Candidly speaking, Nissan GT-Rs are a dime a dozen these days. Almost a decade old now, some would argue that the poor man’s supercar slayer is getting a little long in the tooth now with a replacement still a couple of years away.
Now don’t misquote me here; after all I’m not a Malaysian government official and won’t yank that e-brake to pull a 180 and claim it was taken out of context. Yes I stand by the statement that GT-Rs are becoming a common sight on our roads and a major part of it can be attributed to Nissan’s flagship being a darling of Pekema (that’s the association of AP holders for those of you about to pop open Google).
However, much like its predecessors, the GT-R badge is one rich in history; especially on the track. From the days of the R32 GT-R; the original Godzilla, every discipline it entered, it dominated.
There’s a certain sense of class associated with the nameplate and the influx of the R35 will hardly dilute the heritage of its ancestors right up to the current iteration. Bear in mind that these three letters are an institution for petrolheads and being able to tell your V-Spec from your Z-Tune could be the difference between supercar seppuku and a budding bromance.
That doesn’t mean however that any GT-R with a Cobb tuning package, large wheels and exhaust system will stir our loins in the way a genuine Z-Tune got the blood flowing to all the right appendages.
Going full racecar with your R35 is not new in the western hemisphere. Countless purpose built track tools, drag sleds and even drift machines have been borne from road-going cars but unfortunately, it is not a mindset that has reached our shores just yet.
It’s all about dollars and sense really, buying a GT-R here to turn it into a balls-to-the-walls, full-on racecar requires more dollars than sense. Hence, you don’t see it happening here yet although prices for the early 2008 models are touching the quarter of a million mark but with the caveat that the cars themselves are also approaching the decade point.
So when a stripped out, rollcaged, 1000hp beast rolls our way, you can bet your pink slips we’ll sit up, take notice and hunt it down for you.
This GT-R hails from that tiny oil-rich country with the rich royalty that have a penchant for exotic cars and would probably appreciate Nissan’s finest here.
Frankie Goh; the man who calls this blistering beast his own, has spared no expense in turning this GT-R into a textbook example of how to take your GT-R to the next level and look good in the process.
The aforementioned 1000hp is no stretch of the truth. After all, it’s HKS very own GT1000 kit powering it and the tuning temple wouldn’t name it such if it didn’t pump out figures in the vicinity.
Although the HKS GT1000 kit is the basis of the VR38DETT’s build, it has been consolidated with a number of choice parts from GReddy as well.
In fact, the engine was removed from the car and flown out to Trust in Japan for the complete rebuild that mimicked the engine powering Masato Kawabata’s Trust GT-R that has powered him to D1GP glory.
Starting with an increased displacement of 4.0-litres over the original 3.8-litres, the engine was then fed more air courtesy of the HKS turbochargers before a slew of GReddy products got in on the act.
By now an instantly recognisable component of any high horsepower GT-R build, the GReddy RX intake plenums feed air to the cylinders but not before a GReddy RX intercooler cools the charge air and channels it via a complete GReddy RX piping kit to the GReddy big bore throttle body that lets it into the plenums.
Furthermore, it’s pretty hard to miss plenums in that bright red hue that is a signature of the Ben Sopra limited edition units.
Making a ton of horsepower; literally, requires an absurd amount of fuel. To keep the fuelling up to par, a trio of AAM Competition fuel pumps feed 1600cc Fuel Injector Clinic injectors before Okada Project Plasma Direct Coils ignite the potent air fuel mixture. AEM water / methanol injection kit were also summoned to reduce engine inlet air temperature and suppress detonation thus allowing safe increase in boost and ignition timing.
Once the exhaust gases make their way past the turbocharger, an AAM Competition valve control exhaust system channels it out to the rear with the driver being in full control of the decibels that is the unmistakable rumble of a GT-R’s engine.
Completing the list of auxiliary parts is a HKS Suction Reloaded induction kit and oil pan, a Top Secret oil catch tank and Boost Logic solid engine mounts with cooling handled by an AEM water/methanol injection kit and thick Koyorad radiator.
Putting together an engine of this caliber is not as simple as hammering the bits together and hoping they don’t blow to smithereens on the road. Trust enlisted the services of the very same engine builder that is part of the D1GP-winning Trust R35 team for Kawabata to put this VR40DETT together.
Governing all the engine’s parameters is Motec’s top-dog M150 standalone ECU that is mated to a Motec C127 digital dash that replaces the stock instrument binnacle for more access to important engine information such as temperatures and pressure.
So what’s the final outcome with all that witchcraft and wizardry from Trust and HKS? According to Frankie, 1127hp has been achieved for daily driving and to maximize reliability, he runs it on the low boost setting of 1.77-bars to yield that not-to-be-scoffed off figure. He however would like to keep the high boost setting of 2.0+ bars undisclosed and we can understand why.
The icing on the cake was that Frankie even flew out to the Trust headquarters to get a behind the scenes tour of the facility and watch his engine being built live.
With the power done and dusted with, it was time to focus on transferring all that fury to the asphalt. One of the weakest links in the GT-R chain early on was its transmission. Horror stories of gearboxes grenading themselves on hard launches or extended track flogging was pretty common and Nissan have since addressed it.
Nonetheless, beefing up the transmission was a key piece of this puzzle and once again, HKS was tasked with keeping the cogs in one piece.
Enter the HKS GR6 transmission upgrade for the GT-R that is almost always paired with the GT1000 turbos to handle the extra power.
HKS claims that their upgrade for the transmission is one of the strongest on the market with every single component optimised for strength and the right weight removal to keep poundage in check.
The clutch pack contains an additional plate without making any of the other plates thinner and the increased clutch capacity provides 110 per cent more pressing force for solid engagement even on downshifts.
A switch to a ball bearing over the factory thrust needle bearing now allows for better support of higher engine speeds and cans safely go up to 8500rpm.
Although capable of strenuous track environments as the transmission kit is fitted to the HKS GT1000+ time attack R35 that can lay claim to being one of the fastest GT-R’s in the world.
Additionally, many of the kit’s users commend it for still maintaining smooth driving manners that give it a true Jekyll and Hyde personality of being polite on the streets and potent on the circuit.
Complementing the internal upgrades to the gearbox is a HKS transmission cooler, T1 transmission brace and Boost Logic solid transmission mounts to iron out vibrations during shifts.
The GT-R is already renowned for its incredulous traction but with the output more than doubling, some shoring up in the handling department would be a smart move. With that, English GT-R experts Litchfield provided their suspension kit and thicker rear anti-roll bar while a Cusco full bolt-in rollcage stiffens up the chassis.
From the photos, it’s quite obvious that the rear half has been stripped clean for significant weight savings. Adding to that is a single Bride Maxis III Low-Max full bucket seat for the driver while the passenger will have to made do with the stock seat although both can count on a pair of four-point Takata harnesses to keep them reeled in when the going gets ghastly.
Finally, we come to the exterior of the car that is hard to miss. Cosmetic enhancements comprise a mishmash of tuning houses starting with a front bumper and canard combo, rear bumper, boot lid, spoiler, fender and hood from Top Racing with Varis covering the rear under panel, rear diffuser and rear underskirt before Top Secret applies the finishing touches with the side skirts and fender vents for improved cooling.
Rolling stock has also been upgrades and Frankie can call on a number of wheel and tyre combos depending on the hunting ground the GT-R will be having a crack at. For the hard parking days, it will sit on some 21-inch Forgiato wheels measuring 9.5-inches wide in front and massive 13-inches in the rear wrapped in Pirelli P Zero rubbers that are as useful as condoms in a monastery.
So for those times that the full 11127 horses are unleashed, Frankie can rely on super sticky Nitto NT01 rubbers for the track or smaller Enkei RPF01 18-inch wheels wearing M&H Racemaster drag slicks for the quarter mile.
With all sorts of GT-R builds popping out of the framework, standing out in a field of Godzillas is becoming an increasingly inconceivable initiative. Fortunately for us, Frankie is one of the few that decided to either go big or go home and this case, we’re glad he went big and can now go home with one of the finest GT-Rs in the region.
Car- Nissan GT-R
Engine Mods – HKS GT1000 kit, GReddy RX intake plenum (Ben Sopra edition in red), GReddy complete RX piping kit, GReddy RX intercooler, GReddy big bore throttle kit, HKS Suction Reloaded kit, Okada Project Plasma Direct coils, Top Secret oil catch tank, AAM Competition triple fuel pump with rails, FIC 1600cc injectors, Boost Logic solid engine mounts, HKS oil pan, AAM Competition valve control exhaust system, AEM water / methanol injection kit, Koyorad radiator
Electronics – Motec M150 Full Spec ECU, Motec C127 digital dash
Transmission – HKS GR6 complete transmission rebuild kit, Boost Logic solid transmission mount, HKS transmission cooler, T1 transmission brace
Brakes – Stock (Alcon Nissan GT-R Superkit, Front 400mm & Rear 385mm coming soon)
Suspension & Chassis – Litchfield GT-R suspension kit, Cusco rollcage, Litchfield rear anti-roll bar
Wheels & Tires – Forgiato wheels 21×9.5 (front) and 21×13 (rear) + Pirelli P Zero (show), Nitto NT01 tyres (track), Enkei RPF01 18-inch wheels + M&H Racemaster drag slicks (drag)
Interior Mod – Bride Maxis III Low-Max seat (driver), stock passenger seat, Takata four-point harness,
Exterior Mod – Top Racing front bumper + canard, rear bumper, boot lid, spoiler, fenders, hood, Varis rear under panel, rear diffuser, rear underskirt, Top Secret side skirt, fender vent, Craftsquare side view mirrors
Power – 1127BHP @ 1.77 Bar Low Boost setting, 2.0+ Bar High Boost setting with race fuel (for competition and drag purpose) Power Undisclosed.
Tuner – Rhommell Singh
Special Shout Out – SHH Pro Shop for the hookup with Trust and HKS to make the built possible, Alain Zazueta of Trust Japan, Yoshimasa Kikuchi of HKS Technical Factory Japan and Hideto Kohda of Seed Racing Engineering Japan.
Photos By: Jason Ong @ Masamichi Studio