Luxury sports sedans don’t seem to get much love in America. But in Europe there are serious sports sedans everywhere you look—Audi S4s, BMW M-cars and Mercedes-Benz AMGs being particularly popular choices among the gearheads and speed freaks on the other side of the Atlantic. You know sports sedans must be an important segment in Europe when even a pure sports car manufacturer like Porsche is getting into the sedan market with the ’10 Panamera, and it would appear that Lamborghini and Ferrari will follow suit with sedans of their own in the not-too-distant future.
Tim Trank wanted a European sports machine of his own. His dream, back in 2002 while a junior in college, was to buy a BMW E46 M3 and modify it with all the best bits. But this plan suddenly needed some rethinking when his wife announced she was pregnant. At first they made due with her VW Golf and Tim’s ’95 Accord coupe since money was tight, but then in 2005 Tim found himself filing for divorce. That’s when his need for a four-door became undeniable because he had joint custody of his daughter, Rylie, and needed to be able to get her in and out of the back seat without breaking his back. With a bit of searching, he found a real estate broker who was “upgrading” to a Benz and wanted to unload his ’04 Infiniti G35 6MT (6-speed manual transmission) quickly, so Tim snatched it up at $5,000 below book value. Not the Euro luxury rocket he once coveted, but still a damn fine sports sedan.
Having downsized to a smaller house after the divorce, Tim now found himself in the position that he could afford to start modifying his new ride. “I knew nothing about what was available for the G35 sedan, so I started looking around on the Internet and came across G35Driver.com, the largest G35 forum on the net and what I still blame for my addiction,” he says. “The forum showed me what mods were available for my car, and there were members pushing the limits of the VQ35DE, showing me how far I could take this thing.” But as Tim learned online, there was a limited selection of parts for his sedan, so he had to get creative.
“The very same day I picked the car up, I ordered an exhaust, intake, plenum spacer, lowering springs, 20-inch wheels and a few other goodies. It was fun like this for a few months, but I found myself wanting more. The car was slow compared to my Honda 600RR motorbike, so I decided to add a supercharger.” Since he wanted a smog-legal system that he could install himself, Tim ordered a Stillen supercharger kit. “The install was easy and the car was a lot of fun for a few months, but pretty soon I wanted more power so I tried the Stage 3 upgrade and then the Stage 4 upgrade. But I still wanted more,” Tim says. During this time he also upgraded the suspension to Tein CS coilovers and upgraded the undersized brakes to a 13-inch Rotora Brake package.
With a goal of 400 whp, Tim began researching turbo kits. He didn’t want any turbo lag, so he knew he wanted a twin-turbo setup. That’s when Tony and Jeremy at UMS Tuning in Mesa, Arizona, showed him a dyno graph for a Z they just finished with a GReddy TT kit and overlaid a graph of his supercharged G, both running at 8 psi of boost. “The Stillen Stage 4 kit only made more [horsepower and torque] below 1800 rpm; after that, the TT kit blew it out of the water. Time to sell my motorcycle to fund a turbo kit!”
But there was a problem. Nobody Tim could find had ever installed a GReddy twin-turbo kit on a G35 sedan. These kits were designed for the 350Z and G35 coupe, but after sourcing the kit from a vendor on G35driver.com he removed the Stillen supercharger setup and took the car to UMS Tuning. “The install went great,” Tim says. “There was very little modification required to fit the TT kit on my sedan. Things were tighter, the turbos were millimeters from touching the frame each side, but it fit. We installed the UTEC, boost controller and it was time for a tune.” Tony worked his usual magic on the dyno and the twin-turbo G sedan now pumped out a very healthy 405 whp and 399 ft-lbs of torque on Arizona’s “finest” 91-octane fuel. With his 400-whp goal reached, Tim thought he was done building his G. Yeah, right.
“I enjoyed the turbo kit a lot longer than the supercharger, but after about a year the G was feeling slow again,” Tim explains. “I knew that eventually I would have to rebuild the motor, so why not do it now? I was only aware of one other G35 sedan with a built motor and its power numbers were not very high due to small turbos. Sweet, time to become the highest power G35 sedan around!” To achieve this new goal, Tim sent his G to Kevin Nichols at Nichols AutoFab in Prescott, Arizona, to do some custom fab work.
Tim always liked the dual exhaust system that the G35 coupe and 350Z came with, so he relocated the fuel evap system and made the necessary modifications to fit a second muffler on the passenger side, while Kevin built a custom 3-inch dual exhaust. Kevin also customized the 3-inch downpipes and routed the wastegate dump tubes back into the exhaust to keep the sedan’s exhaust note as subtle as possible.
Meanwhile, over at UMS Tuning, Tony was building the killer VQ block of Tim’s big power dreams. With fresh heads from GT Motorsports to go along with Wiseco 8.8:1 pistons, Tomei rods, Cosworth bearings, JWT S1 cams and valvesprings, the reinforced block was ready to rumble. After carefully breaking the engine in on the street, Tim then returned to UMS for yet another dyno tuning session. With the Walbro 255-lph fuel pump maxed out, Tim’s killer G sedan pushed an amazing 538 ponies to the rear wheels. Not too shabby, but Tim wanted more and to achieve this some fuel system upgrades were needed. That’s when Tim’s new wife Rian stepped in, ordering him a Bosch race pump and surge tank with larger diameter fuel lines for his 30th birthday. Now that’s what we call a Modified-approved marriage!
Back on the dyno “one last time” (famous last words), this time with a tank full of C16 race fuel, Tim’s Euro sports sedan killer posted a ridiculous 649 whp and 651 ft-lbs of torque. With this much power now on tap, Tim’s G now eats AMG Benzs and M-version BMWs for lunch and has Audis for dessert, but to make sure he doesn’t run into the back of these much slower sedans he also stepped up to Rotora 15-inch front and 14-inch rear big brakes, stuffed under his “favorite wheels of all-time,” a pristine set of 20-inch iForged Aeros.
With a custom front bumper designed by Viet Nguyen to house the huge front-mount intercooler properly and give Tim’s G a unique appearance, a set of ’06 G35 coupe front seats custom wired for full functionality, and a complete sound system upgrade using JL Audio components, this spotless black beauty of a four-door has got to be one of the fastest and most thoroughly modified sports sedans in Arizona—if not the country. And this isn’t some driveway poser or garage queen either; Tim takes his G-sedan to the track for both road course and dragstrip abuse, where it regularly trashes all those Euro sports sedans he dreamed of during his college years. Just goes to show, sometimes it’s best to leave things in the past, just like Tim now leaves M3s in his rearview mirror!
Specifications & Details
’04 Infiniti G35 Sedan 6MT Sport
3.5-liter VQ35DE V-6
Wiseco 8.8:1 pistons, Tomei rods, Cosworth bearings, GT Motorsports cylinder heads, Jim Wolf Technology S1 camshafts and valvesprings; GReddy twin-turbo kit, FMIC, and oil cap; HKS SSQV BOV, Bosch race fuel pump and modified fuel surge tank, Kinetix SSV intake manifold, Vibrant 3" downpipes, Nichols AutoFab oil catch can and custom true dual 3" exhaust; Sun Auto hyper ignition system and voltage system; AMS 50mm radiator, FAL rad fans, Earl’s oil cooler w/ Spal fan, WR power steering fluid tank, JDM right side battery cover, Unlimited Tuning carbon-fiber battery cover, carbon 350Z engine cover
Carbonetic twin plate clutch and flywheel, Nismo Differential Cooler, 3.3:1 final drive, Rogue Engineering short shifter
Turbo XS UTEC and UTEC Tuner; GReddy Profec B Spec II boost controller, tuning by UMS Tuning
Wheels, Tires and Brakes
20x8.5 (f) and 20x10 (r) iForged Aero wheels, Nitto Invo 245/35-20 (f) and 275/30-20 (r) tires, Rotora 12-piston calipers and 380mm rotors (f) and 4-piston calipers and 355mm rotors (r) and C2 brake pads; Motul RBF600 brake fluid
Tein CS coilovers and EDFC; Stillen antisway bars, SPL end links, Richie’s front strut tower bar, GT Spec rear lower tie brace and lateral arm brace; Rare JDM rear strut tower bar
“Kurookie” custom front bumper, Nismo side skirts and rear valance; custom HID headlights w/ S2000 upper projectors and Acura TL lower projector, 20% window tint, ’06 taillights tinted and clearcoated GT-R style, JDM clear corners, 3M clear bra
’06 G35 Coupe Sport seats (f), Forged Performance shift knob, Auto Meter Nexus gauges in custom pods, KP Technologies VDC module, mirror tilt module, and window module; Eclipse navigation head unit and backup camera; headrest monitors, JL Audio amps and subs; Stinger 15 farad capacitor, Python 2-way alarm and remote starter
649 whp and 651 ft-lbs of torque on UMS Tuning’s Dynapack dyno
UMS Tuning, Nichols AutoFab, Rotora, Nitto Tires, Audio Adrenaline
I would like to give a huge thank you to my amazing wife Rian for supporting this addiction of mine, Tony Szirka and Jeremy Ward from UMS Tuning for all the incredible engine work and tuning. To Kevin Nichols at Nichols AutoFab for building the best G35 sedan exhaust ever, doing my motor swap and putting up with me. And to Dave at Rare JDM, Aaron Garfield and Eric Woodsmall at Audio Adrenaline, Nitto Tires, and Rotora for helping to make this dream come true
What’s It Like To Drive A 700HP G35 Sedan? ASK TIM!
According to owner Tim Trank, here’s how his G35 sedan drove during the various stages of its build.
Stock And Mildly Modified
Coming from a ’95 Honda Accord with basic bolt-ons and a 50-shot Zex kit, the G35 felt much faster. I was in heaven for those first few days. After that, like everything, it started feeling slow and I was already making modifications to get as much as I could from it. Overall, it was fun but still left me craving a lot more. For many, this car is plenty fast stock. The suspension was soft though and the brakes were prone to fade once they heated up. The undersized tires didn’t help with traction either.
The Stillen supercharger kit is a great kit for a street car. I started out with the Stage 2 kit, which adds about 60 whp, working my way up to the Stage 4 kit, which makes about 340 whp. The instant torque and blower whine were very addictive. The car was quite a bit faster and very impressive now. Off-the-line traction was nowhere to be found, so I had to learn to feather the throttle through first and part of second gear. But like most Roots blowers, power dies off around 5000 rpm and fell sharply after that. In terms of handling and braking, the upgrades made in these areas really helped the car a lot. Brake fade was gone and understeer had been replaced by easy power-on oversteer. Fun!
When the kit went on it we made just over 400 whp. It was a few days before Christmas, so the weather was nice and cool. The car was amazing. I was spinning the tires through first, second and into third gear. The car had so much more torque it was unreal. I still think 400 whp/400 ft-lbs of torque at the wheels is perfect for a high-performance street car. I was shocked by how little turbo lag there was. The turbos were starting to spool at 1500 rpm and making full boost by 3100 rpm. It felt like a rocket and now made solid power until about 6000 rpm, where it started to fall off. With the built block and 640 whp (530 whp on pump gas), the car was spinning through second gear on the front straight at Firebird Raceway during my last track day, but once I got near the top of second it took off. I was able to hit 130 mph on the straight, whereas stock G37s are lucky to hit 100 mph. Although I’ve only run a best of 12.3 seconds at 126.6 mph in the quarter-mile because of severe traction issues, with stickier tires and some weight reduction, low 11s should be there.