I have a bone to pick. When I mention GT-R to people, they immediately think of it as a mere tuner car. The assumption that the GT-R, be it any of the most recent four, are cars that only younglings enjoy to modify and upgrade is infuriating. I wonder if its portrayal in the Fast and Furious franchise had anything to do with it. In truth however, the GT-R has a rich history of pure outright performance. Ever since the first GT-R came out in the early 70s, it has been in the racing scene. Kicking off with Japanese touring car races, the “Hakosuka” quickly became the crowd favourite because not only could they own one but also watch it race successfully. It gives the normal owners a sense of pride.
The same thing went on until the R32 came along. With the R32, Nissan took on the Group A class racing and due to that intention, the engineered the ATTESA E-TS AWD system, widely regarded as one of the best motorsport AWD systems out there. Similarly the R33 and R34 continued to develop and shine in their own rights at the motorsport stage and just over a decade ago when the R35 launched, they began dominating the supercar world as well. So how dare people claim that the GT-R’s are mere tuner cars???
With the R35, Nissan decided to take a big step away from their straight-six heritage and opted for a V6 power plant instead. Why? I don’t know, I always felt the straight sixes had more character. Regardless, with the change in engine also came a massive increase in displacement. All 3 past GT-R’s ran a 2.6L RB26DETT but the R35 ran a 3.8L TwinTurbocharged V6, VR38DETT. This, made them a threat. From sports car boy toy, the GT-R name could now be whispered in the same conversations as Ferrari and Lamborghini. No one was safe! Be it in a straight line, on launch or on a track, the R35 was making mince meat of nearly everything out there shy of hyper cars and remember, this was BEFORE NISMO or tuners had gotten their hands on it.
Realising just how much raw potential the R35 had, aftermarket tuners saw it as a gold mine and went bonkers. Turbos were being enlarged, ECU experts were extracting nearly 100bhp more out of stock internals, exhausts began shooting flames and etc. Best of all? It was more affordable than any other super car yet quicker.
So once you’ve bought your R35, what do you do to it to stand out? Well first thing you do is, take it down to ATS Automobile at Sunway. These guys are considered as R35 gurus. Drive past their workshop and you will always have to wipe away some drool looking at the variety of Godzillas there.
This brings us neatly to the Nardo Grey beauty flooding our centrefold. Just take a moment to appreciate the paint job. No wraps for this pretty lady, only the highest quality of paint to bring out the elegance yet road warrior presence. In true JDM fashion, a wing HAS to dominate the rear end. It simply has to. In this case, an enormous carbon fibre Kansai Aero wing does the job with a score of 11 out of 10. As for the front, a Varis carbon fibre bonnet consumes the hood and provides the perfect amount of contrast to the subtle body colour.
Since the standard car is already a whopper, this one did not need much work on it. In terms of hardware, the injectors have been upgraded to 1000cc units from Injector Dynamics and two HKS Super SQV IV blow off valves manages excess air. As a happy side product, the blow offs also add to the sound effect and resonates well off of the thunder from the HKS exhaust system. You got to hear it to believe it.
To extract the absolute maximum out of what is available, the car was treated with COBB ecu tuning. COBB is well known for obtaining better figures and smoother power delivery while maintaining reliability so they were the clear choice. The exact figures are not to be revealed but let’s just say some Bulls and Horses better stay in the stable when this Godzilla is out and about.
The brakes remain stock as they are already perfect for the job but have been repainted to match the body colour. They stand out against the gloss black of the 20″ RAYS GramLights 57FXX. The wheel choice is no coincidence though. It was a careful decision to ensure the perfect look and fitment could be achieved. A job which the owner successfully pulled off. The rubbers keeping the R35 planted are ones developed by Dunlop for the R35 itself. The Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT 600 DSST CTT are ideally suited for the job and frankly, they know a thing or two about making tyres.
Now here’s the kicker. This is actually the first pre-facelift R35 underneath! That’s right. ATS Automobile did a complete 100% exterior conversion to the 2017 facelift R35. Didn’t catch it did you?
Engine: 3.8L TwinTurbocharged V6, Injector Dynamics 1000cc, HKS exhaust system, HKS Super SQV IV blow off valve
Transmission: 6-speed Dual Clutch
Electronics: COBB ECU tuning
Brakes: Brembo 6 pot Front, 4 pot Rear, Crossdrilled and Slotted 380mm Discs
Wheels & Tyres: 20″ RAYS GramLights 57FXX, Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT 600 DSST CTT
Exterior: Complete 2017 GTR bodykit conversion, Varis carbon fibre front bonnet, Carbon Fibre Kansai Aero Wing,
Workshop & Tuner: ATS Automobile