V-Spec Performance’s M-Spec NÜr R34 delivers the perfect contradiction: road-going luxury and race-bred mechanicals sprinkled with a hearty serving from the Nismo catalogue
Packing your bags, booking a ticket, and jumping on a plane to another country is always exciting, especially when your main objective is to experience a local car culture. While we might be led to believe that the internet is an all-seeing eye that shows us any- and everything worth laying our eyes on, the reality is that tons of cars slip through the so-called World Wide Web. On a recent trip to Melbourne, we left not a stone unturned or garage door shut in our quest to find something fresh, and, over the next few issues, we will continue to roll out our finds. One of those hidden gems was an M-Spec Nür R34 GT-R, which we found tucked away at V-Spec Performance in Blackburn, Victoria.
Produced as the super-luxe limited edition of the fabled R34, the M-Spec Nür was a nod to the GT-R’s ‘proving ground’ at the Nürburgring, which is why you’ll find it wearing the cast Nür badges, which also indicated an important handover, part way through the R34’s production run, from long-time Nissan chief engineer Kozo Watanabe to Kazutoshi Mizuno. The ‘M’ in ‘M-Spec’ is said to represent Mizuno’s own touches to the model, and the car is often referred to as the ‘mature-spec’.
The cars featured heated leather seats with embroidered GT-R logos inside and ‘ripple-control’ suspension to absorb even the smallest imperfections in the road. It was the gentleman’s weekend car, designed for those who enjoyed their cars on the road not the race track, according to Mizuno — which makes the V-Spec Performance example the perfect contradiction to Mizuno-san’s intentions.
While M-Spec Nür models remain relatively rare, the guys at V-Spec have slung one or two in their time, as they are prolific GT-R hunters, who import some of the rarest examples straight into the Australian market. But it wasn’t the Nür badges or leather seats that really got their proverbial hard-ons going while looking for the new workshop build; it was the fact that this particular example had taken a visit to Nismo’s Omori Factory.
Nismo’s Omori Factory is where all the big-ballers go to play, as its products are noted for their race-bred durability, and tap into years of development that can see anything from a hand-built engine to big R35 Brembos fitted to your R32, R33, or R34 GT-R
This Nismo-run facility is the place where those with an endless budget take their high-end Skylines to be fitted with a dream catalogue of parts: hand-built engines, R35 brakes, dry-carbon goodness — the works. But what this specific car received there was something shrouded in even more darkness than the factory itself: a Nismo R1 RB26DETT heart. Developed as a Nismo upgrade to the famed N1 version, the R1 is, as its name suggests, Nismo’s response to owners who wanted to race their car, and race it hard.
Based on a Nismo-reinforced N1 block — which was extensively tested during the 24 Hours Nürburgring, of course — the R1 uses forged N1 crank and pistons, along with a back catalogue of Nismo upgraded components that would drain even the fattest of wallets. But it’s up top that the real fun happens, and, while you’ll find an Omori Factory ported head with oversized valve train and in-house-designed camshafts, the crème de la crème of the R1 is the re-engineered N1 Garrett snails. Now, let us take a moment to note that Nismo engines are not necessarily the most powerful, but what they lack in mind-bending power figures, they make up for in balance and durability, deeply rooted in their racing heritage.
With that in mind, the N1 turbo’s ceramic internals were binned in favour of metal equivalents and fitted with higher capacity ball bearings and reinforced actuator attachments. Nismo was so confident in the package that, back in 2000, in a tuners’ battle at the Nismo Festival, it campaigned an R1 prototype against some of the biggest names in the aftermarket industry and managed a clean sweep when, ironically, the competition was plagued with reliability issues.
Now, if fitting a race-bred engine into a super-luxe model wasn’t already enough of a contradiction, after the M-Spec Nür landed down under, the guys at V-Spec replaced the entire front end with Nismo Z-Tune dry-carbon-fibre panels. Nismo engineers state that the new frontage produces 2.2-times more downforce than the stock example, and the styling takes on a very time-attack vibe, with flared front guards that feature louvres to help air flow out of the engine bay and arches.
The dry-carbon-fibre front causes so much confusion that onlookers question whether it’s a wrap, before a quick feel of the carbon to test its validity
At half the weight of the factory pieces, and coming in at 2.7-times more rigid, the dry-carbon-fibre front is a mean piece of kit, further enhanced by Steve Ling at SL Customs, who laid luscious coats of UV-resistant matt-clear over the top instead of matching the factory Millennium Jade paintwork found on the rest of the body. The result causes so much confusion that onlookers question whether it’s a wrap, before feeling the carbon to test its validity.
That ain’t where the fun stops, either, as you’ll also find Z-Tune goodness down back in the form of Z-Tune arch flares, which connect the Z-Tune fibre-reinforced-plastic (FRP) side skirts to the factory rear bumper, which has also been moulded to match the skirts and incorporates a custom diffuser. Adorning the boot lid is a Nismo carbon wing blade–and–FD superior sport carbon wing-stay combo.
The factory suspension was thrown out — as you may have already guessed by now, this M-Spec Nür is a little more involved than your run-of-the-mill example — and replaced by R-Tune coilovers. You’ll find a set of Rays-manufactured 19x9.5-inch Nismo LMGT4 wheels shod with 265/30 Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R rubber covering the six-pot front and four-pot rears, which employ R35 GT-R Brembo calipers.
The V-Spec rolling business card made its first appearance at the GT-R Festival at Sydney Motorsport Park in 2016, and it has since been the focal point of V-Spec’s capabilities at a number of local events. It’s certainly an oddball combo that has taken the best pieces from a selection of the R34’s top-tier editions and combined them with a heap of Nismo flare to create a complete contradiction that gels oh so well.
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thanks: Allen Cheng, Simon Ong, and Rey Jakov at V-Spec Performance, Steve Ling at SL Customs
ENGINE: Nismo Omori Factory RB26DETT (R1), 2600cc, straight-six
BLOCK: Nismo RB26 N1, Nismo N1 pistons, Nismo N1 rings, Nismo bearings, Nismo oil pump, Nismo baffled sump
HEAD: Nismo 0.9mm head gasket
INTAKE: Nismo dry-carbon intake piping, Nismo FRP intake duct
EXHAUST: Nismo N1 titanium exhaust, Nismo N1 exhaust manifold
TURBO: Nismo R1 turbo kit
IGNITION: Nismo racing type #8 plugs
ECU: Nismo R1
COOLING: Nismo dry-carbon intercooler piping, Nismo R34 GT-R intercooler, Nismo oil cooler, ARC radiator
EXTRA: Nismo billet oil cap, Nismo racing radiator cap, Nismo carbon cooling panel, Nismo oil separator kit
CLUTCH: Nismo Super Coppermix Competition
STRUTS: Nismo R-Tune coilovers
BRAKES: (F) R35 GT-R Brembo six-pot calipers, R35 GT-R Dixcel rotors; (R) R35 Brembo four-pot calipers, R35 GT-R Dixcel rotors
EXTRA: Nismo titanium front strut brace
WHEELS: 19x9.5-inch (+12) Rays Nismo LMGT4
TYRES: 265/30R19 Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R
PAINT: UV-resistant dry-carbon matt-clear front end by Steve at SL Customs, factory Millennium Jade paintwork
ENHANCEMENTS: Nismo smoked front indicators, Nismo smoked side indicators, Nismo LED tail lights, Nismo carbon wing blade, Nismo MFD superior sport carbon wing stays, Nismo Z-Tune rear flares, Nismo Z-Tune FRP side skirts and rear skirts, Nismo Z-Tune dry-carbon front bumper, Nismo Z-Tune dry-carbon front guards, Nismo R-Tune carbon bonnet, Nismo Z-Tune carbon front diffuser
SEATS: Factory M-Spec leather
STEERING WHEEL: Factory M-Spec
INSTRUMENTATION: Nismo MFD cluster
EXTRA: Nismo titanium GT shift knob, leather door cards
This article originally appeared in NZ Performance Car issue No. 248 — to get your grubby mitts on a print copy, click the cover below: