Video: Road Racing GT-R Goes RWD!

Even twenty-seven years after its inception, the R32 GT-R remains a strong contender in the time attack community. Its short wheelbase, potent RB26 engine and a strong traction from the ATTESA-ETS system offer a stellar platform for tuning, and give it all the right tools for that one hot lap. Thankfully, the fanbase down in Australia is especially strong with the R32, and this particular example not only boasts one of the most mellifluous exhaust notes ever heard, but also a strange drivetrain configuration that might raise the odd eyebrow.

While this GT-R is chasing the one lap here, this car spends most of its time racing in the Production Sports Car Championship against cars like the Porsche GT3 Cup and the Ferrari 458 GT3. For this reason, its front driveshafts have been removed, rendering it a rear wheel-drive machine. With a single turbo force-feeding air into the RB, one might assume that traction would be an issue. Even without the progressive delivery of twin turbos, and four driven wheels, the car shows immense grip and poise and makes good use of all that torque.

https://scontent.fsnc1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/t31.0-8/fr/cp0/e15/q65/12593527_601753383308836_9174093602305866257_o.jpg?efg=eyJpIjoidCJ9

The flourescent blue body panels contrast the naked carbon panels, giving the techno-titan a very strong, 1980s aesthetic.

That traction has to do with a conservatively-sized turbocharger, which almost looks timid sat next to the whopping straight-six. Though there is a small amount of lag Rhys Howell must contend with, once boost comes on, it does so smoothly. More importantly, that power is harnessed with a Holinger six-speed, pump-action gearbox. With closely-stacked gears, this monster tops out at a mere 165 mph and gets there very, very quickly.

Huge torque, R-compound tires, carbon wings and relentless acceleration show that even without the GT-R’s four wheel-drive traction, it can work well with modern, intelligent modifications. The efficiency out of the corner — delivering all that rocketship propulsion with only the mildest hint of oversteer – shows that yes, the GT-R was known for its turbos and its drivetrain, but in reality, it was so much more than that.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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