GT-R RETROSPECTIVE: Japanese Power Up

These have got to be the only three reasons you'd move to Japan. Because they aren't coming here, unfortunately...


Subaru's fire-breathing WRX has been tweaked yet again. The latest STi version sports the new sheetmeral and an extra 55kW to raise peak power to 210k W at 6500rpm and torque by 40Nm to a massive 340Nm at 4000rpm.

The car is also 55kg lighter at just 1240kg. Considering the Aus-spec Impreza turns a 6.67sec O-lOOkm/h (see road test page 84), this one should be capable of low 5s.

Honda Japan has sent the NSX to Jenny Craig. The 3.2 litre engine in the lightweight NSX-S remains unchanged but gone are airbags, power steering, cruise control, traction control and foglamps, and the seats are now lightweight carbon-fibre Recaros. This all adds up to a 30kg saving, now tipping the scales at 1320kg. Or you can go further with the NSX-S Zero, which also ditches airconditioning, stereo and central locking and weighs just 1270kg.

Nissan Japan is expecting to launch the new Skyline GT -R in early 1998. It is expected to be even lighter and faster than the current model while retaining the same 2.6 litre twin-turbo.

To keep idle hands busy until that day, Nissan has improved the already formidable road-going GT-R with the aim of boosting track performance in the Japanese GT Championship.

The new GT -R sports a deeper front spoiler to provide better cooling for both the engine and the massive four-piston vented front discs.

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