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The Nissan GT-R chief’s Skyline R32 GT-R

By Louis Cordony, 07 Oct 2019 Features

The Nissan GT-R chief Skyline R32 GT-R feature

Hiroshi Tamura reveals the secrets behind his 447kW sleeper GT-R

Nissan’s GT-R chief product specialist Hiroshi Tamura is one of us. He’d have to be. After all, he's in charge of the R35 GT-R and its legacy.

And recently, when he was in Australia to launch the GT-R 50th Anniversary, we discovered it's what he keeps in the garage that best verifies him as an enthuasiast.


Picture: Tamura with the Nissan R35 GT-R 50th Anniversary

His ride is a 1989 gun grey metallic R32 GT-R he bought brand new five years after joining Nissan. It's changed a fair bit since then. When we asked about the philosophy of his GT-R's modifications, he paused and replied a serious face “sleeper.”

He's not lying. His GT-R is a 447kW monster that hides the best bits from the R32, R33 and R34 generations within an unassuming package. It’s incredible.

Behind its R34 Skyline GT-R wheels are a set of brakes from a Super Taikyu race car, complete with four-channel ABS. Underneath lies a flat aero tray, very similar to what debuted on the R34.

There’s more. It uses a R34-spec six-speed Getrag gearbox (which required modifying the transmission tunnel), with a 3.7 final drive ratio, and the same active electronic rear differential.

50 years of GT-R: 50 key moments in Nissan GT-R history

Clearly, he understands balance, and elaborates on this when describing the current R35: “If you want to put in the big power, you need to put in the big brake. You need to put in the good body. You need to put in the aerodynamics, cooling system. That’s my philosophy.”

This might also explain why his car produces ‘only’ 447kW (600hp) after, at one point, it was almost squeezing 600kW (around 800hp) through its four wheels.

“So, 800hp, 600hp. Which is quicker? Depends," he said. "Not only 600hp. Because if the straight is so long distance, like Nardo circuit in Italy, 11km straight, more longer than airport. So you can touch about maximum speed, by 800hp.

“So pros and cons, you have these two typical type of shape [he draws us two power graphs]. I decided to choose about more flexible type [he points to the curve with more area]. Because reality is daily use, or some narrow track, it’s not like an oval course.”

That tall intercooler peering through the Nismo-spec front bumper lends one of a few clues to the power. Amazingly, the engine bay looks almost completely stock, the washer fluid bottle hiding on the edge of the engine bay is an extension of the cold air intake.

The only inconspicuous detail anywhere on his car is the small, rectangular sticker on the front bumper. Bright silver, it bears the words “Mid Night Car Special”, alluding to the infamous street racing club that turned streets into 300km/h-plus battles.

MOTOR feature: Searching for Tokyo's Mid Night Club

Tamura-san shakes his head at the question whether he was a member, even though sporting a sticker without membership is a big no-no. He does concede, however, that he’s a close friend of Kazuhiko ‘Smokey’ Nagata – an infamous top-speed freak.

Either way, if there’s anything his car is guilty of, it’s being incredibly desirable. And no less than what we’d expect, or want, for the head of such a respected model. Good stuff, Tamura-san.

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