Feb 4, 2008 | NZPC

1992 Mitsubishi Libero E - Puzzle Economy

Lets face it, jigsaw puzzles are a bastard. Sure they may be fun at first, but after a while all they do is mess with your head. But just imagine what a brain teaser this would be: taking a few pieces from a whole bunch of different jigsaws and trying and piece them together.

Aucklander Saul Patterson must be a hell of a lot more patient than most, as mixing and matching different bits and pieces is exactly what he’s done to produce the orange wagon you see before you. Sure, most of the bits are from various Mitsi’s, but that doesn’t make the task Saul undertook any less impressive.

If you know your performance cars, you’d be forgiven for assuming the car is a ’95 or ’96 Mitsi Libero GT. But, I’m afraid you’d be wrong. Take a closer look behind the rear wheels and you will find drum brakes that the Libero GT never came with. Take an even closer look, and you will also find there is no rear diff, just a solid axle. So! what is the car then?

It is — or was — the bottom of the Mitsi station wagon heap. A Libero E. E for economy and, as such, comes stock with a lifeless 1.5 carburetted auto motor and box. The kind of thing that’s good for ferrying the kids to kindy and back; at the very least, you could be sure no one would ever suffer whiplash from the not-so-startling acceleration.

So why did Saul buy such a lifeless car? Well, exactly that, throwing the kid seat in the back and ferrying junior round. Strangely enough though, it wasn’t long before driving the vehicle became too much of a bore, so Saul decided the car needed a bit more oomph. And being a Mitsi, he didn’t need to look far for options. As the GT-spec Libero came with the GSR derived 4G93 1.8 turbo mill, the plan was to install one of those, But Saul soon learnt about the rod throwing tendencies of those motors so decided to go the whole hog and fit a two-litre 4G63 engine instead.

At the time, the best option he could find was an older motor from a VR-4. Sure, VR4 internals are known to be stronger than Evo’s, but the engine was a bit tired, so Saul decided a bit of a DIY re-build was called for.

The stock pistons were replaced with stronger Evo 0 items, while the head was ported and polished at the same time.

With the head in bits, it made sense to drop in re-ground cams and also a large Evo exhaust valves to get the mill breathing as well as possible. At this stage the standard TD05 turbo was sent off to Turbo 777 where the compressor wheel was swapped for a larger T04B item and the exhaust wheel back-cut for higher flow abilities. The original 4G15 engine being pulled from the engine bay was all the excuse Saul needed to get the bay coated in custom orange paint.

With the new engine attached to an Evo subframe and dropped in the freshly painted bay, Saul manufactured a custom air box to house the K&N pod filter.

As the engine was purchased as a long block,all accessories such as the Evo coil pack, 560cc injectors and custom leads had to be sourced to make the thing run. However, Saul wasn’t prepared for the challenge the fuel system raised. To run the EFI motor from the carby fuel tank required a VR-4 in-tank pump, a custom surge tank, custom lines and an aftermarket fuel pressure regulator be installed. As well as this a 120psi external fuel pump was added to ensure the engine was never run dry. To control this jigsaw madness is now up to an Evo II ECU with a custom chip to compensate for the larger turbo and fuel system.

Obviously the stock one-inch exhaust is long gone, and in its place sits a full 2.5-inch mandrel bent item with Coby resonator and stainless muffler.

With the engine sitting pretty, the bay was de-loomed as much as possible and custom touches, such as the polished catch can and stainless bolts, were added.

Remember how the car was auto? Well that was all about to change too. A Lancer GTi cog swapper is now in place and caries an Evo LSD and carbon Kevlar paddle clutch to ensure as little slippage as possible.

Instead of messing around with broken axles and CVs Saul chose to run with V6 Magna items. These are designed to take more abuse than the stock GTi ones would even look at. Along with these came Evo front hubs and uprights to make sure everything was in the right place. Now surrounding the stock uprights are compressed springs, while down the rear, compressed Libero GT springs take care of ride height. Attached to the Evo hubs are obviously Evo callipers, which clamp on Evo discs to haul the vehicle up.

There is one down side to the Evo front hubs however; they have a 4×114 stud pattern where the stock rear drums are 4×100. That means the wheels on the vehicle must be multi-stud. Luckily, Saul had a set of 205/40R17-coated 17-inch Advanti flares lying around that fitted perfectly.

With the exception of the wheels and ride height, the exterior of the vehicle was still looking sad, especially since the stock front bumper couldn’t fit over the custom intercooler. To fix this Saul fitted an Evo III front bumper — problem was, it didn’t line up with the stock guards, so they too were replaced with Evo items. To finish the look off, Evo III side skirts and end caps were fitted, as was a Libero GT rear wing. To ensure the bonnet could close over the taller motor, a genuine Evo bonnet also found its way onto the vehicle before Saul took to it with the spray gun.

As with the engine bay, the colour is custom flame orange Saul mixed and sprayed himself in the garage at home.

The wagon’s interior is not as extreme as the engine bay or exterior, but once again uses parts borrowed from various other Mitsi’s, such as the GSR front seats. The wind up windows are also long gone with electrics from another Lancer now in their place, something that you would be hard pressed to pick unless you really knew your Mitsi’s. Besides that, there is a simple audio install consisting of an Alpine headunit and Sony speakers. But when the engine sounds so good, who really needs a stereo? So what does it go like? Well, lets just say there is now no excuse for dropping the kids off at kindy late.

Once traction is gained, the car will destroy its 4WD counterparts hands down. The only thing is, just like finding the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle, traction is near impossible to find.

SPEC

1992 Mitsubishi Libero E

ENGINE: VR4 4G63T, Evo 0 pistons, VR4 rods, ported and polished head, stage 1 cams, EVO exhaust valves, Pod filter, custom air box, three-inch intake, Hybrid TD05 T04B turbo, back cut exhaust wheel, VR4 fuel pump, stainless surge tank, 120psi external fuel pump, 560cc injectors, adjustable FPR, Evo coil pack, custom leads, 2.5-inch mandrel bent exhaust, Coby resonator, stainless muffler, Evo II ECU with Blitz chip, Racepro boost controller, de-loomed, polished catch can, stainless bolts

DRIVELINE: Lancer GTi gearbox, Evo LSD, Carbon/Kevlar paddle clutch, 1350lb pressure plate, V6 magna axles,

SUSPENSION/BRAKES: Evo front shocks, compressed springs, compressed Libero GT rear springs, Urethane sway bar mounts, Evo I sway bar, Evo front sub-frame, Evo rotors, Evo callipers, stock rear drums

WHEELS AND TYRES: 17-inch Advanti Flares with 205/40R17 rubber

EXTERIOR: Evo III front bumper, Evo III front guards, Evo bonnet, Evo III side skirts and end caps, removed door locks, Libero GT spoiler, Veilside style mirrors, Flame orange paint, 35% tints, X-Racing headlight eyebrows

INTERIOR: GSR Recaro seats, Momo wheel, polished gear knob, Monster tacho, hidden shift light

ICE: Alpine CD player, Sony Xplod speakers,

PERFORMANCE: Never tested

DRIVER PROFILE

Saul Patterson

AGE: 25

OCCUPATION: Caregiver

PREVIOUSLY OWNED CARS: S1 turbo RX-7, turbo Cosmo, 68 Chev Impala, Mitsi Cyborg, V8 HQ ute

DREAM CAR: Mitsi Cedia with Evo VIII running gear

WHY THE WAGON? I like Evo’s but wanted a wagon

BUILD TIME: 8 months

LENGTH OF OWNERSHIP: 11 months.

SAUL THANKS: My friends, Pete for his metal work, Matt for his time and my wife for putting up with my mindless car dribble day in and day out.

Feb 4, 2008 | NZPC

Chris Atkinson Subaru World Rally Team Sweden 2007

The Subaru World Rally Team heads to the long and winding forest routes of Rally Sweden ready to tackle the challenge of all-out sideways action as crews wrestle their machines across sheet ice. The only specialist snow rally of the year, it is one of the fastest and most competitive as WRC crews battle to prove their mettle on the only wholly ice-covered speed tests they will encounter all year.

Travelling to the city of Karlstad for the event that has honed the skills of so many past greats, it is clear to see how the conditions develop the flamboyant mastery of Scandinavians behind the wheel. Aboard his Subaru Impreza WRC2007, Petter Solberg is no exception. The Norwegian grew up driving cars on the tundra of his homeland and won here in 2005, finishing on the podium twice since joining the team.

There is a finite skill demonstrated on few other events of flicking the car into the long and twisting corners and 'leaning’ against the snow banks, literally using them to guide the car through the icy corners. Rally Sweden is the first competitive outing for Pirelli’s Sottozero ice tyre. The skinny rubber is dotted with metal studs designed to bite through the ice into the harder-packed surface below, producing fantastic grip on the most treacherous of conditions.

This year the event is based in Karlstad, and opens with a spectator-friendly speed test on Thursday night around the city’s 1.9 kilometre horse trotting track. Conditions in Sweden traditionally have made for one of the most extreme events of the season, but this year teams and organisers alike are watching the weather with trepidation. While snow is predicted over the weekend, there is currently a lack of snow on the stages. With average temperatures just above freezing, it is somewhat uncharacteristic of a rally that can see conditions plummet to minus 20 degrees Celsius.

In addition to the roads being incredibly treacherous, they are also very fast and flowing. In fact, the wintry routes are amongst the fastest of the entire season. Demanding maximum confidence from crews in their vehicles, the event is a stern test of man and machine and huge gains can be made by those fully commitment and driving on the edge.

The route this year comprises five new stages, one of which has been resurrected from 2000. Drivers who learn these new routes fastest and perfect their tricky pace notes to avoid mistakes will gain a significant advantage. With three remote services in Sunne and Hagfors, crews will tackle 20 stages and just over 340 competitive kilometres before reaching the finish.

Entries

The Subaru World Rally Team have entered two Impreza WRC2007s for Rally Sweden. Petter Solberg / Phil Mills will drive car number five and Chris Atkinson / Stephane Prevot will be in car number six. Petter has only missed one Rally Sweden since his WRC debut in 1998 whilst this will only be Chris’ fourth attempt, and his first alongside Stephane.

Team quotes

David Richards, Subaru World Rally Team Principal:Despite being held on roads covered with snow and sheet ice, Sweden is one of the fastest events of the year and most certainly favours those drivers with experience of these conditions. Petter was brought up on these roads but for Chris it must be an extraordinary contrast from the Australian outback and yet I expect him to do extremely well and have every confidence that both our drivers will be well in the points again this weekend.”

Paul Howarth, Subaru World Rally Team operations director:We’ve seen the situation before that certain stages have had little snow until just before the start of the event, but what it needs is a real cold snap to give the routes a hard base of ice, else the stages will just get torn up. It’s generally an easy rally on the cars, but it’s physically demanding for the drivers as they need an aggressive approach on this type of surface. It’s very very fast and everyone will be fighting to take an early advantage. The snow banks are important as drivers use them through every corner and they also cover huge ditches at the sides of the road. Without the banks to guide the cars away from the ditches, costly mistakes will be easier to make.”

Driver quotes

Petter Solberg: “It’s the first snow rally this year and I’m looking forward to it. We need to drive very differently here, so it’s about who can adapt. There’s always a lot of fans there and it’s great to have their support. We’ve won here before but it’s so so tricky you never know what can happen. We’ll go there and drive our own rally, push as hard as we can, and see what happens. We can’t do any more than that, and I hope we can have another good finish. It’s about being fast but not making any mistakes.”

Chris Atkinson:We’re approaching Sweden much the same way as we did Monte Carlo — we go there aiming for top five, top six results and try to be as consistent as possible. Rally Sweden is a specialist snow event and the driving style you need there is obviously totally different. Coming off tarmac we’ll have to adapt quickly to the snow and get up to speed as quickly as possible. In Monte you had to be neat and smooth, but Sweden is probably one of the most aggressive rallies of the year.”

Between the rallies

There is only a week between Rallye Monte Carlo and Rally Sweden, so the drivers have been using the time to relax a little, train and prepare for the snow. Petter and Chris live in Monaco so there was no need to travel home after the rally. Both drivers spent time with friends and family, and Chris celebrated on Sunday night with sportsman friends who watched the final day’s action from a yacht in Monaco’s famous harbour.

The Impreza WRC2007s returned from Monte Carlo on Monday and the pressure was immediately on for the crew to rebuild and re-prepare them in time for initial shakedown runs on Wednesday 30 January.

Source: SWRT

Feb 4, 2008 | NZPC

GTABut before you get the computer game, you have to play the waiting game…

Rockstar Games has announced the release date for Grand Theft Auto IV, the new title in the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Developed by Rockstar North, Grand Theft Auto IV will be simultaneously available for Xbox 360 and PS3 and will be in stores worldwide on April 29, 2008.

“We are so excited to be releasing Grand Theft Auto IV,” said Sam Houser, Founder and Executive Producer of Rockstar Games. “We’ve pushed ourselves very hard to make something incredible and hope the game sets a new benchmark for interactive entertainment.”

Feb 2, 2008 | NZPC

Mazda RX-7 - WHITE RUSHIN

It’s March 2004 and the National Motor Show at Mystery Creek is set to kick off in a matter of hours. Hamilton couple Pat and Ann plan to have their new pride and joy on display — a 1996 Series 7 RX-7 — but the way it’s looking just hours from the start, it could be touch and go whether the Mazda will make it to Mystery Creek at all.
Was it engine trouble on the way out there? Did they lose their way on those rural Waikato roads, or did Pat suddenly realise in his early morning daze that he’d forgotten to put his pants on and decided to turn back?

Well, as it happens it was none of the above. The reason for all the rushing was that Pat and Ann had only bought the Mazda two weeks before and, being the adventurous types, had carried out ALL their modifications before the show.

A brave undertaking indeed, but had they pulled it off?

Yes they had, but considering the paint was probably still curing on the way to the show, only just!

It’s not all that often you run into people who have had their car modified to such a decent level in such a short space of time. In fact, from what I’ve seen in my travels around the nation’s garages and workshops, the build time norm tends to be years, not weeks! But don’t for a minute think that Pat and Ann’s RX-7 is some half-arse rush job, because despite the rapid time frame, that’s definitely not the case. What we’re dealing with here is a car with quality gear professionally fitted.

Obviously, with only two weeks up their sleeves, getting the Mazda into the desired condition, Pat and Ann didn’t have days on end to sit around dreaming about what they’d do. They had a game plan worked out, which, if they stuck to, would see everything sorted in time for the National Motor Show.

The task was to enhance just about every possible area of the car from the engine and suspension to the exterior aesthetics.

Starting under the lid, the pair had no outlandish plans like a single turbo conversion, but the 13B existing twin turbo did receive a decent dose of love. To aid airflow to the turbos, twin APEXi air filters were added along with custom intake piping and anti-heat shields. Both turbos remain in standard trim, but to help keep them spooling away, Pat and Ann whacked a HKS super sequential blow-off valve into the mix. Speaking of HKS, that was the brand of choice for the 13B’s new iridium variety plugs. But decent plugs like these aren’t much chop without a quality set of leads, so that’s exactly why Pat and Ann chose to bin the factory-issue items in favour of 8mm heavy-duty Splitfire beauties. At the same time, a Splitfire earthing kit was welcomed to the under-bonnet neighbourhood.

In the drive train, the RX7 makes use of a five-speed alloy gearbox, modified to feature a Mazdaspeed quick shift setup. At the same time, Pat and Ann decided to turf the factory clutch and replace it with an ORC single plate ceramic clutch plate and heavy-duty pressure plate.

Parn at Hamilton’s Hyper Development was the guy sourcing and fitting the bulk of the goods and by that stage, he hadn’t made much of dent on his 'to do’ list.
The intercooler and exhaust were the next components due for a once over, and again nothing but top-notch gear was going to do.
RE Amemiya would have to be one of the top-tier brands when it comes to rotary-related products, so one of their aluminium intercoolers was chosen to do the business for Pat and Ann’s machine. OK, so it may > not be a hefty 'take up the whole front bumper’ number, but sitting in the standard mounting position, the cooler looks damn good and performs its duties very well indeed. Not surprisingly RE Amemiya intercooler piping was also used.

Turning their attention to the underside of the car, the factory exhaust system was evicted with a rather luscious Veilside Evolution system taking its place. The cat-back system isn’t the type that has noise-weary neighbours sharpening knives — it’s more of a subtle burble. Like any increased diameter exhaust should, this has effectively improved flow characteristics and bumped up the power output.

Also playing a part in the power department (and a lot of other areas for that matter) is the APEXi Power FC engine management system Pat and Ann chose for the car.

Thanks to this precise system and its exceptional tuning capabilities, the RX-7 produced 187kW at the wheels @ 13psi at Auckland’s Torque Performance.

Somewhere, nearer the top of this story, I told you this was an enhancement process that would cover basically every area of the car.

So now you now know why it purrs, but here’s why it looks so damn fine. Perhaps the parts most difficult to take your eyes off are the big sexy rims. Pat and Ann knew the look they were after for the exterior of the car and after a trip to Top Town Tyres in Hamilton they knew the 19×8-inch DTM X-Factors would be an essential part of it. Wrapped in 235/35ZR19 Toyo Proxes T1 rubber, the DTM rims totally enhance the already alluring appearance of the Series 7. Behind the big rims, the brakes remain standard bar Endless pads, but considering they’re four pots, whose complaining?

The theme of using quality gear continued and is pretty obvious once you check out Pat and Ann’s choice of suspension. Yes Sir, it’s HKS to the party once again with Hiper-D adjustable struts and progressive rate springs on all corners. This setup not only sits the RX7 way close to the weeds, it also brings about some pretty impressive handling ability.

Awesome rims and a staunchly low stance ! so how else can you improve the look of a Series 7?

Pat and Ann knew and it’s along the lines of a cool bodykit, subtle panel clean up and a slick lick of paint.

A C-West N1 bodykit was the choice for the car, with a Fast wing attached to the back to finish things off. Up front, a Top Secret-style carbon fibre bonnet took pride of place, while other panels badges and keyholes were deleted. Another nice touch is the use of Series 8 indicator lights in the front. Go on — check them out!

To top off the exterior, the couple decided to give the whole package a freshen-up with a quick re-spray — nothing too major, just a nice coat of Arctic White.

By the time this happened, the Motor Show was due to start!

Ann said they drove the car to Mystery Creek with the paint still wet. But hey, it was finished and it looked great, so that’s all that mattered!

The RX-7’s interior doesn’t let the side down either, thanks to a smattering of tasty goods. Momo makes an appearance, taking care of the steering wheel and gear gaiter, while a Type R number got the call up for gear knob duties. Gauge-wise, Pat and Ann chose to keep their eyes on the dial with the help of a GReddy boost gauge and an APEXi rev counter/shiftlight. There’s an Ultra automatic turbo timer in there too, and adding a touch of tidiness behind the rear seats, the boot floor was re-trimmed in black vinyl.

While the sound of a 13B twin turbo on song may be music to many enthusiasts’ ears, Pat and Ann have ensured they’ve got alternative tunes when required. Starting up front, a Panasonic CD-MP3 headunit was added along with Alpine Type R front components. In the back a NOS bottle eight-inch bass tube and Fusion FP-402 two-channel amp do their thing. All up this system is good for a none-too-shabby 125.7 decibels. They may have only made it with minutes on their side, but Pat and Ann managed to transform their RX-7 from stocker to decked-out stunner in just two weeks. Imagine what they could have done if they had a whole month to play with.
PC 93 RX7 - White Rushin 02

SPEC

1996 Mazda RX7 Series 7

Engine: Mazda 1300cc 13B – REW twin-rotor twin-turbo Apexi power FC engine ,amagement, Apexi twin air filters with custom piping anf anti-heat shield, Apexi high pressure radiator cap, HKS super sequential blow-off valve, HKS iridium spark plugs, 8mm Spitlfire heavy duty leads, Spiltfire earthing kit, RE Amemiya aluminium intercooler piping, Veilside Evolution exhaust (cat back)

Drivetrain: Mazda 5-speed alloy gear box, modified Mazdaspeed quick shift, ORC single plate, standard Mazda 4-pot discs brakes with endless brake pads

Suspension: HKS Hiper-D adjustible suspension, HKS progressive rate springs standard front and rear strut bar (JMD Spec)

Wheels/Tyres: 19×8-inch DTM X factor, 235/35ZR19 Toyo Proxes T1 tyres

Exterior: C West N1 bodykit consisting of front bumper, rear bumper, side skirts, Fast brand (JDM) rear wing, Top Secret-style carbon fibre

Driver Profile

Name: Ann and Pat

Age: 21 and 24

Occupation: Ann – Radiographer (X-ray Technician), Pat – Car salesman

Previously Owned Cars: Mazda Famillias, Series 1 and 6 RX7s, Honda Prelude, Infiniti Q45

Dream Car: Pat: “Aston Martin Vanquish”. Ann: “Already got it!”

Why did you buy this car: “Always been into Mazdas, especially the RX7″

Build Time: “Two weeks – no kidding!”

Length of Ownership: Just under 1 year

Feb 1, 2008 | NZPC

HKS Kansai Z33 Nissan Fairlady

If there’s one thing Japanese tuners all seem to have in common, it’s the way they each portray their company as the best in the land. Rivalry is rife among the tuning ranks, from the big gun players to the backyard shanty shops, and everyone’s got an opinion on everyone else. If anything it’s healthy competition and one of the reasons why tuners in these parts are always striving to push the tuning envelope.

HKS Kansai Service Centre’s Mukai-san can talk the talk with the best of them, but when you’ve a reputation for building some of the most wellbalanced street and race cars in the land, you have every right.

This isn’t the first time Mukai’s mug has graced the pages of our magazine; some of his previous demo cars have ensured that. During my latest jaunt to the tuning motherland, the trip would never be complete until I dropped in to sample some of the latest offerings from his Kansai Service Centre stable. And yet again, the maestro delivered the goods in the form of a soon-to-be-featured 900PS R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R road car, and this, Kansai Service’s blown Z33 Fairlady.

Nissan got the chassis spot on with the Z33 Zmachine, paying special attention to its design and construction, and matching it up seamlessly with an all-aluminium multi-link suspension arrangement, big brakes and an angry 3500cc naturally aspirated power-plant.

Although it lacked the punch of its more athletic cousin, the venerable R34 Skyline GT-R, on paper the Z still managed to muster up a maximum power output of 206kW@6200rpm while delivering torque numbers in the region of 36kg/m@4800rpm. When driving a Z, the grin factor is high.

As with all new Nippon-built performance cars making their debut on the Japanese domestic market, tuners the length of the country scrambled to get aftermarket parts developed as soon as they had one in their possession, but for Mukai, things were a little easier. As one of the few tuners given a pre-production Z33 Fairlady to play with (albeit only behind closed roller doors), HKS was one of the first companies to get the goods out there. At the top of the list sat a rather interesting looking supercharger kit. Mukai popped the Fairlady’s bonnet and I was greeted with a plethora of Kevlar. It was impressive, even if it was only to add a little wow factor.

Off to one side of the V6 DOHC 24-valve VQ35DE engine was the Rotrex blower. It’s a centrifugal type unit that features fixed-ratio planetary rollers on its traction drive to increase the efficiency and reliability of the system. A conventional belt system drives the blower directly off the crankshaft.

Considering the torque load it develops the supercharger has surprisingly small dimensions, but that’s not just why HKS chose to use them exclusively for its kits. Without delving into too many specifics, the Rotrex design incorporates a number of turbo components on the compressor side of the unit, and that’s an area where HKS has excelled over the years.

With more knowledge and a bigger parts bin than any of the other Japanese tuners churning out turbochargers the size of dinner plates, HKS’ white-coats were successful developing a number of kits for different applications. Each has its own combination of compressor wheel trims and housing sizes. Just like the one on this Z, the HKS kits come complete with an air-to-fluid oil cooler to aid the Rotrex’s intricate lubricating and cooling system, TORQUER FAST HKS KANSAI Z33 NISSAN FAIRLADY and a front-mounted intercooler to increase the supercharger’s performance.

Chilled air is a good thing when boost has anything to do with it and the small, but thick air-to-air unit discreetly positioned behind the front bumper mesh does a more than adequate job.

To keep up with the Rotrex, Kansai needed to make some changes in the fuel delivery department. They started with a high-flowing HKS fuel pump — a direct replacement for the factory in-tank unit. At the business end, two additional injectors (535cc each) were plumbed straight into the intake pipe-work, while the factory air-box and filter were binned in favour of an HKS Power Flow filter on the end of an HKS Racing Suction pipe.

The whole setup is run through an HKS F-Con SZ engine management system, which like its big brother (the HKS F-Con V Pro), piggybacks off the factory ECU. In this more basic SZ spec, the unit only allows adjustment of the fuel and ignition maps, but that fits in perfectly with what this bolton blower kit is all about. Finally, the exhaust is rounded out with an HKS Dual Hi-Power cat-back system running polished SUS304 60mm pipes and 'torched’ 120mm pure titanium tips.

The Z car runs with its factory six-speed, close ratio manual gearbox, but Kansai dumped the factory clutch for something with a little more bite and less prone to slipping with the extra wick. A Nismo cover with matching copper-mix single plate does the job nicely, and still makes for an easy drive.

From the Nissan production line the Z runs a carbon fibre driveshaft, so Mukai wasn’t going to touch that. He did, however, pull the factory viscous limited slip differential in favour of a nice ’n tight Cusco MZ-RS LSD unit.

In true Kansai 'work it in all areas’ form, there were a few changes made in the suspension department, but Mukai was quick to point out how good the car was to begin with.

The aluminium Nissan setup runs a three-link arrangement up front and a four link out the back, but for a little extra tuneablity HKS Hipermax-II LS adjustables now hold up all four corners. The shocks offer 16-levels of damping adjustment and the coil-overs a two-way height adjustment. With front springs measuring 10kg/mm and the rear 7kg/mm it’s a firmer ride than standard, but far more suited to the type of driving experience the supercharger can offer.

As for the brakes! well, if the 324mm vented rotors that come factory-fitted on the front end of the Z weren’t impressive enough, the Project Mu track-spec numbers (with matching competition pads) for both the front and rear ends should be.

(four-pot and two-pot respectively) have been retained — and quite rightly so.

Enough talk, Mukai jumped in and fired it up. Because planetary rollers don’t run with teeth like traditional gear wheels, that telltale 'blown’ noise buzzing from the Rotrex was less than I expected. But it was still easy to tell this was no ordinary Z.

Glancing over the Nismo front bumper and Nismo carbon fibre bobtail rear spoiler, I slipped into the passenger’s side Recaro SRIII reclining seats and buckled up the Sabelt harnesses.

Mukai inched the car out of the Kansai car park, his eyes fixed on the pair of HKS 60mm oil and water temperatures now starting to show the Fairlady was getting up to its optimal operating temperature. A few corners disappeared at low speed and then WHAM! Mukai mashed the go pedal and the Z car got angry.

Peak torque — a staggering 42.8kg/m @ 4900rpm — was felt in the blink of an eye as he picked off another gear and sent the 275/30ZR19 Advan AVS Sport rubber on the arse end into a spinning and smoking frenzy.

The response was instantaneous and I could see just why he opted to drive this car over any other to and from work everyday. With less than 0.5kg/m (7psi) boost on offer, the Kansai Z33 has the potential to see off many a tuned machine.

According to Mukai, in a stock trim, even its famed R34 GT-R in-law is no match for the sheer punch this Z car packs under its understated appearance. There’s lots of talk in the Japanese tuning scene, but Kansai’s keeping it real with this one!

SPECS

HKS Kansai Z33 Nissan Fairlady

ENGINE: Nissan VQ35DE, 3500cc DOHC 24-valve V6, HKS Rotrex centrifugal supercharger, Rotrex S/C oil cooler, HKS air-to-air intercooler, HKS Power Flow Filter, HKS Racing Suction Pipe, 2x 535cc HKS extra injectors, HKS high-flow fuel pump, Fujitsubo front pipe, HKS Dual Hi-Power titanium exhaust system, Nismo thermostat, HKS oil cooler kit, HKS S40Il spark plugs, HKS F-Con SZ engine management system

DRIVELINE: Nissan 6-speed close ratio manual gearbox, Nismo clutch cover & copper mix plate, Cusco MZ-RS limited slip differential, Nissan carbon fibre driveshaft

SUSPENSION/BRAKES: HKS Hipermax-II LS adjustable shocks, HKS height adjustable coil over springs, factory Brembo callipers 4-pot front, 2-pot rear, Project Mu vented rotors & competition pads front/rear

WHEELS AND TYRES: Advan Model T6 alloys — 19×9-inch front, 19×10-inch rear, Advan AVS Sport tyres — 245/35ZR19 front, 275/30ZR19 rear

EXTERIOR: Nismo front bumper spoiler, Nismo adjustable carbon fibre boot spoiler, factory side skirts, factory rear bumper

INTERIOR: Recaro SR-III front seats, Sabelt harness seat belts, HKS 60mm water & oil temp meters

PERFORMANCE: 330ps @ 6000rpm, 42.8kg/m @ 4900rpm

THANKS: Mukai @ HKS Kansai Service Centre, Rob @ GRD — www.grdnz.com, Soichi @ ST Hi-Tec

Feb 1, 2008 | NZPC

Nissan Super GT NISMONissan Motor Co. Ltd and Nissan Motorsports International Co., Ltd (NISMO) today announced their 2008 Global Motorsport Programmes.

Highlighting the company’s continued commitment to global motorsport, Nissan will enter the all-new GT-R into the premium Japanese motorsport series, Super GT.

1. SUPER GT
2008 marks the return of GT-R to racing, following the transition from the R34 model to the Z five years ago.

Nismo will give technical support and car development support to teams entering the Nissan GT-R in Super GT. As a part of the Nissan team group, Nismo, Hasemi Motorsport, Team Impul and Kondo Racing will enter the GT500 class with a total of five Nissan GT-Rs.

Teams

Car #

Entrant

Manager

Driver

Car Name

22

NISMO

Yoshitaka Iijima

Michael Krumm
Masataka Yanagida

MOTUL AUTECH GT-R

23

Satoshi Motoyama
Benoit Treluyer

XANAVI NISMO GT-R

3

HASEMI MOTORSPORT

Masahiro Hasemi

Ronnie Quintarelli
Naoki Yokomizo

YellowHat YMS TOMICA GT-R

12

TEAM IMPUL

Kazuyoshi Hoshino

Tsugio Matsuda
Sebastien Philippe

CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R

24

KONDO RACING

Masahiko Kondo

Joao Paolo de Oliveira
Seiji Ara

ADVAN Clarion GT-R


2. Privateer support:

A variety of motorsport programmes will be supported by Nissan

March Cup Race/Nissan racing school

A total of 11 races run through regional championships (EAST Japan Series, WEST Japan Series, and Nissan March Champion Cup) using the March (Micra) compact car. By standardising on-board data-loggers, entrants can steadily learn how to improve driving skills, as well as the physical excitement of a racing car.

In addition, Nissan will conduct racing schools at each circuit before races using a March Cup car to give circuit guidance and technical support. Since 2008, Nissan motorsport has added new classes and technology into the cars to help make this entry-level support even more accessible.

National privateer support:

Super GT GT300 class
Give technical support to privateer teams entering the Fairlady Z.

Super Taikyu series

Give technical support to privateer teams entering the ST-1 class or ST-3 class with a Fairlady Z.

Nissan Driver Development Programme (NDDP)/Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ)

To educate young drivers and support the Formula Challenge Japan, FCJ, series started in 2006. Nismo will be responsible for the maintenance of engines managed by the organisers. In addition, Nismo will select four drivers as scholarship drivers and give them support to enter the FCJ
Beginning 2007, to select a Nissan Advance Scholarship driver and send him to Formula Renault in England, where he will gain from the experience of racing in the competitive Formula Renault through one season.

SPECIFICATION OF R35 NISSAN GT-R (GT500)

No.

2008 model

1

Overall length

mm

4800

2

Overall width

mm

2000

3

Wheelbase

mm

2720

4

Track width (Front)

mm

1685

Track width (Rear)

mm

1675

5

Weight

kg

1100

6

Engine

VK45DE

7

Engine Displacement

cc

4494

8

Max. Power

ps

Over 500

9

Max. Torque

kgm

Over 52

10

Clutch

5.5″Carbon triple plate

11

Transmission

6 Speed sequential (Transaxle)

12

Brakes (Front)

Ventilated disc

Brakes (Rear)

Ventilated disc

13

Suspension (Front)

Double wishbone

Suspension (Rear)

Double wishbone

14

Driven Wheels

Rear (2WD)

15

Wheels (Front)

13.0J×18

Wheels (Rear)

13.0J×17

16

Tyres (Front)

330/40R18

Tyres (Rear)

330/45R17

Feb 1, 2008 | NZPC

motorshow nz

An official event of the V8 Supercar Hamilton Street Race, Motorshow NZ, at Hamilton’s Claudelands Event Centre creates yet another reason to be in Hamilton to enjoy V8 racing next April. The event will be held for four days, Wednesday to Saturday, during Hamilton’s V8 Supercar event in April 2008.

The venue, Claudelands Event Centre, is central and a quick stroll from accommodation, Hamilton’s CBD and racing action.  There is a huge amount of off street parking provided to cater to out of town visitors.

Motorshow NZ will be a true expo style event that is defined by the wider market rather than a small specialist or niche event.

Classic Events spokesperson, Shane Noyes says “ This will be an exciting time for the motoring industry. The creation of the Motorshow NZ event is logical given the timing. Hamilton will definitely be the place “where cars are the stars” in 2008”

“Most New Zealand households have an interest or reliance on motor transport.  A Motorshow should deliver on just that and provide for the majority.” “Whether it is motor vehicles, motorcycles, accessories or motoring product, this is an event about how we interact with motor transport, how it has influenced us and how we can enjoy it more and planning and enhancing our future lifestyle.”

Some Expo Features to watch out for

The New Zealand realease of the Murtaya, .Introducing UK based Adrenaline Motorsports Murtaya component car. Based on Subarus WRX as a donor vehicle, the Murtaya boasts supercar performance and style ( 0 to 100km/hr in 3.5 seconds) and has just been awarded Best Specialist car of the year 2007 by Japanese Performance Magazine.

Lotus NZ To Present The “Rossion” American Supercar at Motorshow NZ
The Rossion Q1 is based on the legendary chassis designed in the United Kingdom by automotive genius Lee Noble, the new Rossion Q1 rewards drivers with flawless handling by remaining committed to the traditional methods of achieving automotive performance.

Rossion is committed to bringing a new brand of car that allows drivers no need for compromise in their search for unbridled performance in an ultra lightweight vehicle. Their inaugural model, the Rossion Q1 offers an exhilarating driving lesson by demonstrating how a lightweight, brilliantly engineered chassis carefully paired with an extraordinarily powerful engine can shatter all previous conceptions of supercar physics.

Motorhome Village For 1,000′s Planned Adjacent To Motorshow NZ Site!
Accommodation in Hamilton will be in high demand during the Hamilton 400 V8 Supercar Street Race and Motorshow NZ.
Hamilton City will build a fenced, secure village setting at Claudelands Park. This accommodation option will provide berth options for those who own a self contained motor home or provide a quality rental unit waiting on site for you.

The village is accessible via the Motorshow NZ event centre during expo trading hours. All accommodation options are coordinated and booked through Hamilton I-site.

Source: NZ Motorshow (Check out the Website)

Jan 31, 2008 | NZPC

grand turismo5

Sony Computer Entertainment announced today the April 17 North American release date for Gran Turismoâ„¢5 Prologue, available exclusively on PlayStation3 (PS3), so it can’t be too far behind for New Zealand.

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue , an intense precursor to Gran Turismo 5, features over 60 meticulously detailed vehicles from manufacturers such as Ferrari , Audi and Nissan. Users will experience the vehicle-specific physics technology and intricate graphical rendering that Polyphony Digital is renowned for. Additionally, for the first time in the history of the franchise, users can race online – at 60 fps (frames per second) in stunning 1080p HD – with up to 16 vehicles at a time on beautifully rendered tracks from around the globe, including Daytona International Speedway and a London City track.

“Ten years following the introduction of Gran Turismoâ„¢ on PS one, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue delivers the most realistic and technologically advanced racing experience on any platform,” said Jeff Reese, Director, Software Marketing, SCEA. “With 1080p graphics, revolutionary online features like Gran Turismoâ„¢ TV and the new in-cockpit racing view, the world’s best-selling racing franchise will once again set the standard for racing games.”

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue will feature various innovative and revolutionary modes to harness PS3 system’s capabilities while further developing an automotive lifestyle and global community . Among them is Gran Turismo TV, a new dedicated online channel available exclusively from PlayStationNetwork that delivers worldwide motorsport programming and manufacturer content. Additionally, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue will support online racing events to foster community competition. A new in-cockpit view will provide a unique perspective for racers and features real-time gauges and human animations that accurately represent the true performance and handling of each vehicle . To extend the realistic driving experience, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue is also compatible with the new Dualshock3 controller, which has vibration functionality.

We’ll let you know when the New Zealand release dates are as soon as we know.

Source: Sony