December 7, 2022

The Nissan GT-R R35 has grow to be such a stalwart of the JDM tuning scene that it’s straightforward to gloss over simply what a staggering piece of equipment it’s, particularly when you think about its value. Right here’s what you’ll want to know earlier than shopping for one.  

Nissan GT-R R35 historical past

Time erodes pleasure, and a variety of water has handed beneath the bridge because the mannequin debuted on the Tokyo Motor Present manner again in 2007. To place that in context, once we initially clapped eyes on the primary of the Skylines to not be badged as a Skyline, the world was having fun with Skins, The Simpsons Film, and the debut of a cheery younger singer named Adele; the primary iPhone had simply been launched, and Twitter was seeing about 20,000 tweets a day (versus 500m+ immediately). The years simply fly by, don’t they?

One of many standard motoring memes of the launch was how Nissan had been eager to claim that their racy new coupé was successfully untuneable; so assured had been they within the precision and focus of their endeavours that they couldn’t conceive of a manner to enhance upon the outcomes of their numerous hours of R&D. On the time, you might see the place they had been coming from – the entire tales that had been neatly focused on the motoring press regarding spec and building strategies helped to construct an image of the right everyman supercar: the nitrogen-filled tyres on their knurled rims, the distinctive hand-built engines crafted by eggheads in white coats in hermetically sealed laboratories, the chip-resistant chassis coating, the die-cast aluminium shock towers and carbon-composite crossmembers… the spec will get so nerdy in its wishlist perfection that it begins to sound far-fetched.

In fact, saying the automotive was untuneable was actually simply throwing down the gauntlet – one thing that the aftermarket at giant was glad to select up, wave joyfully about, and wrap round their four-figure energy outputs as they enthusiastically set about proving that there’s no such factor as an untuneable automotive. Because it’s turned out, the R35 GT-R has grow to be a type of automobiles that you just’re extremely unlikely to ever see a factory-standard model of. Individuals simply love enjoying with them, they usually’re extremely receptive to tuning. The Nissan GT-R R35 is simply as spectacular immediately because it was when it first appeared fifteen years in the past, and energy developments carry on evolving.

There have been two main facelifts of the mannequin – one in 2011, and one other in 2017. The 2011 makeover featured revised engine mapping, lighter and stiffer alloy wheels, bigger brake discs, a carbon composite strut brace, and a redesigned entrance bumper with built-in DRLs. There was additionally a brand new rear diffuser and extra cooling ducts. A gentle semi-facelift in 2013 revised the engine mapping and retuned the suspension, and the full-on 2017 facelift elevated energy once more whereas additionally refining the gear shift smoothness; presently the bumpers had been additionally redesigned, there was further leather-based trim inside, and the GT-R was handled to stronger brakes, solid wheels and a titanium exhaust.

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Nissan GT-R R35 shopping for and tuning information

Engine and transmission

The beating coronary heart of the Nissan GT-R R35 is the VR38DETT engine – a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 which supplied 485bhp in UK-market launch spec. Facelifts throughout the years variously raised this official determine to 530bhp, then 544bhp, then 565bhp… and as we now know, this was merely a place to begin. There are many modded GT-Rs on the market working 1000bhp+.

The VR38 is usually regarded to be a really robust unit, even when extremely tuned, though in fact there are a variety of warning indicators of a motor that’s not in advantageous well being: look out for blue smoke on a chilly begin, or blue or gray smoke when the turbos come on increase for proof that spotlight is required.

On the subject of tuning, the sky actually is the restrict. Loads of tuners have made waves with modding these motors, with Litchfield amongst these main the pack: in addition to promoting elements and providing servicing, they’ve a package deal of stage upgrades. For example, Stage 1 entails becoming a Y-pipe and remapping the automotive as much as 590bhp; Stage 5 entails upgraded turbos, intercoolers, gas pumps, exhaust and far more moreover, unleashing a protected and dependable 775bhp. There are such a lot of high quality aftermarket energy upgrades out there off the shelf too. Need an exhaust? Speak to Milltek, Cobra, Akrapovic or Armytrix. Induction? That’ll be Forge, Professional Alloy or Airtec.

The transmission is equally spectacular. The 6-speed dual-clutch ’field supplied lightning-fast shifts at launch and the tech has saved on bettering. With each facelift, these shifts have gotten quicker and smoother. It’s price exercising warning as a purchaser although, because the transmission can name time if it suffers an excessive amount of abuse (i.e. from a number of launch management use) – ensure the gearbox accurately selects all six gears in addition to reverse, and an excellent trick is to cold-shift from first to reverse a number of occasions: if it flashes the gear quantity and shifts instantly into 2nd as a substitute of 1st, funds large for repairs or stroll away. And keep in mind that it’s attainable for a specialist to obtain knowledge from the ECU to see what number of occasions the launch management has been deployed.


Nissan GT-R R35


With the facility of the GT-R being such a headline-grabbing aspect, it’s essential to keep in mind that the chassis is actual sci-fi stuff too. This can be a automotive with such phenomenal grip that it may well generate unbelievable lateral G-forces – and, regardless of what Nissan informed us, that is all improvable with aftermarket upgrades.

When taking a look at an R35, test for extreme tyre put on on the internal edges, and that the tyres match entrance and rear; this can inform you whether or not the chassis has been saved within the appropriate alignment, and whether or not the proprietor has been taking care of it correctly.

A well-liked mod amongst house owners is to suit a thicker entrance anti-roll bar – these can be found from Eibach, Whiteline, Extremely Racing and varied others, and have the twin advantages of bettering the trip and sharpening the dealing with. The inventory springs and dampers are very properly suited to the automotive (in fact), however once more there’s scope for enchancment – Litchfield have labored with Bilstein and Eibach to develop coilover setups appropriate for street or observe.

Brake discs have been identified to crack beneath extended heavy use, however that is all of the excuse you’ll want to improve! Alcon 380mm discs are a confirmed selection with the inventory setup, or if you happen to’re chasing large energy then there’s the choice of the full-fat Alcon BBK, which provides billet 6-pots up entrance and 4-pots on the rear.

Nissan GT-R R35


The standard of the GT-R’s inside has at all times been fairly first rate, and it’s steadily improved all through the mannequin’s life. 2009 was the primary main spec replace, when the display was changed with a higher-resolution one and sat-nav grew to become normal, whereas the stereo got here with a 40gb exhausting drive. Extra carbon trim began to seem from 2010, together with magnesium paddle-shifters and particular person local weather management, and the next 12 months the Bose Encompass Sound system was launched.

From the 2017 facelift consumers received an 8” infotainment display and a brand new carbon fibre centre console, plus a unique steering wheel and additional leather-based trim.

There are a number of points to look out for in right here: see if the sprint has flickering or lacking LED lights, and be sure to press each button to make sure they’re all working – the stereo, the air-con, the radio, the lot. Audio system can work their manner unfastened, which could clarify the odd rattle, and the motive force’s aspect seat bolster is liable to put on.


It’s a comfortable and GT-like place to be, though it might be tempting to transform the cabin in additional of a racy type: maybe with a set of Recaro Profi SPA seats, Cusco rollcage, Mine’s steering wheel, and a tasteful retrim in Alcantara.


The GT-R’s physique is extraordinarily aerodynamic, with a drag coefficient of simply 0.27, and it options an unique mixture of aluminium and carbon composite together with the metal – so it’s essential to test rigorously for accident injury, as it may be significantly exhausting to good. Be certain that all of the shutlines are as they need to be, particularly across the bonnet as this has a hydraulic-ram pedestrian safety system that may be eye-wateringly costly to switch if triggered. It’s additionally price noting that the manufacturing facility paint in some shades (significantly black) could be very tender, and thus extraordinarily liable to chips and scratches. Some house owners go for paint safety movie, others go for a vinyl wrap or perhaps a full repaint. Test the undertrays for injury too, and the susceptible entrance lip spoiler – and headlights can mist up as properly.

By way of aesthetic upgrades, there are two approaches you’ll be able to take. The primary is to respect the engineers’ aerodynamic efforts and hold addenda to a minimal, whereas the second is to disregard all of that and create one thing distinctive. For the previous, there are such tasteful additions as dry carbon grille inserts and spoiler extensions from Litchfield. For the latter, you’ll be able to go the entire hog with the LB Works wide-body equipment from Liberty Stroll. And for each step in-between, there’s all method of high quality exterior upgrades out there from Knight Racer, together with aspect window louvres, carbon bonnet vents, wing mirrors with sequential indicators, and facelift bumpers to suit to earlier automobiles.

Nissan GT-R R35

Nissan GT-R R35 Widespread issues

  • A loud rear differential is fairly frequent, and isn’t usually something to fret about until it’s ridiculously loud, because it’s only a trait of the drivetrain
  • A clicking noise from the entrance hubs will likely be on account of accrued filth – cleansing the hubs and making use of copper grease ought to kind it
  • Transmissions can endure closely from repeated launch management utilization, so ensure all of the gears choose accurately
  • Appropriate geometry is essential for these automobiles – test for uneven tyre put on as a giveaway that one thing’s amiss
  • Test the situation of the brake discs, as they’ve been identified to crack beneath heavy utilization
  • Manufacturing facility paint could be very tender, so count on loads of stone-chips and marks on automobiles that haven’t been handled, wrapped or re-painted