Skyline Week 2018: The R That Challenged the World
When Nissan released the R34 GT-R’s successor almost a decade ago, they surprised the whole automotive industry with the figures that they presented. A car that can reach a speed of 315km/h, accelerate from 0-97km/h in 2.7s, and even become one of the fastest cars to lap the Nurburgring Nordschleife. Surely, a car with this much performance must come with a hefty price tag, right? Wrong. Nissan was able to create a car that can rival brands like Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini for only a fraction of the price.
Because of the car’s relative value for money and huge aftermarket support, the Nissan R35 is well-loved by the Philippine car community. GTR owners who think that they need more power have a variety of choices from brands all over the world when it comes to making their cars stronger. Brands like Liberty Walk, Rocket Bunny, and Varis have also created different aero packages to make sure Godzilla not only sounds menacing, but looks intimidating as well. So for a car that has so much tuning potential, how do you make sure your GTR stands out from the rest?
This is Paolo Mantolino’s R35 GTR. As of writing, this is the only Top Secret R35 in the country. For those who aren’t familiar with Top Secret, it is the Japanese parts manufacturing company owned by Kazuhiko “Smoky” Nagata - better known as that guy who got arrested and banned in England for reaching 317km/h in his 1000hp Toyota Supra on public roads. His company is known however for making big power builds matched with bespoke aero work. With that in mind, it is clear that Top Secret has performance as its top priority. This R35 is no exemption - all of the Top Secret parts, from the bumpers all the way to the diffuser (hit the spec sheet below for the complete list), are all made from carbon fiber in order to shed some weight off the hefty GTR and improve the aerodynamics of the car. The Voltex wing mounted on the Password JDM CF trunk also helps this car grip to the ground during those high speed runs. According to Paolo, the Voltex wing will soon be replaced with the Top Secret wing soon since the company will not sell you the wing unless you complete the whole kit first. The finishing touches on this car were replacing the headlights and brake lights with the 2015 GTR set.
The interior of this GTR was kept simple yet functional. The stock seats were replaced with Recaro Profi SPG bucket seats to keep the driver in place around the corners, while the rear seats were removed to keep weight in check and make space for the Cusco half cage. Small changes courtesy of Nismo, Mine’s, and AutoTecknic parts are spread around to complete the look of the interior.
It’s one thing to make your car look great, but it’s another thing to make it run even better. For Paolo, stock power just isn’t enough. With changes to its intake piping, blow off valves, camshafts, pistons, and so much more, he was able to get the most out of the VR38DETT. With help from Toby Lee, a renowned tuner from Malaysia, this Top Secret R35 is now making more than double the power with 920whp and 888wtq while running on E77. Since the car is equipped with a flex fuel kit, changing the contents of its fuel tank from ethanol to 100-octane pump gas has become a hassle-free process. However, straight 100-octane gasoline “only” yields a figure of 800whp (boo-hoo).
With all the power that the engine is producing, the stock transmission will not be able to handle all of that stress. Fortunately, the drivetrain was upgraded to a Stage 5 transmission by ShepTrans along with a billet front differential housing and rear axle upgrade. With these upgrades to the R35’s drivetrain, Paolo can launch the car knowing that the transmission can hold the torque and horsepower his car can put out. That power is all sent towards a set of Advan GTs wrapped in Toyo R888 tires to make sure the R35 gets that power to the ground.
For a car this well-built, most would think that this car is just kept safe in a garage or displayed during car shows - clearly something that goes against the car’s true purpose. For those of you that don’t know him, Paolo actually has some background in motorsports. Having competed in the Philippine Touring Car Championship (PTCC) and having driven a variety of different cars in the past, the GTR is bound to have its fair share of time inside the racetrack. The car was built with performance in mind, and was meant to be used and abused. Made for track and drag use, the GTR has impressive times to back it up - a 2:05 lap time around Clark International Speedway (with only 700hp) and a 9.8s quarter mile (with the stock transmission). Now we can’t wait to find out how fast his times are with 220whp more and a better transmission.
This Top Secret R35 is a perfect example of what a race car for the street should be - a car that has extensive development to its engine and aero and is actually being used for the track. On the other hand, it could still be a normal car if and when you want to take it out on the streets with little or no compromise at all.
Words by Jaime Miguel Echavez
2010 Nissan GT-R (R35)
- Gotboost 3-inch air intakes
- Tial blow-off valves
- Gotboost intercooler pipes
- Aftermarket sport intercooler
- Carbing water tank
- Stock hybrid turbos
- T1R oil separator kit
- Ross aftermarket pistons
- Oliver Racing Parts connecting rods
- Kelford Stage 1 camshafts
- Titan damper
- 1300cc Injector Dynamics injectors
- AMS dual brushless fuel pumps
- Custom E85 Flex Fuel kit
- Custom 4 inch straight pipes w/ titanium tips
- Tuned by Toby Lee from Malaysia Fueling
- Stage 5 built transmission by ShepTrans
- Billet front differential housing
- Pro1000 rear drive shaft axles
- 2015 headlights and tail lights conversion
- Top Secret carbon fiber front aero bumper
- Top Secret add on carbon fiber chin
- Top Secret carbon fiber canards
- Top Secret carbon fiber hood
- Top Secret carbon fiber vents shroud
- Top Secret wide fenders
- Top Secret carbon fiber fender vent
- Top Secret carbon fiber side skirt
- Top Secret rear bumper fender
- Top Secret rear carbon fiber diffuser
- Top Secret carbon fiber diffuser fins
- Password JDM carbon fiber trunk
- Voltex Type 5 carbon fiber wing
- Nismo gauge cluster
- Nismo door handles
- Nismo shift knob
- Mine’s alcantara steering wheel
- AutoTecknic paddle shifters
- Recaro Profi SPG bucket seats
- Rear carbon fiber seat delete
- Cusco half roll cage
Brakes, Wheels, and Suspension
- Advan GT 20x10.5” +24 front/ 20x12” +20 rear
- Toyo R888 285/35/20 front and 315/30/20 rear
- Front AP Racing Radical 6 piston big brake kit
- Rear AP Racing Radical 4 piston big brake kit
- Swift Spec R lowering springs
- Neko Japan suspension sleeves