The greatest GT-R Skyline wasn't made by Nissan
The topic of which is the ultimate incarnation of Nissan's epic R32-R34-generation Skyline GT-R is one that will start arguments like little else... this side of asking Subaru owners what their favourite flavour of vape is.
Some will say the lightweight R34 N1, or maybe the Nur-Edition which was Nissan's own final hot sauce mode. There is also the case to argue for the super-limited-edition, 500hp, wide-bodied, JGTC-powered Nismo Z-Tune as the ultimate GT-R... but in actual fact for many people the ultimate GT-R is actually a tuned-up street car!
Since the 1980s the Mine's tuning shop has built upgraded cars that set a one-eyed focus on function over form. Having become a staple of the Japanese tuning scene through the halcyon 90s turbo era, they got hold of a lightweight N1 R34 GT-R, and started refining the mix.
By 2005 Mine's had gone right through the all-wheel-drive supercar and they started making big waves. Eschewing the normal tropes of cramming as much peak power and flashy racey parts into their car, they made a conserted effort to improve engine response and enhance the underlying engineering from Nissan.
This caused no end of confusion in the tuning scene, as we'd already seen GT-Rs building ever-wilder aero kits, and near-1000hp power figures were starting to become more common. The Mine's cars looked so simple, like they were bringing a knife to a gun fight compared to big single-turbo-equipped race cars wearing number plates... but the Mine's car's scalpel-sharp accuracy cut the competition down hard.
Called "Tuned For Response" the speed at which the Mine's car hit its powerband shocked even hardened racers like Manabu "Max" Orido and the legendary Keiichi Tsuchiya. The Tuned For Respone GT-R smashed the opposition in a famous appearance in a Best Motoring Hot Version DVD - check it out HERE - where Tsuchiya and Orido proclaimed it "too fast".
The demo car is covered in carbon fibre upgrades of stock Nissan parts, subtly modified to enhance their performance, with the bonnet, front splitter, wing mirrors and rear spoiler all being made from weave, while the air intake is awesome race-style Kevlar.
Under that Nismo bonnet is an RB26DETT with forged, lightweight internals designed to spin up faster through less parasitic loss, while twin HKS turbos keep boost response on-point and a titanium exhaust sheds weight. It is good for a relatively low (compared to power today) 600hp, but would regularly sing to 9000rpm!
You can read more about this epic machine HERE in this Speedhunters story I shamelessly borrowed this pic from.
While many people had their wormholes blown away from the Tuned For Response GT-R's performance in the Hot Version battle, as well as other track appearances, the subtle Skyline already had a legion of fans from the gaming world.
Mine's-tuned cars have appeared in the smash hit Gran Turismo racing simulation game on PlayStation since the second game hit consoles in 1999. It later popped up as a hero car in the mega-hit Gran Turismo 3, cementing its status as the street GT-R by which all others will be compared to.