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News - Tuner Report

Tony O'Kane
Jan 1, 2009 SHARE

Nismo Releases Tune-Up Packages For The R35 GT-RAll you Nismo fanboys out there probably already know this, but Nissan's own in-house tuners, Nismo, have released its new range of upgrade parts for the R35 GT-R. There's a set of re-valved Bilstein DampTronic shock absorbers wearing stiffer Nismo coils, a quartet of tasty-looking forged 20-inch Rays wheels, lightweight carbon-backed Recaro seats, and a featherweight titanium cat-back exhaust system, which comes with an airflow-smoothing carbon-fiber rear diffuser.

All the parts can be purchased in Nismo's Sports Club package for 5,460,000. GT-R owners may want to opt to buy each part individually. The Chassis package, which includes the Bilstein dampers, Nismo springs, and Rays wheels, is a hefty 2,205,000, and the lightweight Recaros and titanium exhaust cost 1,890,000 each.

Nismo parts have never been cheap, but at least these goodies come with a three-year/60,000km warranty-but only if you get them fitted by one of Nismo's authorized Japanese workshops. By the time you read this, there should be a handful of U.S.-based importers who can get their hands on these parts for you, but don't expect the warranty to cross the Pacific with them.

Infiniti G37-Now With Four DoorsDid you lust after the sweet VQ37VHR-powered Infiniti G37 coupe but get conned into buying the more practical (but less powerful) G35 sedan by your nagging wife instead? Well worry not, for salvation is here.

That's right, Infiniti's G series sedans are now available in 3.7L flavor, with the glorious 328hp VQ37VHR finally finding its way under the four-door's shapely hood.

Mechanical fit-out is virtually the same as the G37 coupe, with the 3.7L V-6 being backed up by either a seven-speed Tiptronic automatic, or a close-ratio six-speed manual. Four-piston calipers clamp down on the 14-inch front rotors, while the rear brakes consist of two-piston calipers and 13.8-inch rotors. Also part of the G37 sedan package is a set of 18-inch alloy rims.

Power in the G37 sedan may be a couple of horses shy and weigh slightly more against the coupe, but the high-tech V-6 at least goes a long way toward closing the gap between the two models, performance wise. Besides, with its two extra doors and larger, more practical boot, the sedan will likely find much favor as the ideal workday commuter and weekend track toy for many a family burdened motoring enthusiast.

Lexus Halts LF-A Development And "Re-Evaluates" GS-F ProjectWord around town is that development of Lexus' upcoming LF-A hyper car has been stalled while the luxury brand diverts resources toward refreshing its lineup of passenger sedans and SUVs. The LF-A program has also been criticized by Lexus' top brass for not achieving the performance goals that were set for it: namely a 220-plus mph top speed and a sub-7:25 Nrburgring lap time.

These setbacks have pushed the LF-A's launch date back from 2009 to 2010, meaning that by the time the LF-A enters production, the damn thing will have spent half a decade in development.

The much-rumoured GS-F performance sedan has also allegedly been put on hiatus, with fears of a global recession and a worsening of the fuel crisis leading many within the company to question the economic viability of a V-10-powered M5 killer. It's not all bad news though: We may yet see the GS-F project revived once the next-gen GS launches, sometime between 2011 and 2012, although don't be too surprised if the LF-A-derived V-10 gets ditched in favor of a high-performance hybrid setup.

Spoon Now Offers Refurbished LHD Type R Spec NSX-RS To North American CustomersGrab onto your wallets all you Honda freaks because Spoon Sports says it is now able to convert lefthand-drive USDM NSXs into full JDM NSX-R specification, for those owners wanting to sample some of that sweet red H-badged goodness.

Spoon's conversion can involve as much or as little as the owner wants, but if you really want the pure NSX-R experience you'll need to stick your hand up for the full Type R package. That means you'll be getting a complete set of stiffer NSX-R suspension hardware, totally flat underbody trays, slotted brake rotors, a remapped ECU, a shorter final gear ratio, and a carbon-fiber hood and rear spoiler.

Lightweight 17-inch rims and carbon-fiber-backed Recaro seats are also on the cards, while a smaller battery, thinner rear glass, lightweight carpets, manually adjusting mirrors, no sound deadening, and a can of goo in the place of a spare tire will make your NSX the automotive equivalent of an Olsen twin. For those of you who were wondering, the JDM NSX-R weighed in at a very un-heavy 2,800 pounds-and so will yours after Spoon's done with it.

The only downside is price: Spoon says prices for the full JDM-spec conversion will range from $60,000-$69,000, depending on what the customer options are and the condition of the donor vehicle. Considering that you'll need to supply Spoon with your own NSX, that's a lot of money. Then again, whoever said being a fanboy was cheap?

HKS Gets Wrenchin' On The Hyundai Genesis CoupeHKS is normally a brand associated with the Japanese sports cars that we all know and love. However, with Hyundai recently entering the budget rear-wheel-drive sports segment with its Genesis Coupe, a car that, despite its humble Korean lineage, has great promise, HKS is now looking across the Sea of Japan for the next addition to its performance parts catalog.

At the recent SEMA show, HKS USA showed off its modified Genesis Coupe to demonstrate what the company could do for the low-cost sports car. The mods were largely limited to bolt-on upgrades, but with an HKS GT turbo kit, beefed-up engine internals, reprogrammed ECU, and HKS Hipermax II coilovers, the Genesis certainly had a lot more substance than most Hyundai-based show cars.

With its Ken Style-designed body kit and tasty Volk RE30 rims, the HKS Genesis Coupe definitely looked the part, and thanks to a low-restriction intake and exhaust, it definitely sounded it too. HKS should have a full lineup of parts for the Genesis Coupe very soon. Keep a close eye on www.hksusa.com for further details.

Is Toyota Ditching The FT-HS/Supra?The automotive behemoth that is Toyota has apparently put all plans for a production version of the 402hp FT-HS hybrid sports coupe on an indefinite hold, thereby squashing any hopes Supra fans may have had of a revival of the iconic nameplate.

Since a Toyota executive strongly hinted early last year that the FT-HS concept would form the basis for a next-generation Supra, Toyota fans were giddy with excitement at the prospect of a modern interpretation of the classic GT coupe. However, continuing economic instability both here and abroad as well as worries over the future of the world's oil supply has prompted Toyota to shelve the FT-HS project, possibly forever.

The good news is that Toyota will persist with its upcoming lightweight sports car, which has widely been dubbed the spiritual successor to the legendary AE86 Corolla. The Subaru-powered, budget-priced, two-door coupe will most likely make its debut in either late 2011 or early 2012, and is expected to bring cheap rear-wheel-drive thrills to the masses in much the same way as the highly revered '86 did all those eons ago.

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By Tony O'Kane
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