanism & Factory
The pneumatically controlled 0.2 second shifting. Made possible by Japanese electronics technology.
There are other dual clutch transmissions (DCT) already in production. With DCTs, smooth downshifts are possible. Much like a good heel and toe, the throttle can be blipped to match engine revolutions, bringing a smile to the driver’s face.
It is the upshifts which up until now, could not be said to be smooth, because there was always a timelag. The GT-R’s DCT, howver, has no apparent timelag. This smooth upshifts are due to the pneumatic system and the electronic control system, especially. The electronic control system looks at throttle valves, ignition timing, and allows for shifts synchronized with the engine, controlling engine revs with the clutch. Downshifts, of course it blips the throttle, and whether up or down, the unit looks at the car’s situation and the driver’s movements to try to anticipate the next gear.
During development what Mizuno wanted was a feeling like a manual transmission. This was to shorten then half clutch period during shifting. However there is the risk of generating shock during the shift if the half clutch period is shortened. This was taken care of by the electronics. At the same time, this means that precision in the components is important – the gap between the clutches, the backlash of each gear, joints of the prop shafts and driveshafts.
3. Racing Legend
Rookie Yasuda, finally wins.
The fourth race of the SuperGT series was held in Malaysia at the Sepang Circuit. The hotter air and track temperatures means more stress on drivers as well as the cars. Especially with tires, the usual mostly Bridgestone field was now split into Yokohama (#24 GT-R), Michelin (#3 Hasemi), and Bridgestone camps.
On Saturday qualifying, from the beginning the #1 Motul car was fastest, with the #3 Hasemi car driven by Ronnie Quintarelli less than a second behind.
On race day, however, right before the race began the #1 car experienced drivetrain problems and was forced to do a pit start. Taking advantage of this, the #3 Hasemi car essentially started in first place and never gave up its first place position. One NSX followed after, and this was followed by the #24 Kondo car in 3rd place. The #3 car, now driven by rookie Yasuda, finished the race in first, giving the rookie his first podium and first place win.
4. How to Build
Left Rear Brake Disk
Mizuno quote – The GT-R’s brake disks are two piece floating types. With diamond ribbing and drilled rotors, they have high cooling ability and resistance to cracking.
Note – construction is exactly the same as the right rear disk rotor in Week 3. However, as step 4 shows, the assembled brake disk unit is attached to the left rear knuckle base as constructed in Week 13. Next week, when the left rear tire goes on, the rotor will be attached permanently then (right now just sitting on the knuckle).
5. History of Nissan – 1961 Nissan Patrol Type 60
After the Second World War Japan’s auto industry was struggling, with old designs have new body panels, for example. Then came the conflict on the Korean peninsula which then saw a shift to 4 wheel drive vehicles. Luckily for Nissan, before the war it had gained experience building larger vehicles based on American designs.
So the 4W60 type Patrol looked Spartan, however it was built for the civilian masses with an improved body style, ride and handling. The body came in short and long versions, which resulted in fire trucks and radio trucks. The vehicle had a 6 cylinder OHV, the block of which was used by Nissan until 1986, when it was replaced by the TB42 unit.
Next week: left rear wheel