A 1500HP GT-R STREET CAR THAT RUNS 8S

Getting a 3700lb (1675kg) Nissan Skyline GT-R down the strip in eight and a half seconds flat on its very first outing since an intensive, yet short lead build, is not any way, shape or form an easy proposition. But behind the wheel of MGAWOT II, New Zealand-based but internationally-renowned Nissan RB-series engine builder Robbie Ward has just made it look effortless.

If you know anything about GT-R drag racing you’ll probably recognize Rob’s name. If not, you should recognize his company’s, because for the last decade that modest workshop in a small city at the center of New Zealand’s North Island has been turning out some of the quickest and fastest Nissan RB-engined street and drag cars on the planet – many of them for international customers. The Bayside Blue BNR34 – unofficially dubbed MGAWOT II – is arguably their greatest work yet. It’s certainly the most powerful Skyline to have ever emerged from the RIPS (aka Rotorua Import Pro Shop) lair.

I caught wind of the Skyline-based drag project earlier in the year, not long after RIPS blew everyone away with its original MGAWOT machine – the company’s own Nissan Stagea station wagon which ran a 9.0-second pass on its very first pass down the strip and high eights ever since. MGAWOT II promised that and more, and during the course of last weekend RIPS delivered on its word in more ways than one. Not only did it a turn an 8.64 ET and a new NZDRA national class record on its debut run off the trailer, but it backed it up with a succession of 8.60s, then an 8.57, and finally an 8.51 at 162.5mph for the IHRA drag national class record too.

For the sake of anyone wondering, MGAWOT is a play on megawatt, which in power terms equals 1000 kilowatts, or 1341 horsepower. Truth be known, MGAWOT II has a little more than that, and more impressively makes its power on off-the-pump E85 biofuel. Equally remarkable, just seven short weeks ago the GT-R was nothing more than a rolling body fitted with a roll cage and a parachute. It arrived that way from the UK, but now, a couple of days after its debut racing weekend, it’s locked up in a shipping container and on its way back.

It’s not the first Skyline that’s been sent halfway around the world for Rob and his team to work their magic on and it’s unlikely to be the last. When it comes to RB engines – custom-engineered RB30s to be precise – RIPS has an enviable reputation. But it didn’t come by chance. Rob isn’t the sort of guy to ever shy away from a challenge, and he certainly doesn’t do things by halves. Too much power is seemingly never enough for this guy, and if that custom humped vent on the hood doesn’t speak volumes in that regard, lifting it up certainly will.

Like all of RIPS’ high-power builds, MGAWOT II’s engine is RB30 based. In this instance though, it’s pushed out to 3.2 litres courtesy of a Nitto Performance Engineering stroker kit featuring a 4340 billet steel crankshaft, 4340 I-beam rods, and a set of JE/Nitto forged T6 2816 alloy pistons. Not only do the upgraded internals give the engine the strength it needs to handle high horsepower loads, but they also allow to it to rev more freely, and to a 10,000rpm-plus altitude.

Of course, to achieve those big numbers you need a cylinder head that’s equally up to task. RIPS’ close associate Kelford Cams got that job of delivering a race-prepped and fully-flowed head from a brand new RB26 casting. On the subject of flow just look at that beautiful hand made intake plenum that the compressed air blows through.

Then there’s the turbo: a Garrett GTX47-series compressor sitting on a custom-built tubular manifold and running a pair of Turbosmart PowerGate60 wastegates. To give you some reference for size, that heat-wrapped pipe running out the back measures five inches in diameter. Large? Yes. Scary? A little…

If the engine was methanol-fueled and not destined to be street driven, the package could have sufficed without the need for an intercooler, but seeing as it’s designed to run on E85 and will soon be put back on the road in the UK (yes, you read that right!), a custom-built water/air charge-cooling system has been employed.

The set up pumps ice cold water stored in a custom designed and fabricated 50-litre boot mounted tank, through hoses to the ARE intercooler behind the front bumper. According to Rob it’s working perfectly to keep the intake temperature in check. The 18-litre tank on the left-hand-side hold the fuel, with a trio of Bosch Motorsport 044 pumps feeding the supply to the engine through six 2500cc injectors.

That’s not the only fuel the engine feeds on, though.

RIPS has always been a big fan of N2O, and while the Nitrous Oxides Systems set-up has the ability to deliver multi-port shots in the future, it currently only operates a small fogger nozzle for a 75hp hit that’s primarily used to bring the engine up on boost.

Remember what I was saying about attention to detail? It’s evident wherever you look, right down to CNC engraving on most of the custom-made items. The Tali Lomu insignia came at the request of the car’s owner – a huge rugby supporter with an immense respect for one of the sport’s most revered players of all time. New Zealand All Black great Jonah Tali Lomu, himself the owner of a couple of fast GT-Rs, was well known for his ability to steamroll anyone who got in the way of his 6 foot 5 inch, 280lb frame, so it’s a fitting name for a car that’s been designed to mow down the competition on the 1320.

With a conservative 1500hp on offer the RB32 definitely has the credentials to get the job done, but what surprised me the most though is how civilized the overall package is. Off the trailer all it took was one twist of the key to fire the engine into life from cold start before settling at a raspy, but even idle. Maximum effect, but minimal fuss.

That mantra follows through to the driveline, where alongside reliability, ease-of-use and driveability are key design traits. Unlike previous builds where OS Giken OS88 six-speed sequential gearboxes have traditionally been RIPS’ transmission of choice, MGAWOT II benefits from a ProMod-style two-speed, manually-shifted automatic that’s been significantly modified to integrate with the GT-R’s four-wheel drive underpinnings. The idea behind the auto transmission, which was initially developed in the Stagea, was to remove driveline ‘shock’, where immense torque loads plus a hard launch can equal expensive breakages. In a complete turnaround from the accepted norm, this GT-R catapults off the line smoothly, and even more surprisingly with just 6psi of initial boost pressure.

Getting the car out of the hole and on its way to a eight-second slip is a simple proposition Rob tells me. Looking at the left side of steering wheel, the top button purges the nitrous system while the bottom one engages the transbrake. On the right-hand side the top button activates the Leash Electronics Bump Box, while the bottom button triggers the N2O.

To heat the rear tyres before a run, a manual torque split controller alters the drive from full four-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive and can be adjusted to anywhere between.

After the burnout, the lever with the blue button is pumped back and forth to reinstate pressure back into the system and four-wheel drive for the launch.

That Bump Box I mentioned a couple of pictures back is a useful device in a set-up like this. To trigger the second set of staging lights, a driver normally has to be off the gas pedal to inch forward and fire the beam, which only leaves a split second to rebuild boost in time for the lights to drop. With the Bump Box, a microprocessor in conjunction with the transbrake does all the work, allowing the car to ‘bump’ into stage without the engine having to come off boost.

On the subject of boost, this is the first time RIPS has employed a CO2 system in one of its cars. The technology, which utilizes air regulators, is perfect for this application where boost control is critical, and pressure needs to increase as the car makes it way down the strip.

That said though, with its current Link G4 Xtreme engine management system tune the big RB’ is only operating at around 85 percent of its ability according to Rob.

It doesn’t take a genius then to work out that this car has a lot more in it yet, and that’s before you even start thinking about removing weight, like its heavy electrics-equipped steel doors and factory dashboard from the equation. It’s also running old circuit-spec coilover suspension, and the list goes on… Seven second potential? Without a doubt.

In the meantime however – if its debut performance is anything to go by – the Skyline should be at the top of the game when it hits up the Street Class of Santa Pod’s Jap Drag Racing Series, which coincidentally just kicked off for the 2013 summer season at the same time MGAWOT II was being shaken down in a far away land.

Given New Zealand and the United Kingdom’s geographical divide, chances are I’ll never get to see this car run again, and that saddens the inner GT-R worshipper in me. At the same time though, I know for a fact that this won’t be the last fast Skyline from RIPS, and that said, I can’t wait to see what Robbie and his team cooks up next. MGAWOT III? Watch this space…

 

Brad Lord
brad@speedhunters.com

 

New Zealand Sport Compact Drag Racing on Speedhunters

Other Skyline stories on Speedhunters

 

Nissan Skyline GT-R BNR34 ‘MGAWOT II’

Numbers
1500hp; 0-400m: 8.51 @ 162.5mph

Engine
RIPS RB32 build, Nitto Performance Engineering 3.2-litre stroker kit, JE/Nitto forged pistons, 4340 billet steel I-beam rods, 4340 billet steel crankshaft, RB26 DOHC 24V cylinder head, Kelford Cams cylinder head race prep/flowing, Kelford Cams camshafts, custom tubular exhaust manifold, Garrett GTX47 turbocharger, two Turbosmart PowerGate60 60mm wastegates, five-inch exhaust, ARE air/water intercooler, custom boot-mounted ice box, 18L custom fuel cell, three Bosch Motorsport 044 fuel pumps, braided fuel lines, RIPS plenum, RIPS throttle body, RIPS adjustable fuel rail, Turbosmart adjustable fuel pressure regulator, 2500c injectors (E85), RIPS/Ross Performance dry sump system, NOS nitrous oxide system, ViPEC engine management system, CO2 boost control system

Driveline
RIPS modified ProMod 2-speed automatic transmission, adjustable torque split, transbrake, limited slip differentials (front/rear)

Suspension/Brakes
Tein adjustable coilovers front/rear, Nissan BNR32 GT-R calipers/rotors, parachute

Wheels/Tyres
15-inch Advan RG alloys, Mickey Thompson 26.0/10.0-15 (front/rear)

Exterior
NISMO front bumper, Do-Luck rear bumper, custom turbo vent

Interior
Full rollcage, Jamex drivers seat, harness seat belt, Sparco steering wheel, B&M Pro Bandit ratchet shifter, Leash Electronics Boost Leash boost controller

 

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source: speedhunters
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Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 – Bloodred Livery

Woe unto thee, the youth of Japan. It’s a known revelation that the Generation Z of Japan has little or no interest in automobile tuning, let alone feel the slightest need to acquire a driver license these days. This is coming from the country that endowed upon the world the almightiest Japanese renaissance supercar, the iconic Nissan Skyline GT-R. In current times, the last model of the Skyline GT-R series—the BNR34—is becoming increasingly affordable to the average consumer, particularly in the land of its origin. For us, it is also a cruel reality that none of the Skyline GT-Rs were ever made available as a North American production model vehicle. Sure, a handful of these sought after machines managed to skip the Pacific to the American soil, but the importation methods that were utilized remain ever so questionable. Both lawfully and illegitimately, a few entities have challenged this overseas importation through various means but have inadvertently managed to create this seminal of controversy involving the DOT, EPA, and the Feds.

Regardless of the situation in the United States, the Japanese unquestionably have it easy when it comes to owning one of these automobiles. All they have to do is simply purchase and register—without any hassles like going through loads of paperwork, searching for regulatory loopholes, or buying one for close to $100K. But what about the R35? This one finally became available for purchase at any local Nissan dealer in the United States but failed to continue the RB26DETT legacy. In the realm of the enthusiast mindset, R34 and R35 are two completely different vehicles. In fact, the R35 lost its hierarchical inheritance when it was stripped of its Skyline badge and loaded with overcomplicated electronic gadgetry and chain-driven camshafts. The great R34 GT-R was known to excel in all forms of driving, even grocery getting whilst spitting out that distinct enraged sound that only a force-fed, cast-iron inline-six engine can produce.

For Sun Line Racing in Okayama Japan, the R34 represents the philosophy that an affordable and extremely capable machine doesn’t have to be high maintenance or a dust-covered garage queen. But every vehicle Sun Line touches doesn’t really turn to gold; instead, a definitive bloodred color that serves as the livery of the company’s tuning aptitude. With the only exception being the full dry carbon R34 that was built recently, this blood red is a trademark warning sign to the other vehicle tuners out there to get out of the way and make room.
Since this Nissan Skyline E-BNR34 is Sun Line’s staple representation of a street vehicle, the key factor when tuning the engine was efficiency, reliability, and comfort. Large turbochargers require a lot of maintenance and the higher the power output, the more chance that things will breakdown thermodynamically. Therefore the factory turbochargers were kept in tact, with emphasis on small but vital surrounding components such as Tomei valvesprings, 1.2mm head gasket, and NISMO motor mounts. The target goal for this machine was an estimated 500 “streetable” horses, which is plenty for an all-wheel-drive GT-R to handle in terms of laying the power to the ground without getting all squiggly like an FR-configured vehicle. Furthermore, since the factory turbochargers are forced into pumping more air into the engine than its stock specification, fuel must be compensated to avoid detonation. Sun Line chose to go with the tried-and-true combination of using a Tomei high-volume fuel pump, NISMO fuel pressure regulator, and Sard 700cc injectors. The HKS Type R intercooler handles the cooling department along with the Trust oil cooler and a custom radiator keeps the air, water, and oil temperatures down efficiently.
The transmission was kept stock. Although not entirely factual, the word Getrag is synonymous with the word bulletproof to many enthusiasts. Getrag is a German transmission manufacturer that builds and provides superior gearboxes to vehicle manufacturers typically for high-end sports cars. The only other vehicle that was worthy enough to receive this brawny Type 233 six-speed gearbox from the factory was the MK4 Toyota Supra. With an upgraded clutch, it is known to withhold some serious torque well above and beyond the intended factory numbers. Sun Line had chosen to go with an Exedy twin-plate carbon clutch and flywheel, solely because of carbon fiber’s immense grappling characteristic under high inertia load.
Tein plays a vast role in the vehicle’s suspension makeup. The vehicle was going to be used primarily on the streets but Sun Line needed a suspension system that could also be used competitively on the racetracks. The Tein Circuit Master Type N1 coilover system was the textbook verdict. Yes, this unit is made strictly for the track, but don’t forget that it features a wide compression and rebound parameter that can be set precisely to almost every kind of situation. Besides, an external reservoir suspension always looks so menacing in the wheelwell! Other accompanying components include NISMO front and lower arms, with Sun Line’s own front and rear camber adjustable arm setup.
A full-fledged tuning shop must consider the affect one modification has to another no matter how trivial or unrelated they may seem. A perfect example is that once a car is modified to accelerate quicker, it must be counteracted with an approach to make the car decelerate equivalently—unless it’s a drag machine packing a chute in the rear. The factory Brembo brakes are an outstanding package but Sun Line decided that a circuit vehicle required more precise braking control so the Endless brake calipers, rotors, lines, fluid, and pads were chosen. The massive front six-pot and rear four-pot calipers are dimensionally harmonic with the oversized rotors as well as the MA22 brake pad compound for maximum initial bite, braking control, and longevity. A couple drawbacks to this modification are the hardened ceramic metal blend pads, which make a lot of squealing noise and are designed to work optimally with R-compound tires.
The interior of the vehicle remains very much like how a street car should be—no jungle gym rollcages or various gauge clusters littered about. The only indications from the interior that this is a tuned machine are a Blitz SBC DC sequential boost controller, Bride GIAS reclinable bucket seats, and a Nardi Classic steering wheel.

The R34’s full NISMO Z-Tune body kit was shot with Sun Line’s trademark red paint and topped off with a Sun Line 3D GT Wing Type II and cooling hood. Be careful staring at the exterior, you may experience arc eye symptoms from the contrast emitted off the gold SSR Type F 18×11 wheels and the popping red paint. Yokohama Advan AD08 compounds were selected because of its Micro Silica + Hyper Density Carbon composite properties, which provide great traction on wet and dry surfaces.

To have an automobile of this caliber that’s readily available for purchase with its price dropping every year should be considered a blessing. Plenty of aftermarket go-fast parts are available on the market, still far from becoming discontinued. For us, Americans, it first starts with envy, then irrepressible jealousy, followed by uncontrollable rage, since the Skyline GT-R is our forbidden fruit of the automobile world. We, the people, who inhabit this great nation of the United States recognize this cycle of emotions whenever gazing upon one of Nissan’s greatest creations. As long as vehicle manufacturers keep producing four-wheel machines, tuning companies like Sun Line Racing will continue making them faster than no other.

Behind the Build

Owner
Sun Line Racing

Location
Okayama, Japan

Occupation
Tuning Shop, Parts Manufacturer

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34

490 ps at 7,000 rpm

Engine RB26DETT, Tomei 87mm bore 1.2mm head gasket, fuel pump; NGK Racing spark plugs; HKS Racing suction air intake; NISMO fuel pressure regulator, catalytic converter; Sard 700cc injectors; HKS Type R intercooler; Sun Line Racing titanium front pipe, GT-spec EX 90RS titanium exhaust, radiator; Trust oil cooler; SAMCO hoses; Plasma Racing coolant

Drivetrain Getrag transmission; Exedy twin-disc carbon clutch

Engine Management HKS F-Con V Pro ECU tuned by Sun Line Racing

Footwork & Chassis Tein Circuit Master Type N1 (18kg springs); NISMO lower arms; Sun Line Racing camber control arms

Brakes Endless Racing six-pot caliper (front), four-pot (rear), MA22 racing brake pads, brake lines, brake fluid

Wheels/Tires SSR Type F 18×11 +22, lug nuts; Yokohama Advan AD08 265/35-18

Exterior NISMO Z-Tune aero package; Sun Line Racing 3D GT Wing Type II, GT cooling hood

Interior Bride GIAS reclining bucket seats; Takata racing harness; Nardi Classic steering wheel; Works Bell steering hub; Blitz dual SBC-ID boost controller; NISMO cluster

source: importtunner.com