Anytime you hear the name Top Secret of Japan, you probably conjure up images of incredibly well built GT-Rs from the R32 all the way up to the current R35, along with a slew of incredible JZA80 Supra builds. Often high-powered, sometimes sporting unique swaps, and always producing stellar performance numbers that are only overshadowed by the car's impeccable balance, the longtime tuning house established itself as an aftermarket powerhouse years ago.
These days, you can still expect to catch Top Secret at the Tokyo Auto Salon sporting some of their latest parts, demo vehicles, and unique customer cars. At last year's show, we couldn't shut up about just how cool their R32 was after having its engine, drivetrain and even its interior swapped for R35 bits. The seamless conversion caught everyone off guard and we were blown away.
This year, along with some of their other badass builds, Smokey Nagata and crew displayed this rather simple R35. And though it doesn't sport an outside-the-box conversion or produce ridiculous horsepower numbers, the Top Secret body enhancements draped in subtlety were enough to make this one of my favorite cars of the show.
Under the hood you won't find much more than a catalyzer and ECU upgrade that help bring the power output just above 600hp. But the hood itself is fitted with a series of ducts and louvers that help aid in cooling. As air enters through the top opening in the front bumper, it's directed toward the louvers where the momentum helps draw hot air away from the bay. On either side of the Top Secret hood you'll find their front fenders that add an additional 20mm of girth, allowing for 285 tires, yet still maintain the car's original width measurement. The aggressive front is a result of their full bumper kit, which maintains ground clearance similar to the factory bumper and lip combo, yet increases down force with an integrated splitter and improves cooling efficiency to boot. On either side of the bumper are mild extensions that fill the gap between fender and bumper perfectly, without looking like an out of place universal trim piece, and retain the factory side markers.
Step around to the side of the R35 and you'll notice Top Secret's Version 2 side skirts lead to a flowing rear over fender, which adds about 10mm of clearance and, again, allows for substantial clearance with 285s. To finish off the rear and help with controlling unruly airflow out back, a rear under bumper/diffuser combo rounds out the aero upgrades.
It seems like every other car at SEMA, Tokyo Auto Salon, and your local car show or meet is inundated with bolted on fenders and stitched with rivets or hardware that not only unabashedly disrupts a vehicle's body lines, but pull all attention away from the very car they're attached to. In the case of Top Secret's R35 aero package, the muscular GT-R physique is kept intact and only slightly enhanced to a level that requires a second glance to figure out what was done and just how smooth the complete package really is. Call it a lesson in looking beyond the aesthetic in order to realize that there's still a group out there dedicated to making parts that function, fit and let the car's performance do all of the talking — and that group is Top Secret.