Friday, June 12, 2020

Z-tune Proto Ver. 2000 Full Spec List

The Z-tune is arguably the most recognizable GT-R of them all: the iconic silhouette, the KY0 Silver and red alcantara color combination, and the Z2 engine are features all well known to everybody. However, the story behind its development and consequent changes between the original prototype and final version are still obscure to many. I thought it would make for an interesting story. 

In early 2000 Nismo decided to develop the ultimate road-going version of the BNR34, fittingly naming it after the Japanese word kyuukyoku (究極, literally “ultimate”), hence the choice of the “Z” letter, as the last in the alphabet: the Z-tune. During the following 5 years the project went through as many different iterations, with the last one being 95% true to the production model, thus named Z-tune Proto Ver. Final. The early Z-tune Proto Ver. 2000 however was the fastest machine ever built by Nismo, and also the only to ever be fitted with the Z1 (Z-tune Concept Spec1) engine. 

The Z1 was based on a bored N1 block fitted with forged con-rods, pistons with revised cooling channels, 1.5mm (11044-RRR47) head-gasket metal, prototype camshafts, a balanced prototype crankshaft, high capacity 600CC/min fuel injectors (16600-RRR60), high capacity fuel pump, N1 exhaust manifold, Nismo GT Le Mans turbochargers and racing spark plugs. The intake collector surge tank was left standard. A bigger intercooler, radiator, engine oil cooler and oil catch tank were fitted to preserve the health of the powertrain. A dedicated ECM and dual type titanium muffler were also fitted, but the exhaust system didn’t include a catalytic converter.

The chassis (minus the carbon-fiber reinforcements) is probably the area that saw the least changes between the original prototype and the customer cars, with development spec of the Sachs suspensions, arms, stabilizer, strut tower bar, and harder bushes and engine mounts. The LMGT4s were shod either in radial Bridgestone Potenza RE01R or softer RE40S for time attack, all in 265/35 size.

The brakes of choice for the original prototype were Brembo 4 pot calipers at the front and 2 pot at the rear, mated with 355mm and 296mm rotors respectively. Interestingly, up until 2003 Nismo played with the idea of fitting a stronger input shaft in the 6-speed Getrag transmission, but eventually reverted to OEM for the final production model. The carbon propeller shaft was installed from the very beginning, as well as the Nismo LSD at the front differential. The clutch, however, was the older twin plate G-MAX Spec II, later upgraded to the Super Coppermix.

Not only the original Z-tune prototype was more powerful of the final production car, but tipping the scale at 1,480kg was also significantly (120kg) lighter. Besides being air-con and audio-less, the car was fitted with the famous carbon aero parts, carbon-kevlar Recaro bucket seats, a Nardi steering wheel and a carbon passenger door straight from a Super Taikyu race car. An aluminum roll-cage and 4-point harness were also installed for circuit driving duties.

Between 2001 and 2004 Nismo developed 4 other versions of the Z-tune prototype, all with minor modifications, but less dramatic performance changes, before releasing the Z-tune to the public in 2005. Ironically, the final version of the car dubbed as the “ultimate GT-R", was over 100kg heavier and almost 20% less powerful than its older sister. Still, a bedroom wall poster car for many 80's and 90's kids.

Thank you for stopping by today, hope you enjoyed the trivia.

Until next time.


  1. Awesome article, with all your knowledge I'm waiting for the hard cover..
    I've been to the Omori Factory..the Z-Tune is absolutely beautiful..

    1. Thanks, Graham! The hard cover coffee table book is a dream, but I will need better photos...and a publisher!
      Hope you enjoyed your visit!

  2. Honestly, your knowledge is astounding every time I come back and check for updates, your posts are always a good read!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words!
      I still enjoy researching and learning today like I did years ago.


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