Godzilla, the monster that is the Nissan GT-R - its performance and handling are unrivaled, its aero carves through the wind with sophisticated ease and, for the most part, its competition is usually staring at its four rounded taillights. Is it possible that a much less sophisticated car - at a fraction of the price - could rival the mighty beast?
We all want a GT-R but its price tag will keep the majority of us from owning one. However, Nissan's 370Z is a more affordable option and a decent performer out of the box. The 3.7-liter V-6 engine churns out a respectable 332 hp and the car weighs in at 3,250 lbs, about 500 lbs lighter than the GT-R. Could slapping on a turbo kit and some other go-fast goodies elevate the 370Z to GT-R territory? It's a question many have asked, and we decided to find out.
Granted, the GT-R and 370Z we used are hardcore track-oriented versions, but they will still serve as good comparisons for the street versions of the two cars. And until GT-R prices come down to reasonable levels, the 370Z just may be the perfect alternative.
Love it or hate it, the Honda Civic is the Camaro and Mustang of our generation, more people modify, show and race Civics than any other cars on the market. Their following also spans past North America and even goes as far as Australia, where I found quite the time attack example built by two brothers out of their garage on my recent visit. To contrast the Australian-built Civic, we've got a feature on its USDM counterpart from Sportcar Motion. It's a rare opportunity that we get the chance to showcase two cars that are built for the same purpose from two different continents that are more than 8,000 miles apart.
Project Car Mayhem
It's been a nonstop summer of testing and wrenching on my two project cars. I don't know when it happened, but all of a sudden, every second of my free time was dedicated to building the Integra and EVO X. The upside is I have plenty of great content for months to come; the downside, though, is that I'm not sure where to take the projects next.
The EVO X is at a perfect stage of modification. It's extremely reliable and handles the daily commute as if it were still stock, but when I step on the gas pedal or take a corner, it's vastly improved. That's what I love about it. There's almost no compromise in comfort for performance. But - and there's always a "but" - it's heavy and could use an extra 50 to 75 whp. I'd love to put it on a diet and upgrade the turbo, but removing weight will affect its civility, and I don't want a car that isn't enjoyable to drive on a daily basis; I've already got one of those, the Integra, which is now well equipped for the track but hardly any good for the street. I'll probably add a couple more small upgrades to it and finally be ready to just beat the hell out of it on a regular basis.
Part of me is actually happy to be at the end of my two current project car builds, but the other part wants to keep modifying them regardless of the consequences. Then there's the lure of building yet another project car, which I promised myself I wouldn't do. It's too bad that promises are so easily broken.
A Sneak Peek At Excerpts From This Issue
The optional smooth-shifting 6-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission is a better match for the motor and probably the best route to go when considering the car's daily regimen.
Having now made a name for themselves in Australia and abroad, the BYP crew is enjoying a new level of notoriety within the Honda scene.
Wizards Of Oz
As the car transitioned away from street and toward track, the decision was made to partially gut the interior and shoot for the Limited class of time attack competition.
Always In Motion
The Generation 3 long tube dual intake kit promises to produce significant horsepower gains without triggering that pesky check engine light, an all-too-common problem after installing intakes on a 350Z.