Option Magazine Nardo Ring Challenge! Top Secret, Powerhouse Amuse, & Phoenix Power R35 GT-R Shoot out!

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[Ben] I’m nearly able to finally release the results of Option’s Nardo challenge where a new FASTEST top speed record was made for Japanese sports cars.
I’m still sorting through 1200 pictures I took while there with the teams. Here’s one that’ll get a feel of the challengers just moments before they made their first high speed runs on the famed Nardo ring. Check back tomorrow for results of how fast these hyper tuned GT-Rs went. I’ll be rolling out many pictures over coming days and weeks.
We’re proud to represent the products worldwide for all 3 challengers:Powerhouse Amuse Top Secret – Performance Engineering Service and Phoenixs Power

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Option Nardo Italy: So…who has the fastest top speed Japanese car? R35 GT-R at 234 MPH

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[Ben] Here’s the speed: 377kmh (234mph) However there’s a bit more to the story. Nobody likes ties but what we were left with as we left Nardo was nearly a tie. Even worse, in both cases both cars Top Secret – Performance Engineering Service and Powerhouse Amuse were unable to reach their true potential due to facing the same unexpected computer error at 7500rpm in 6th gear. As a result both cars pulled to 7500rpm in 6th gear and both maxed out electronically rather than reach their potential. They had more speed in them. The Top Secret car was the winner with a speed of 377km/h whereas the Amuse car reached 373km/h. The difference of 4km/h is attributed to slightly different final drive gear ratios between the two. Ask anyone there and we all believe they both could have passed 400km/h if not for the ECU problem. Call it a tie if you want, but the winner was ultimately Top Secret by a very small margin. Smoky remains on top as having the fastest Japanese street car ever made! We all hope to find the true potential of these cars next year with Option’s next Nardo attack!
More behind the scenes updates from Nardo coming from us soon.

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Nardo Italy GT-R Battle – Powerhouse Amuse vs Top Secret

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[Ben] Nardo Italy Battle – Powerhouse Amuse vs Top Secret – Performance Engineering Service. Here’s another exclusive picture…this time a video screen capture taken from the passenger seat. You can clear see “Smoky” Nagata and Matsui-san in this picture. It was such an amazing experience to be with all 3 companies that we support and to see them at the top of their game battling on the world stage!

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Option Nardo Top Speed Challenge: Phoenix Power R35 GT-R

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[Ben] Web exclusive Nardo coverage.
Lets start with 3rd place. Clocking 356.99kmh (221.2mph) was the incredible Tokyo Auto Salon favorite Phoenixs Power R35 GT-R
This car was the first car Daijiro drove. It sounded like a jet plane from far away but as it approached us after the first high speed lap we realized there was a problem. At 221mph the sheer forces destroyed the front diffuser! This was a humbling way to start the day and it surely reminded me of the extreme risks running at those speeds. Daijro was lucky that this was not another catastrophe as he’s endured his fair share of life threatening danger as a racing driver. The Phoenix Power GT-R was the only of the three cars utilizing the stock final drive gear ratio so it was essentially able to reach full potential before the crippling aerodynamics injury knocked it out of commission for the remainder of the event. This picture was taken as soon as the car came in and you’ll see Daijiro describing the incident in the background for Option Video as Phoenix Power and Top Secret look on.

 

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The Ultimate Minivan by Patrick Callahan

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Dropping Porsche engines in VW vans is nothing new. Enthusiasts have been creating these sleepers for years owing to the remarkably similar powertrain layouts of both platforms. A company called TH Automotive recently took this concept to the next level. After making over 500hp worth of Porsche-power in the back of a T5 VW Transporter, they decided to go for the record books.

Porsche Minivan Transporter

They decided to go for top speed with their family hauler. The goal was 300km/h or about 186mph. They acheived that and then some with a 193mph run at the Nardo test track.

Porsche Minivan Transporter

“Cool,” I hear you say, “but how does it relate to JDM?” Take a look at the above picture of the interior of one of TH’s vans. That sort of clean execution is a universal language. Also, can you imagine what a JDM version of that concept might look like? The closest thing I can think of was the drift Element which worked surprisingly well.

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Top Secret – Random Snap In Japan

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Top Secret has been sending me over a lot of pictures of their new GT-R parts which I’ve been diligently adding to the GT-RR.COM website.

(By the way, let me know what you guys think of their new side diffuser and rear diffuser spats…very Super GT inspired but possibly a controversial design and departure from usual Top Secret style!)

http://gt-rr.com/r35/manufacturer/top_secret

Try to break from GT-R overload on this blog (just for a second), I’m sharing this picture. This pic was taken the other day in Japan and it showcases two of my favorite Top Secret demo cars of all time. Both of course with crazy motor swaps, loads of power and massive top speed potential.

Top Secret’s Random Snap

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Rear Mounted Radiator Mod – Part 2

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Now onto the show and tell…

First off, I wanted to share with you a picture I happen to like a lot. I formatted it into 2400 res with no watermarks for anyone looking for a nice background image. There’s not much point of watermarking a photo of a car that already has my logos all over it. :)

Top Secret Nardo Supra V12

Now onto the rear mounted radiator in question:

Top Secret Nardo Supra V12

Above you can see just how they finished it off from the trunk view. Notice the carbon panel and the glass window. Just classy.

Top Secret Nardo Supra V12

That picture shows a better perspective.

Top Secret Nardo Supra V12

From underneath the car you can get a better idea.

Top Secret Nardo Supra V12

The rear profile is subtle with regards to this mod. All you see is a central located vent. Much like the same way they kept the fuel cooling fans subtle on the S15 D1 car with the rear bumper vents…sometimes vents just look cool, but sometimes they serve a real purpose like here.

Top Secret Nardo Supra V12

For those wondering about how they did the piping for this job, here’s an underside of the car view.

Top Secret Nardo Supra V12

Lastly this picture shows how they direct air to the rear mounted radiator. It is a good comparison photo between the gold race car and the white street car. If you notice, the rear side window is removed on the race car. You’ll also notice a duct in its place. Those ducts on both sides of the car are routed to feed air to the radiator. If you look inside those holes you’ll see ducting.

All of this leads me to a question – Of all the magazines that have featured this car, I don’t recall anyone talking much about this topic. I don’t know what that says about the audiences of magazines, but to me…it is details like this that make some of the best tuned cars in Japan fascinating.

One of these days I’ll post about one of the most impressive engineering designs Top Secret has ever done that nobody ever really has talked about… I just need to dig up the photos on my computer.

PS: I didn’t get a chance to talk about it, but most rear radiator mounted front engine cars have a hard time running the plumbing so they often run it through the inside of the cabin.  While OK for a race car, its a terrible idea for a street car. Top Secret is one of the very few I’ve seen that kept all of that mess out of the interior, yet another great way to keep the car easy to drive daily and street legal.

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