Building a fast car is one thing, building a show car is another. Combine the two and you have a pretty hard job on your hands. Ogura Racing Clutches (ORC for short) has been in the aftermarket tuning game since the beginning. Their lineup of racing and street clutches has for years earned them the respect they deserve, and their experience in the racing field has helped greatly advance their products. And so for 2006 they thought it would be a good idea to go all out and create a car that would not only attract crowds during this year's show season but also perform like no other on the road: Enter the ORC twin-charged 350Z.
One look at this extreme machine and it's not hard to understand why the ORC stand was flocking with curious people at the Tokyo Auto Salon back in January. There is absolutely nothing sedate about this pearl-white Fairlady Z. The result of combined efforts from names such as Top Secret, Bravery, Rays Engineering, Project , Obayashi Factory and Maziora, this Z is certainly an eye-catcher. With ORC becoming more involved in the D1 Grand Prix drifting championship together with the Top Secret Nissan 350Z, ORC decided to go with the Z coupe for this project. Top Secret were the first to get their hands on the car and transformed its looks in a way only the Chiba-based tuning garage knows: extreme all the way! The car was stripped down and fitted with the full GT-300 wide body aero kit, GT carbon wing and carbon rear diffuser. Maziora provided the never before seen shade of white-pearl which shifts reflections from mint-green all the way to a faint blue, highlighting the new lines of the bodywork. It was then off to Bravery who took care of the next step of modifications. First off, the bonnet had to be addressed. ORC wanted something special, not only for looks but to clear the monster ORC supercharger that would be sitting right on top of the VQ35 motor. So a rather big scoop was molded right in the center, while on each side a small air outlet would aid in engine-room cooling.
Next on the agenda was the engine. Keeping with the whole extreme theme of the project something had to be done to give the bits under the bonnet as much appeal as to the car's exterior looks. So Bravery went to work fitting and designing a twin-charger system. A twin what? In case this terminology sounds a bit strange, it's because it hasn't really been done many times. We are of course talking about a supercharged and turbocharged engine. One of the most famous twin-charger applications was the rally-spec Lancia Delta S4, which in the mid-'80s blitzed through rally stages thanks to a supercharged and turbocharged 1.8L, 4-cylinder, mid-mounted engine. The idea is much the same on the ORC 350Z, except it's obviously been set up for street use. An ORC supercharger takes care of the low rpm boosting while a large Blitz/KKK K5 turbine comes into play at higher revolutions. The result? Power all the time with an impressively immediate throttle control. The engine remains completely standard, but even the low boost setting that is currently being used now is enough to develop an impressive 550 PS and a very full torque curve that peaks at 60 kgm. Lots of custom work was needed to set up such an innovative layout. ARC took care of supplying a high-flow intercooler while the rest of the piping was fabricated by Bravery.
In essence the system is very simple. The V6 engine spins the Blitz turbocharger through the specially built exhaust manifolds, which in turn feeds the intercooler. Then a large diameter pipe directly connects the intercooler to the supercharger intake via a mechanical throttle body. At low rpm, when the turbocharger can't muscle up enough positive boost pressure, the supercharger compresses the intake charge. Once the turbo spools up, the supercharger is cut off via the pulley that drives it directly from the crank. If that wasn't enough, the ORC is fitted with four Nitrous Express nitrous oxide tanks, which, when used, can add an extra 100 PS! That would effectively make this Z triple-charged!!! ORC staff wasn't too keen to demonstrate the effects of the additional (third) charging system, no doubt concerned about the engine's wellbeing. After all, it's already quite impressive that they're getting results like this from a standard unit. The nitrous system also feeds the intercooler cooling circuit, which, when needed, can dramatically reduce the intake charge by spraying freezing gas onto the main core. Sending the unrelenting power to the gearbox is an ORC twin-plate carbon clutch, which is as easy to use as a standard factory unit. A Nismo 1.5-way limited-slip differential has been fitted between the driven wheels taking care of unleashing all that torque to the asphalt.
A Roberuta air suspension system has been combined with the Cusco adjustable coilovers, after all this is a show car and needs to be lowered all the way to the ground once it's sitting on the show stand. A set of deep-dish Rays Engineering Volk Racing GT-7 wheels were chosen for the job, which, thanks to their enormous 20-inch diameter, manage to fill those enormous, widened arches without a problem. Comfortable yet grippy Bridgestone RE050 rubber was chosen in 245/35/20 for the front while extremely low profile 285/30/20 have been fitted to the rear wheels. Project 6-pot calipers grab the slotted front rotors, while at the back standard Brembo calipers and discs have been left untouched. High-friction Project pads are used all around.
Obayashi Factory assisted the ORC 350Z project for the interior and audio/video system. While the supple Bride leather racing seats and Key's Racing steering wheel will keep the driver happy, there are certainly enough toys to keep the passenger equally entertained. The entire center console has been molded to effortlessly integrate the three factory instruments as well as the large Alpine LCD screen, Alpine head unit and Blitz SBC-iD Color boost controller. Just below the three rotary A/C controls four micro-switches individually control the boot-mounted nitrous tanks. On the passenger side of the dashboard six Blitz gauges keep the driver informed of vital engine temperatures and pressures. The Alpine audio/video units send their signals to a full Alpine surround sound system, which has been custom mounted around the cabin. A large subwoofer in the boot area makes sure the bass is always pumping.
Out on the road the ORC shines in a number of ways. The immediate acceleration and lack of lag are what first surprises; there is no trail off of low-down torque or high-end power, and the boosted V6 seems to pull all the time in any gear. It's almost electric in character. There are all sort of noises being made: supercharger whine, large turbo spool up, an exquisite exhaust note and external wastegate chatter when you lift off the throttle. What gets you next is the amazing grip, especially considering the high torque output. Floor the throttle in any gear and there is very little wheel spin, just a momentary sideways step of the rear end in the first three gears, but nothing dramatic. We couldn't help pull a few (20 inch!!) burnouts, the car is fitted with a line lock system so it would have been rude not to oblige. The ORC guys were more than happy to go along with it.