...before Craig Lieberman got his rice-picking hands on it and turned it into the 2F2F monstrosity. Special thanks to VQuick for being the only one to find the underlying theme of my other thread and actually post it. http://forums.offtopic.com/showthread.php?p=17348612#post17348612 (scroll down a couple posts) Motorex Nissan R34 Skyline GT-R By Jared Holstein Photography: John Thawley, Josh Jacquot In the three months spent at MotoRex being tweaked, prodded into compliance with U.S. regulations, each Skyline inevitably gets a nickname, says MotoRex's Sean Morris. It is little surprise, then, that the name "Blackbird" titles the sharply raked windshield of this R34 Skyline GT-R V-Spec. The SR71 "Blackbird", love child of the Cold War espionage program, remains the fastest (publicly acknowledged) plane in the world, capable of flying from New York to London in about two hours. Even 32 years after its introduction, the Blackbird remains the aerial epitome of brute force and exotic construction. Though some of us might prefer a lighter, simplified R32 Skyline for flogging duties, for those interested in the most essential of G-rides, we present you with Mr. MotoRex's personal transport, the R34 Blackbird. By simply owning a Skyline, you are ensuring yourself a large degree of exclusivity; should you find the performance insufficient, MotoRex offers a variety of services and modifications that enhance performance, aesthetics and driver experience. This car showcases a happy compromise between ultimate cruiser and racetrack bruiser. MotoRex left well enough alone with the interior, adding only wonderfully bolstered and supportive Recaro seats. To satisfy the G-ride quotient, the Blackbird received a collection of Eclipse stereo components that combined produce rich, clean sound, full of punchy, tight bass and clear mids, even when playing MP3s. Those born of the video game generation will feel at home in the R34's cockpit. Apparently, some Nissan engineers are as car geeky as we are, because the Skyline features a large color LCD display in the middle of the dash, telling you just about anything you could want to know about the RB26DETT's status and performance, even allowing you to change critical values in real time. With a stance best described as the visual result of a threesome between Darth Vader, a Kirosawa character, and a dominatrix, the Blackbird demands visual consideration. Starting with the most Rubenesque of the Skylines, MotoRex bedecked the R34 with a body kit designed in conjunction with C-west (for whom MotoRex is the exclusive importer). Unlike many body kits that crack and shatter at the thought of strength or aerodynamic testing, these same ground effects are used in the N1 Endurance Series in Japan. Though many of us joke about 95 percent of decklid spoilers on the market making roughly 1.2 lbs of downforce at 180 mph, the scary part about this car is that you could probably test this hypothesis, and then some. The C-west GT wing adorning the Black Bird is carbon fiber through and through, including the beefy uprights. Many times, you wonder whether the huge jump in dollars spent on a very trick double or triple adjustable coil-over system is worth it, because you often end up with a car perfectly suited for the track, and absolutely miserable on the street. Not so with the ueber-pricey, but hugely effective, Oehlins remote reservoir coil-over suspension. Although when following the car on the street, it was evident the car was stiffly sprung, this rigidity did not translate to an unbearable ride. The suspension still exhibited abundant travel when substantially lowered, removing all drama from the occasional brush with a berm. Just how effective is the suspension system? For about 10 minutes, the Blackbird held the SCC record for the slalom at 72 mph. This is in a car that weighs almost 3,800 lbs. On street tires. Only the Lancer EVO 6 with large, very sticky prototype Pirelli DOT-legal race tires bettered the R34's speed. As much fun as I was having listening to tunes and watching Morris play with the LCD, it was indulging in the common fantasy of flogging a Skyline that I came for. After engaging the very touchy Tilton twin-plate clutch, we were off through the esses, turbos whirring. My planned slow-speed familiarization laps became fast ones, as the car's drive-me-hard, I-make-it-easy attitude shone through. Shifting into third was a bit tricky entering the back straight for this right-hand-drive rookie, but relaxing a bit quickly solved this problem. Coming out of the very tight, slow Zorro turn was the perfect place to evaluate the Blackbird's powerband. Smartly sized ball-bearing turbos provide both tractable low-end grunt, and from the mid-range, a big kick-in-the-pants that never falls off until the 8000 rpm redline. This car features all APEXi bolt-on turbo upgrades, and at 1.0 bar, were being lightly worked. Both the stock internals and the upgrades are capable of more flow and stress. The straight-six is fairly muted by the time it reaches the muffler, emitting a rather suave roar, unlike the auditory ferocity found on most cars of this power. After the fourth gear charge up the straight, slowing for the following right-hand sweeper involved no drama with the stock Brembos, and as is to be expected, pedal placement was perfect for heel-and-toeing. Drop into third gear, turn in smoothly, work the big Toyos toward the sweeper's apex, and mash it. A claimed 400 whp at only 1.0 bar (which sounds about right, given the hefty car's 12.3 in the quarter) was more than sufficient to drive the tail towards the outside berm of the first of the series of esses, the ATESSA E-TS Pro active all-wheel drive quickly and seemlessly converting residual lateral energy into forward motion with such force it felt like a drag launch. For me, never has driving that fast been that easy. Every performance component of the car works so well that the usually apparent indicators of velocity like high speed instability and faded brakes were totally non-existant. To make the necessary adjustment for this handling dynamic required that I drive it a bit like a FWD car, remembering to apply gas at the onset of oversteer. Most remarkably (and most fun), the gas pedal provides both the oversteer and the correction. The majority of electronic stability controls on the market, like those found on Mercedes, are designed to save drivers from "dangerous" oversteer or other hairy situations. In the Skyline's case, these electronic training wheels make you a faster driver (electronics controlling torque bias both front and rear and left to right). That heft and high performance are not mutually exclusive is not secret; just look at BMW's new M5. In the Skyline's case, that heft also provides a tremendous amount of fun gadgets, the most effective 4WD system in the world, and notable comfort and luxury. Those minutes shared with the Blackbird on the track will always be remembered as an example of what results when an already special car is built spectacularly. 1999 Motorex Nissan R34 Skyline Chassis Chassis Code : R34 Engine Engine Code : RB26DETT Type : In-line six, aluminum block and heads, twin turbocharged and intercooled Internal Modifications : APEXi N1 fuel pump, 256 cams, cam gear External Modifications : APEXi 550cc injectors, Power F/C, Type C adjustable fuel pressure regulator, APEXi 2530 ball bearing turbos,GT intercooler, N1 front pipe kit,Super Suction kit Engine Management Modifications : APEXi EVC, F-Con V and harness Horsepower : 400 whp (claimed) Drivetrain Layout : Longitudinal front engine, all-wheel drive Drivetran modifications : HKS Twin Plate clutch Suspension Front : Oehlins remote reservoir coil-overs Rear : Oehlins remote reservoir coil-overs Brakes Front : Endless brake pads Rear : Endless brake pads External Wheels : Work Meisters, 18 x 10-inches Tires : 275/35ZR-18 Toyo Proxes T1-S Body : C-west/Motorex N1 body kit and carbon fiber spoiler Performance Acceleration 0-30 mph : 1.5 sec. 0-60 mph : 4.0 sec. 30-50 mph : 1.7 sec. 50-70 mph : 2.0 sec. Quarter Mile : 12.3 sec. @ 112 mph Handling Lateral grip (200ft skidpad) : 0.94g Laptime : 53.8 Slalom Speed (700 ft slalom) : 72 mph Braking 60-0 stopping distance : 111 ft. At higher boost, the Blackbird was tested to pull 0-60 in just 3.6 sec, the 1/4 mile in 11.4 sec. and a top speed of 190 mph at 520 hp.