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Scarlet Lightning – Nissan Skyline R33


Red cars always win right? Well, they can’t get it done without a much needed boost in performance so here’s the secret ingredients… apart from getting a red car

It’s easy to shed a tear for the R33 generation of the Nissan Skyline lineage. Of the trio that truly elevated the Skyline nameplate into the upper echelons of JDM legend, the middle child between the R32 and R34 always lacked the love that its siblings were generously showered with.

Being likened to a boat is only a compliment if you were building a limousine, not a sports car. Nonetheless, the R33 is still a Skyline and the right mix of ingredients will always yield ballistic performance for the average Joe.

And by George, that’s exactly what George has done here. The owner of this gorgeous scarlet specimen, he has injected the right amount of components to transform the car into something that goes as quick as it looks.

Under the hood sits the RB25DET engine but almost everything attached to its exterior is anything but stock.

The stock turbo was binned in favour of a much larger Garrett GT35 unit that now sits on a Tonnka exhaust manifold with a pair of Turbosmart 40mm wastegates to channel out excess exhaust gases.

Before being ignited, air is taken in by an AEM 5.0-inch filter before being compressed through the turbo and cooled by the aluminium front mount intercooler before a larger Q45 80mm throttle body governs how much enters the custom intake manifold. A Turbosmart Raceport blow-off valve prevents compressor surge from sending the GT35 to be rebuilt too soon.

The whole fuelling process starts at the tank with a Walbro 400lph pump feeding Denso 650cc injectors mounted on a HKS rail with an Aerospeed fuel pressure regulator handling the pressure. Finally, Splitfire Direct Ignition coilpacks light up the Denso Iridium spark plugs that have been recapped to 0.8mm to ignite the air and fuel mixture.

Everything then exits the engine and turbo via custom 3.0-inch piping with a HKS HiPower Silent muffler keeping the car under the radar by lowering the burble.

Helping keep the engine from overheating is a custom aluminium radiator topped by a GReddy radiator cap with a higher pressure rating.

One of the best standalone ECUs on the market is called upon to govern the fuelling, timing and other parameters of the engine’s performance. This is one area you shouldn’t skimp out on and George believes the same as well, opting for a Link G4+ Xtreme unit that works with the Turbosmart electronic boost controller to handle the software part of things.

Still retaining the stock five-speed manual transmission, it has been given some extra gear to cope with the power in the form of an Ogura ORC Super Single clutch set that is nearing the maximum rated power for this application.

In the handling department, the Tein name is as old as JDL folklore and its SuperStreet coilovers hold up the four corners, aided by Nismo front and rear strut bars to tie the suspension towers together.

Some extra stopping power is now necessary to bring this car to a halt. Taking a leave out of the younger brother’s book, this R33 now sports a set of Brembo calipers front and rear taken from an BNR34. The four-piston pieces up front and the two-piston rears now bite on the stock rotors.

It’s difficult to notice them though because they’re hiding behind gleaming white Volk Racing TE37 wheels wrapped in some of the best street rubbers money can buy; Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres in a 245/40R18 in front and wider 265/40R18 out back.

If that shade of red wasn’t enough to grab your attention, the subtle additions of a front splitter, rear diffuser and that ginormous GT wing should get the job done.

Whether it cruises by or is unleashing its turbocharged fury on asphalt, you’d be lying if you said you never gave this red rocket a second glance.

Car – Nissan Skyline R33

Engine – Garrett GT35 turbocharger, Tonnka exhaust manifold, custom intake manifold, Q45 80mm throttle body, twin Turbosmart 40mm wastegates, aluminium front-mount intercooler, AEM 5.0-inch air filter, Turbosmart Raceport blow-off valve, Walbro 400lph fuel pump, Sard fuel regulator, Denso 650cc fuel injectors, HKS fuel rail, Aerospeed fuel pressure regulator, Splitfire Direct Ignition coilpacks, Denso Iridium spark plugs gapped to 0.8mm, custom aluminium radiator, GReddy radiator cap, Tomei engine cap, Cusco breather tank, custom 3.0-inch exhaust piping + HKS HiPower Silent muffler

Electronics – Link G4+ Xtreme, Turbosmart electronic boost controller

Transmission – Ogura ORC Super Single clutch

Chassis & Handling –Tein SuperStreet coilovers, Nismo front + rear strut bar

Brakes – BNR34 Brembo four-piston (front) + two-piston (rear)

Wheels & Tyres – Volk Racing TE37, Michelin Pilot Super Sport 245/40R18 (front) + 265/40R18 (rear)

Exterior – Front splitter, GT wing

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