The second generation of the Nissan Skyline GT-R shows a lot of life for something that was put on the chopping block awhile back. Production of the R34 ceased almost four years ago but, surprisingly enough, innovation and development in tuning parts continues at an unrelenting rate. The truth is, the GT-R is still Japan's most sought after supercar yielding amazing results in pretty much every discipline it competes in. This is exactly why we met up with the guys at Garage Kagotani, who surprised a few people with one of the fastest GT-Rs of the day at the 2005 Tsukuba Super Battle. Built for a customer, this BNR34 packs some interesting mechanical specifications, not to mention an eye-catching widebody kit inspired from GT race cars.
Posting a 57.232-second lap at Tsukuba is no easy feat. In the last few years the grippy and lighter Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has proven to have the upper hand at Japan's most widely used circuit, but the GT-Rs are fighting back. Kagotani-san wanted to have a bash with his car and he certainly got his name noticed coming in third place with the time mentioned above.
The main ingredients in creating a successful track car are lightness and power. Traction and grip would be in there too, but we all know the GT-R has plenty of both to start with so we'll consider them as a given. The entire car was stripped to the bare shell, and a heavy dose of spot welding and stiffening was done. You'll notice from the pictures it packs one hell of a roll cage. In fact, it isn't too different to what's found in GT500 cars with extra plates joining the cage's tubing with the chassis.
The main dash and center tunnel console have been built in dry carbon to shave precious kilograms while only one Recaro racing seat has found home within. The race car connection continues with a Max Meter LCD instrumentation panel, which can be found in quite a few modern GT cars and displays all engine parameters on its back-lit display.
The gear lever, which operates the OS Giken sequential transmission, has been custom built and positioned very close to the steering wheel to keep hand movement to a minimum when shifting.
The center console houses some necessary equipment including: the HKS EVC boost controller and knock/amp meters; digital lap timer; and two Defi gauges, one for oil and the other for exhaust temperatures. The HKS F-Con V Pro programmable fueling computer has found its home on the passenger side of the dashboard with all of its input ports within easy reach.
No matter how many BNR34 GT-Rs you have seen, the Garage Kagotani Skyline sports one of the most aggressive and clean body kits out on the market. Named G-Force, the kit consists of a long-nose front bumper, vented hood, slightly blistered front fenders (which point outwards at the top extremities to form an air outlet helping to expel hot air from the engine bay), chunky side skirts, and a slab-sided rear bumper. Needless to say an obligatory GT wing is also included.
The kit has recently been released for public purchase at the Tokyo Auto Salon and costs a cool 1,000,000 (around $10,000). The actual body parts on the demo car are the first to be made so they are very thick and heavy. Despite this, the curb weight it is still an impressive 3,122 pounds. This number should decrease dramatically when the production versions of the body parts are made, especially if built in dry carbon.
The front bumper is a major selling point, and is totally different from other bumpers on the market. It features a longer front section, which allows for a complex air-guide system to be used. The center part feeds the GReddy intercooler while the two lateral scoops channel air to the twin Trust oil coolers mounted at each corner. Optional carbon canards are fitted on the extremities for added front downforce. Just behind the front wheel arches, a GT-style carbon air outlet helps expel hot air from the wheelwells. The rear bumper features a similar design to the stock one, but benefits from air outlets that help expel hot air from the rear brakes and rear diff and gearbox coolers.
Fitted to the car during the shoot were prototype Rays Engineering DR-505 wheels, which were introduced at the Tokyo Auto Salon this year. The 5-spoke design, featuring titanium-effect rim inserts, looks outstanding. Depending on how the light hits them, a continuously varying array of colors and effects are reflected onto the spokes and onto the road. When these rims officially go on sale some time this year, we have a strange feeling they'll be a major hit.
On to the heart of the car: the GT500 block-based RB28. Over the past year it seems single turbo conversions are gaining back popularity over the more responsive twin setups commonly found on GT-Rs; and the crew at Garage Kagotani strongly believe that for this application a big single turbo application is the best route. The Trust (GReddy) T88-33D turbine helps develop the 690 hp, but at the same time hits with a big punch of torque at 4700 rpm giving way to a killer midrange and equally impressive top end.
The HKS Step-3 2.8-liter kit consists of a fully counter-balanced forged crankshaft, H-beam connecting rods, and high-quality pistons to assure the best possible performance. The bottom end internals live within the limited-edition (now sold out) Nismo GT500 engine block (same item used in JGTC GT500 racers) for added safety; and so far has proven to be totally bulletproof, taking everything thrown at it in stride. The head has be ported and polished, and is equipped with a full Tomei valvetrain and cams. For optimal and troublefree oil circulation, a Tomei big-capacity oil-pump is used - while the sump features an extension to hold that little bit more oil. Boost pressure is limited to 21.3 psi thanks to the Sard external wastegate and HKS EVC boost controller. The intake is courtesy of HPI, and is housed in a custom airbox sealed with an acrylic plastic cover - making it very easy to keep an eye on how dirty the filter is getting.
On the exhaust side is a GReddy front pipe and a lightweight Power House Amuse full titanium exhaust. An ATS twin-plate carbon clutch has been chosen to channel the power to the OS Giken sequential transmission, which in turn sends power to the ATS carbon rear LSD and Cusco front LSD. Element sports dampers offer full adjustability for the track, while the Swift springs are probably the hardest ever found on a GT-R - 20 kg/mm front and 16 km/mm rear. These aren't really something you would want for day-to-day use. Braking is courtesy of AP Racing competition brakes, more specifically 6-pot front and 4-pot rear calipers - all stuffed with Performance Friction pads.
The Garage Kagotani GT-R will be participating throughout 2006 in the various Time Attack battles and will no doubt continue to stay within the top runners.
Max power 690 hp at 7600 rpmMax boost 21.3 psiWeight 3,122 lbsBest time at Tsukuba 57.232 sec
EngineHKS 2.8L stroker kit(pistons, connecting rods, crank shaft)Ported and polished headNismo GT500 engine block1.2 mm metal head gasketTomei camshafts 270 degree (In/Ex)Tomei valve springsTomei cam pulleysTomei oil pumpTrust T88-33D turbochargerTrust exhaust manifoldSard Type-J wastegateGReddy front pipePower House Amuse fulltitanium exhaust systemGReddy R-SPL 3-row intercoolerHPI intake with custom acrylic airboxTrust oil cooler (x2)Koyo large-core radiatorGarage Kagotani metal radiator shroudTriple oil catch can/separator systemHPI engine damper1000cc injectors (x6)50L racing fuel tankHKS fuel railHKS F-Con V Pro programmable ECU
TransmissionOS Giken 6-speed sequential transmissionATS twin-plate carbon clutchw/ lightweight flywheelFront 1.5-way Cusco LSDRear 1.5-way ATS LSD
Suspension & BrakesElement race adjustable dampersSwift springs 20 kg/mm (front)16 kg/mm (rear)AP Racing calipers 6-pot (front)4-pot (rear)AP Racing slotted discs:355 mm (front)332 mm (rear)Performance Friction pads
Wheels & Tires18x9.5 Rays Engineering DR 505titanium-effect (pre-production)Advan A048 265/35R18
InteriorFully stripped out interiorTombow House custom 40 mm welded rollcage and various reinforcementsSport welded chassisG-Shape dry-carbon dashG-Shape dry-carbon center consoleG-Shape dry-carbon door panelsRecaro race bucket seatNardi racing steering wheel(Nobuteru Taniguchi edition)Custom shift leverCarbon leather handbrake & shift lever bootsHKS EVC boost controllerHKS A/F knock amp meterMax Meter race digital dash unitDefi oil and exhaust temperature gauges
ExteriorFull G-Shape body kit by Garage Kagotani bumper, Front flared fenders, Hood,Side skirts, Rear bumper, Boot lid, Diffuser fins,GT wingCarbon-fiber wing mirrorsNismo GT LED rear lights