To Japanese car tragics or Gran Turismo fans, the Nismo 400R will need no introduction.
It’s one of the rarest and most legendary GT-Rs ever produced. Back in 1997, Nissan’s motorsport arm NISMO was given the task of creating a special R33 GT-R and it delivered in spades.
Key to the transition was a new engine. The venerable RB26DETT was given a thorough going over, so much so that it carried a new designation, the RBX-GT2.
Bored and stroked to 2771cc, upgraded rods, polished ports, high-lift cams, an upgraded oil system, a larger exhaust manifold and stronger turbochargers lifted power to a claimed 294kW/470Nm. This was good enough for 0-100km/h in just over four seconds and a top speed on the high side of 300km/h.
Externally, a new bodykit, including a carbon fibre rear wing, improved cooling and increased downforce, while wheels were upgraded to 18 x 10-inch Nismo LM-GT1s at all four corners. One hundred examples were originally planned, but only 44 were eventually built before R33 production ended in 1998. In GT-R terms, only the R34 Z-Tune (19 built) ranks as rarer.
While Nismo has recently released its own version of the R35 GT-R, we reckon it’s being a bit timid – time to be let off the leash.
All business in here. Lightweight fixed-back buckets are your only seating option with six-point harnesses holding you in place. The rear seats are binned, as is most of the sound deadening, while air-con and a roll-cage are options.
Such an extreme car is never going to be a volume seller. A price of A$260,000 would limit the 800R to diehard Nissan fans, but there should be few issues shifting 250 units globally.
Aero package more or less a straight lift from the Nismo ‘N Attack’ GT-R, which set a blistering 7min08sec lap of the Nordschleife – any more extreme and road legality is getting sketchy.
Balanced and blueprinted VR38 scores upgraded internals to handle more boost, lifting outputs to 588kW/800Nm. Real-world 0-100km/h time drops to 2.5sec with 0-400m disappearing in 10.6sec.
With no 20-inch R-spec tyres currently available, Yokohama saves the day with bespoke 265/40 front and 295/35 rear AO50 competition tyres wrapped around 20-inch lightweight rims inspired by Nismo’s GT3 race car.
Strengthened clutch packs and hardened gears will do nothing for the GT-R’s already grumpy low-speed driveability, but will stop an explosion of metal fragments when putting the monstrous power to the ground.
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