There are times when you need to be shown the light instead of being told what the light looks like; words may not be enough. For example, as I’m going for a ride-along, I ask Phoenix’s Power’s shop manager, Nakatsuji-san, if the bigger turbos used on this particular project have any negative impact on the VR38’s low-end torque—he says nothing, and instead, pushes his foot further down on the gas pedal. From there, all I can say is that this R35 GT-R lets all hell loose. This is, to date, one of the most extreme R35s they’ve worked on, using the best products the JDM tuning market has to offer.
Having made its rounds at the Tokyo Auto Salon and Nagoya Exciting Car Showdown earlier this year, one might assume this car has a mild personality—but don’t let the paint or 20-inch BBS wheels fool you. For us, they brought out the big guns, a set of TWS forged magnesium wheels that cost just as much as a tuned second-hand R32 GT-R, and that’s brand-new! However, that’s not where the high dollar items stop. The fine tuning of the engine is where we like to say, “We’re just getting started mother—ker.” This is one of those engine bays where you can stare forever and not get bored with the scenery. The block was sent off to JUN Auto, where their engineers increased displacement to 4.0L with a stroker kit (this comes with 96mm-sized forged pistons, rods and a billet crankshaft that can sing smoothly to the tune of 7,000rpm), a necessitated compliment to the large Trust TD06-25G turbos, which, as Nakatsuji finally says to me, “replaced the 20Gs and can now push up to 1,100hp versus the previous 800”. Ah-mah-zing, if you ask me. But the JUN magic carries upward, and at the cylinder head, stiffer valve springs and 272° cams were installed. Final mapping of the Phoenix’s Power ECU is still on the horizon, holding currently at 1.2-bar for 864hp at 7,000rpm—what they ultimately hope to tune for is an additional 200hp at roughly 1.5-bar, throwing it over the 1,000hp mark. Even as I felt the power at a “conservative” setting, I understood clearly—without Nakatsuji having to explain—that an extra 200cc of displacement helps to maintain the low-end performance that the R35 is so well-known for. Just imagine what the extra 200 horses will do on top of that!
With a monumental engine build comes a suspension and braking to match. Since the chassis has to take on the forces brought by double the power, top quality, 3-way adjustable Aragosta coilovers were installed, followed by an Alcon Superkit, one of the most exotic brake upgrades an enthusiast can ask for—and acquire with the right financial means. However, we’re fans of massive 6-pot fronts and 4-pot rears, all monoblock calipers, of course, all teamed with floating/slotted 2-piece rotors—I should also mention they’re much lighter in weight compared to the OEM Brembo brakes, which helps to lower unsprung weight for improved handling and steering. And remember those baller TWS wheels we mentioned before? A couple side notes: they’re made specifically for Phoenix’s Power and are stamped with ‘PKRC’ on the spokes, referring to the “Phoenix’s Kyoto Racing Club”, a street racing crew made up of their own customer base that love to go on high-speed highway runs, it’s almost similar to that kanjo vibe you see in areas like Osaka (Kyoto is a neighboring city).
While performance is always the most important aspect of a car representing Phoenix's Power, the owner of this R35 wanted his pride and joy to stand out from your regular GT-R. So, along with the candy blue paint job comes a host of Phoenix's aero parts, like the carbon-fiber front bumper with integrated lip spoiler, carbon skirts and a rear bumper. Mine's supplied a dry carbon hood, trunk lid and rear spoiler with Phoenix's finishing touch of a carbon lower rear bumper piece, and even more carbon detailing comes as Carbondry door handles and fender vent garnishes. Everything that could have been changed has been changed! And it;s pretty much the same story on the inside where it is outside as a full carbon package from Carbondry updates the materials chosen by Nissan for the factory trim. The owner even went so far as to change the A/C and audio knobs with stainless steel replacements as the stock plastic just felt too cheap. Other additions include Alcantara-clad Recaro seats, a Blitz boost controller and Ultra speed meeter.
With the R35 tuning market still very much in its infancy, it boggles the mind to think what we will be seeing from tuning shops like Phoenix's Power in the very-near future. It required little words for me to be convinced today, and undoubtedly, we'll be left speechless when the time comes.
Nissan GT-R R35
Performance Tuning Shop
JUN 4-liter stroker kit, forged aluminium pistons, I-section connecting rods, billet fully-counterbalanced crankshaft, valve springs, metal head gasket, 272º camshafts, large capacity intake plenum; Trust/GReddy stainless steel exhaust manifolds, TD-06SH25G turbochargers, external wastegates, intercooler piping kit, intercooler, blow-off valves, billet fuel rails, intake pipes and Airinx filters; Top Secret titanium exhaust system; SARD sports catalysts; Phoenix’s Power 1200 cc/min injectors, carbon radiator shroud; Top Secret oil catch tank; Carbing radiator reserve tank; chrome engine covers
Phoenix’s Power original transmission program
Phoenix’s Power ECU; Blitz SPC-iD boost controller
Footwork & Chassis
adjustable 3-way Aragosta coilovers
Alcon Racing monoblock 6-pot calipers (front), 4-pot (rear) with 400mm 2-piece floating discs (front), 385mm (rear); Pagid RS9-2 pads all round
Phoenix’s Power carbon front bumper, carbon front spoiler, carbon side skirts, rear bumper, carbon lower bumper and diffuser; Mine’s dry carbon aero hood, dry carbon trunk lid and dry carbon rear spoiler; Carbondry carbon door handles; custom blue paint
Recaro Sport JC Alcantara bucket seats; Ultra Speed meter; Carbondry interior carbon trim; stainless steel A/C & audio knobs