We’ve all seen one on the street. The R35 GT-R is nothing short of a true supercar, fusing blistering performance with an instantly recognizable shape. By no means does the car forsake visual impact for subtlety; it is probably the most in-your-face design to ever come out of Japan. So it’s quite interesting to see a company believe the R35 needs a bigger injection of aggression. As Uwabo-san of Abflug puts it, regarding this R35, “The idea was to create maximized impact.”
The Gallant project is a product of the collaboration between Abflug and European car specialist J.N. Hephaiss, who combined forces to create a new lineup of aesthetic parts for exotics. With Nissan having officially stepped into the supercar world, and with their desire to make a mark in the competitive tuning industry, something impossibly unique was needed—which is exactly what Abflug has always known how to do.
The gaping, sharklike opening created in the redesigned front bumper is probably the first impression this car will leave with most, but providing an uninterrupted flow of air to the radiator, oil cooler, and HKS trans cooler (nestled in the corners) is its main job. Carbon fiber is the material of choice for parts like the front lip spoiler, which guides air toward the front brakes much like the equivalent stock Spec V part does. Side skirts, too, are in carbon, but like everything else in the kit, are also available in FRP at a price drop. Finally, the pièce de résistance: the widened carbon rear fenders, which have been seamlessly integrated into the body, adding an extra 100 mm of girth to the already chunky R35’s rump. But it doesn’t end there; Abflug took inspiration from cars like the Audi R8 in creating a multitude of outlets where the fenders meet the bumper and on each side of the license plate. The louvered openings are mostly aesthetic but do help to extract some air from under the car, helped in part by the meshed opening around the exhausts and the prolonged diffuser fins.
The Gallant conversion is completed with a carbon-fiber rear spoiler, which fits onto the stock stays. Custom-designed wheels are the icing on the cake, forged in magnesium alloy for the ultimate balance between light weight and strength. The design looks like a pair of three-spoke wheels fused together, highlighted by the different painting of alternate spokes. The 9.5-inch wide, 20-inch front rims are shod in Yokohama Advan Sports 275-series, while the much wider 12-inchers in the rear get huge 315s.
Uwabo-san, wanting to boost performance, sought the help of tuning guru Kitabayashi-san at Pentroof in Tokyo—you’ll remember their 200-mph BNR34 Skyline GT-R from our Nov. ’10 issue. The idea here was to maximize the capabilities of the VR38 engine without going “overboard”. Kitabayashi’s handiwork can be seen in the custom hand-welded titanium exhaust system that connects up to the existing Power Craft cat-equipped centersection and front pipes, all giving increased flow while staying street courteous. A Greddy aluminum piping kit and blow-off valves brighten up the bay, managing boost provided by stock IHI turbochargers and wastegates, which are joined by faster-acting Pentroof actuators. An R35 limited-edition HKS EVC boost controller keeps boost stable and responsive throughout the rev range, while a custom-mapped Pentroof ECU maximizes throttle response and outright power. On the dyno, the Gallant GT-R topped at 630 hp at 6,300 rpm, with the torque curve peaking at 512 lb-ft at just under 6,000. We did mention that’s with stock turbos, right?
With heightened power and lowered aero, suspension upgrades are a must. Revolfe SA’s Izota-san (creator of our March issue’s 780-whp R32) was called in. Izota, who used to work at Abflug, has kept a very tight relationship with the famed aero maker, using his kits on almost all the cars he builds. And, in turn, his street-oriented coilover system appears on this Abflug beast. Cusco adjustable lower arms and tension rods were fitted at the rear to counter the resulting negative camber effects of the lower ride height, and a slightly stiffer stabilizer bar was also fitted to decrease roll allowed by those soft(ish) springs. Even an Endless six-piston, forged monobloc brake kit was called in to each corner; its massive 400mm two-piece floating rotors more than apt to scrubbing off the 200-plus mph speeds the car would be seeing. As gnarly as all this is, keep in mind that it was all done to enhance the driving experience on the street. One need look no further than the car’s interior for that; it’s still there, replete with Bride carbon-fiber seats and Sabelt harnesses for increased rigidity and safety.
Impressively, Japanese law enforcement seems comfortable with this arrangement. Probably because of the highly respected companies involved with its build. But possibly—we suspect—because they’d have a hard time identifying which type of car to ticket in the first place.
Behind the Build
R35 Nissan GT-R
Engine Pentroof racing strengthened actuators, custom titanium exhaust system, radiator, oil coolers, remapped ECU; Power Craft outlet pipes, center pipes; Greddy intercooler piping kit, blow-off valves (x2)
Driveline HKS radiator for stock dual-clutch GR6 gearbox
Suspension Revolfe SA adjustable suspension kit; Cusco front and rear sway bars, adjustable rear lower links, adjustable tension rod
Brakes Endless Racing Mono six-piston front calipers and six-piston rear calipers, 400mm two-piece e-grooved floating rotors, brake pads
Wheels/Tires Abflug Gallant Prism Magnesium wheels (20x9.5 +35mm offset front, 20x12 -5mm offset rear); Yokohama Advan Sports tires (275/40-20 front, 315/35-20 rear)
Exterior Abflug Gallant complete widebody kit (front bumper, lower carbon lip spoiler, carbon side skirts, side intakes, carbon rear widened fenders, rear bumper, carbon exhaust finishers, rear carbon wing, carbon diffuser fins)
Interior Bride Zeta III driver seat, Stradia II passenger seat; HKS EVC boost controller