Summary of this week’s contents:
1. R35 GT-R Story
Spec V Details
The Spartan Grade SpecV – interestingly, it turns out that the reason the car was not called a V-Spec like the older Skyline GT-Rs is that, overseas the trademark had already been taken. Hence, Nissan was forced to name the car “GT-R SpecV.”
The car’s engine was the same spec as that of the 2009 model standard cars – that is, 485ps/6400rpm, 60kgm/3200-5200. Except the car was equipped with a “Hi gear boost” switch that increased maximum torque from 60kgm to 62kgm for a periods of non-consecutive 80 second periods. Turbos used were exclusive to the SpecV, the engine sensors more sensitive, and a titanium exhaust system was standard. The engine covers were black, not silver like the standard cars.
The SpecV’s brakes were the Nissan Carbon Ceramic Brakes (NCCB) – 5kg lighter per rotor, and combined with the special wheels, resulted in a 7kg weight loss per wheel, for a total of 28kgs lighter of unsprung weight. The caliper were the same as the standard cars, except colors were changed from gold to silver, primarily to help reflect the massive heat generated by the ceramic rotors. The front lip spoiler, made of carbon fiber, gained two brake cooling ducts, which fed onto ABS deflectors mounted on the front stabilizers, directing cold air to the brakes.
The problem was the cost of replacing these rotors and pads – 4,700,000 yen. In addition, there was a separate charge for the labor and the break in that had to be done, by a specially designated mechanic on a racing circuit – so additionally transportation and track rental fees had to be paid as well.
The suspension was a fixed compression rate type (unlike the standard cars with their Damptronic adjustable) , and harder springs. The switch on the center panel was removed. Also, the car sits 10mm lower than the standard car.
Exterior-wise, there is a carbon rear spoiler, carbon front grill, and carbon brake ducts. There is a SpecV only color, Ultimate Opal Black. The interior features the instrument panel and the rear center box made of carbon, and Recaro carbon bucket seats – and no rear seat (there is a quilt, which is identical to and made of the same materials as used in jet fighters- a point of Mizuno’s).
The end result was a car that weighed 60kg less – however Mizuno was concerned with weight loss only where there was an inertia effect, hence the sound and vibration damping was retained, as well as the aircon and the audio. Pricing for the SpecV was 15,750,000 yen, making it the most expensive Japanese car at the time, thus becoming the “extreme GT-R.” However Mizuno-san said, the “GT-R’s development is only 50-60 percent done…”
2. Mechanism & Factory
The GR6 transmission –not only on the track but an “automatic” around town.
The GT6 dual clutch transmission might more accurately be described, despite its two pedal nature, as a 6 speed transmission with the clutch hidden inside.
Because the GT-R is for Anytime, Anywhere, and by Anyone, the car can run like an automatic transmission car whether on the streets or highways. Then, in manual mode it can run on the track and on winding roads, all without the driver’s fingers leaving the steering wheel.
In Auto mode, the computer selects the best gear depending on driving conditions. It shifts down on hills, and while in town shifts up to amazingly high gears (in low rpm) taking advantage of the VR38DETT engine’s torque, in order to get good gas mileage figures. On uphills, the computer will automatically keep the brake pressure on for 2 seconds before disengaging, allowing for smooth hillstarts.
In automode, there are 3 settings –Normal for usual driving, R mode for winding roads, and Snow mode. There are two modes that are driver selectable – the Normal which upshifts automatically at the red zone, and the R mode, which does not do so, allowing the driver to shift up when he decides to. When the engine is turned on, the car is automatically in auto mode, but manual mode can be selected by use of the paddles or by engaging “M” with the shift lever.
3. Racing Legend
The “Can’t Win at Sugo” Jinx – finally broken after 15 years!
Ever since the beginning of the SuperGT series, and actually since the beginning of its predecessor series, the Japan GT Championship (JGTC) in 1994, no Nissan team had ever won at Sugo. During this time of course Nissan teams had taken home the series title on several occasions, but could never win at Sugo. The Curse of Sugo? So this current season, with the new GT-R showing so much superior performance, was potentially one where the team could win at Sugo.
During morning practice on the day before the race, the #12 Impul GT-R set the fastest time, and during qualifying that afternoon, the #3 Hasemi and #1 Motul Autech GT-Rs qualified on the second row. Which meant expectations were high for the official race the next day.
On race day, during warm ups the #1 car overtook on a yellow flag, resulting in a 2 position penalty. The #3 car started at pole position, and kept its lead for the first half of the race. But in switching to rain tires, it lost time in the second half, falling behind. On the other hand the #1 car which had worn tires chosen for a full wet position increased its pace and, with 15 laps remaining, passed the leading Lexus on the 1st corner. It then kept this pace to take the checker flag. After 15 years, the Curse of Sugo had finally been broken.
4. How to Build
Left Rear Wheel
Mizuno quote – With the GT-R’s tremendous engine torque and stopping power, and high tire grip, there is slippage between the tire and the rim. By use of 20 inch forged one piece rims with rolled rim construction, such slippage is minimized.
Note – tire and wheel combo plus attachment to rear subframe is easy (steps 1-4). However the additional 3 steps listed on page 15 are to eliminated right rear wheel judder by insertion of a washer.
Note: No History of Nissan this week.
Next week: Interior pieces – the center console/subwoofer box.