Friday, February 17, 2017

Omori Factory Tour Part 1 - Meet your Heroes

Omori Factory, just mentioning the name or posting a random photo is usually enough to call for hundreds of "likes" and "thumbs up" on social outlets. This should be no surprise: Nismo HQ is to GT-R fans what Maranello is to Ferrari tifosi (fan in Italian).

Nissan Motorsport International relocated to this brand new, state of the art facility back in 2013 to keep up with its plan to further expand the Nismo brand as well as international Motorsport activities. Its sleek design and the building sharp lines draw inspiration from the Japanese katana, while the red, black and grey main colors used for the finishing touches are faithful to Nismo tradition.

While many fans are familiar with the showroom and tuning facility, lots of people ignore that it's here that Nismo develops, builds and maintain the racing cars and prototypes fielded in Japanese series such as Super GT. On top of it, the complex also hosts a powerplant facility.

The parking usally hotst plenty of Nissan goodness: from GT-R to Fairlady Z from all generation, owners come and go with some of them just stopping by to look around, and others as actual customers.

The Nissan R390 GT1 prototype bolted vertically on the wall in front of the main entrance is another hint that you are about to step into a very special place. This is not a mock-up either, but one of the actual 3 racers that entered the Le Mans 24h in 1998, completed with Carlos Ghosn's - Nissan CEO - signature on the rear wing.

The sharp lines and design continue inside the showroom, with historic racers displayed on the left and road cars on the right.

Models are always on rotation and this time I was lucky enough to find the holy grail of BNR34 on display: the legendary Nismo Z-tune.

This is the car that we all have admired in the Best Motoring video review with Naoki Hattori at the wheel back in the days.

Finished in the signature KYO Silver shade it looks like a proper weapon, ready to attack the circuit.

For about 30 minutes I was actually the only visitor at the showroom and I took advantage of my time alone with the Z-tune to drink in all its shapes and details.

Starting from the dry-carbon rear spoiler flap.

To the R-tune hood (with a view).


As some of you may know, in order to fit independent transmission and rear differential cooler units, the Z-tune wasn't equipped with the BNR34 signature carbon rear under diffuser.

The interior, finished in the signature red Alcantara and black leather, looks all business.

With only 19 customer cars ever made this is without a doubt the ultimate BNR34 - I had to force myself to carry on with my visit!


I certainly couldn't complain with the racers selection on display either and, as you can imagine, it was the 2002 Xanavi GT-R in the corner that caught my attention.

This is the very last BNR34 racer to ever carry the glorious RB engine as Nismo switched to the V6 based VQ engine midseason, after the Malaysian round in Sepang (note the TM Touch sponsor).

Talk about transferring racing know-how to street models? The two photos below speak for themselves.


The Nissan R89C was also very impressive: this V8 turbocharged monster was fielded by Nismo in the 1989 JSPC series.

Tipping the scale at a mere 900kg and developing over 800ps its performance are hard to imagine even for today standards.

Every corner of the showroom is filled with memorabilia and trophies that remind how far back Nismo goes with racing and how deeply rooted is into the company DNA


Nismo went full out in designing the facility and carried on the motorsport theme even in the toilets, with camshafts adorned walls and brake rotors as mirror frames.

The drink vending machine is also quite a special one.

While this GT-R logo hides a secret...

...that you'll discover only by getting closer!

The showroom itself is definitely worth a visit, but there is a lot more awaiting, especially if you are a customer.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Until next time.

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