Friday, December 8, 2017

Nismo Festival 2017 - Part 2

So, what about the parts and demo cars at this year’s Nismo Festival? Well, since I was gifted a press pass I must have spent close to 70% of my day hanging around the pits, spending quality time with iconic racers and legend drivers. So much so that I almost forgot about the rest of the event, but eventually had to take a walk around and indulge in more photos.

One of the great things about these events is the fact that even parking spaces are mini attractions on their own, like this white and red pair of Nismo 400R testifies. Eventually Aki and I spotted these very same cars coming out of a parade run.

Once you cross the main gates, that’s where the real madness begins, with dealer and tuners showcasing and selling complete cars, parts, gadgets, memorabilia and everything in between.

One of my first stop was the GT-R Magazine booth, where the editors had on display their own cars. Believe it or not, but the white V-spec II Nür has almost 300,000 km on the clock. It serves as a sort of guinea pig for all the latest maintenance products and parts that are reviewed in the magazine and, as such, is in excellent shape despite the mileage.

Right next to it there was an immaculate Hakosuka Skyline, which Dino reckoned easily being worth over 40M yen.

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about what to choose as a second car; both Dino and Aki have recommended the Fairlady Z33 in Nismo trim as a reliable and solid FR platform to have fun and learn the basics of circuit driving. Tempting...

We spent quite a bit of time walking around this immaculate R31 by R31house - as Aki pointed out this is a quintessential example of 80’s car styling. If I had unlimited parking space I’d buy one in an heartbeat.

From parts on sales to limited time bargains, making it through events like this without spending money is almost a feat, but I’m proud to say that I (and my wallet) made it through unscathed this year.

Back to the tuners scene, Top Secret had on display a R35 with a slanted nose bumper that wasn’t really my cup of tea - certain things are just better left stock.

Speaking of which, this BNR32 from Garage Active had very little left in factory trim. Unfortunately I forgot to take some close-up shots, but it had some very serious work done, pushing upwards of 600ps.

The Mine’s BNR34 demo car, based on a N1 platform is always a crowd pleaser.

We all remember that Best Motoring review by Tsuchiya-san who eventually praised it as one of the ultimate “response-machines”.

I and Aki parted ways as he was off to the warm and heated Olympus also known as the Guest Area, which was obviously off limits to us mortals. So, I had to set for some yakisoba bought at one of the many stands.

Back from lunch and, of course, no Nismo Festival would be complete without a mandatory visit to the Omori Factory booth.

Difficult to argue with the presence of the three demo cars finished in matching dark metal grey.

Probably also not too difficult to guess what catches my attention the most.

Every single time.

This year, however the R35 GT-R took the center stage at the booth. 

The original MY08 model is now a 10 years old car and is starting to show a gap in both power and finish when compared to the more recent MY17 models. As such, Nismo has decided to release a S1 engine menu and RFP/carbon aero parts set to bring performance up to par.

The aero parts are actually high quality and give the car a more modern and aggressive look; they are also not too badly priced considering the OEM fit, construction quality and the obvious “Nismo tax” that comes with the brand.

The S1 engine produces power and torque figure slightly superior to the MY17 model thanks to a series of upgrades.

Like cams straight out of the GT3 racer.

Upgraded turbos from the MY11 models.

And, obviously, new ECM units for both the engine and transmission.

The only issue - and hold on tight - is the price of the complete package: you see, the whole S1 engine upgrade and complete aero package will set you back around 9,100,000 yen. Yes, you read it correctly: that’s almost the price of a brand new R35 GT-R! 

On the other hand, right in the next booth, Nismo prepared a preview display of parts that, in my opinion, are worth every penny: the first batch of Nismo Heritage parts for the BNR32.

While, obviously, Nismo and Nissan are in business to make a profit just like every other company out there, I must applaude the fact that they have listened to customers voices and decided to embark in a project that, as important as it could be for owners, will be likely limited to the Japanese domestic market.

The display was rather impressive and really looked the part: Nismo is clearly making an effort to evolve its brand into a proper high-end tuning and restoration business, bringing out the best of the famous Japanese craftsmanship.

The first selection of around 80 parts is quite comprehensive and includes major mechanical components.

As well as complete body panels and chassis components that are particularly prone to being damaged in accidents or by rust.

The program also includes full body restorations from the ground up.

Nismo dug deep in the archives to select the right parts and ensure a period-correct finish.

There are also a number of parts listed as “under consideration” for future production.

Customers will have the option to pair up the new parts with upgrades, like this S2 engine and Nismo intercooler that were linked to brand new brake lines, rotors and fuel tank. Expect a hefty price tag if you decide to go this route.

There were plenty of Nismo mechanics and salesmen to interact with visitors, answer questions and, obviously, gauge the interest level of the crowd. The Heritage booth was clearly one of the most visited and, judging by the response, I would say that the success of the program looks promising.

After taking the last shots trackside we decided to head back a bit earlier than usual in an attempt to avoid traffic.

Attempt that miserably failed as a series of accidents on the Tōmei Expressway brought the total time of our return trip to Tokyo up to 6 hours - an all time worst for all of us!

Until next time.

1 comment:

  1. to me this is what a perfect nismo festival looks like. well done!

    as for the r35 new parts I still feel like the engine overhaul+upgrade menu as more wallet forgiving than the 4.5 million rb26s

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