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Old 8th March 2012, 01:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The Ideal GTR

So, I've had my GTR for a couple of weeks now, and starting to form some opinions.


1) The car has mechanical grip like no other, to the point where it doesn't really need any aerodynamic grip to assist it at all on normal tyres.

2) It gets alot of that grip from its weight and ability to keep that balanced on all four wheels. That means it handles like a lighter car as weight transferance is kept in check, but it cannot defy the simple law of phyiscs of the energy required to stop a mass of this size from moving, so the brakes suffer.

So, as a road car, it is very good indeed, but is missing some things that you would expect if you used it as a daily driver, the main ones being parking sensors or cameras given its size. That's easily solved... The rear space is crap, but the boot is great, still no worse than an XKR or 997, but crap compared to an M3 for example.

As a track car, it is similar to an E92 M3 in that really, it is too heavy to use as a high event track car as the cost of the tyres and brakes would be eye watering. The brakes are not up to the task of keeping that mass in check, which everyone knows. However, as an occasional track day car, with a pad and fluid change, it is likely to be epic and hard to beat.

I can see its appeal as a drag car - out of the box, the performance is already in the 11s and easy to get into 10s.


I don't think there has been a car with so many personalities so well balanced. It does all of the jobs right at the top end. The issue then is how you move the GTR forward to make it better without diminishing its capabilities in any of those areas.

I know there are some that slap 1000hp in for whatever reason, but that brings with it compromises in the other areas. The question I am asking is what is the general opinion of the "ideal" GTR, in terms of modifications, that would stay true to the list of capabilities above, enhance some or all of them without dimishing any of the others.

My thoughts so far are:-

1) Interior - could benefit from some more improvements. LIghter/Lower seats, better materials on the dash (leather for example). Easy method to add harnesses without having to have a cage.

2) Brakes - At the minimum discs and pads, but for the ultimate I think Carbon Ceramics because of the weight and handling benefits without really compromising grip.

3) Exhaust - Akrapovic titanium for the quality, noise and weight saving

4) Gearbox circlips and possibly cooling - that can only enhance as it is a safety measure

5) Power/torque improvements - ideally you want to keep torque at a good level, but not too high (600lb/ft or less) and top end power available if you want it (short shift if you don't). Boost by gear for example. Alot of torque early on causes loss of traction, reduction in tyre, gearbox and driveshaft life and reduces the ability to drive quickly in anything other than a straight line. I am thinking you keep the engine stock. I think with a small weight reduction of 70kgs with the brakes, seats and exhaust, 650 to 700bhp is the most you would want before traction is a major issue. Even with a MY11 Stage 1, traction is a problem. So I guess this is downpipes, filters, the full exhaust already mentioned and possible uprated turbos, but ONLY if they did not increase lag at all.

6) Potential suspension upgrade. I can see some issues, but have not as yet figured out what is required to improve it. Understeer is an issue, but that's common on heavy cars such as this. I have not figured out the best techniques for this car yet (need a trackday really).


So, if I read back through that it is a sort of a gearbox protection/cooling, Stage 4/5 type thing and carbon ceramics and Recaro CS seats.

It sort of sounds alot like a Spec V then in many ways.?

So in the framework I laid out, does anyone else have any good ideas on what would be good/bad?
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Old 8th March 2012, 01:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ride quality. There are a lot of B roads that the car becomes a real handful on. This is the one area where the car's 'ring obsession lets it down. I don't know what it is, lack of wheel travel or just too firm a spring rate. They either need to compromise the 'ring time a little (or perhaps have a UK "knackered road" spec), or use some kind of Mclaren esque hydraulic setup.
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Old 8th March 2012, 01:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I should probably add that for me enjoyment comes from carrying as much speed through the corners, to the point where outright power is less of an issue as you are already travelling so quickly when you get onto the straight.

Hence why in my experience a more balanced approach to power is required.
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Old 8th March 2012, 01:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ride quality. There are a lot of B roads that the car becomes a real handful on. This is the one area where the car's 'ring obsession lets it down. I don't know what it is, lack of wheel travel or just too firm a spring rate. They either need to compromise the 'ring time a little (or perhaps have a UK "knackered road" spec), or use some kind of Mclaren esque hydraulic setup.
I am 99% sure this is down to the runflats. Surprisingly it is actually one of the softer cars I have had lately though!

A progressive spring would help (I imagine that is what the Eibachs are, a progressive spring with an uprated anti-roll bar to offset the reduced initial spring rate). Problem is that any change to spring rates and roll bars is a compromise and not what the damper was designed for.

I also suspect that the combination of Pilot Super Sports and the LItchfield improved dampers and springs/roll bars are also a major improvement, but will wait to see that for myself first).

Good point though!
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Old 8th March 2012, 02:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think you have to pick a focus and optimise for that, for me it will be on track performance.

I've already upgraded to Alcon discs and RS29 pads which are better than standard and survice on track without cracking. May look at Ceramic if the costs can be justified in length of disc life.

The next step is a power upgrade to somewhere between 600-650bhp. But with the track use planned I'm playing safe adding AMS FMIC and taking out the downpipe cats to reduce heat build up (along with standard upgrades, dual fuel pumps, 1100cc injectors, intakes).

I suspect a transmission cooler will be required, but will see how it goes in the summer months.

I'm sure I read Litchfield recommend gearbox clips for 700bhp+

Edited to add: I'm also going to try running 285 tyres up front, guys in the States say it reduces understeer and increases overall grip.

Anders
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Old 8th March 2012, 02:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Anders, I think you are agreeing with me really, except I don't think any of those things detract from the other usages (it is just that track is what you are interested in). None of your suggestions would make the other uses worse (except maybe noise from the downpipes).

The larger tyres up front will help. Its a common 4WD and FWD technique. Used to do that on EVOs. At this point I have not even looked at what sizes of tyre are on the car!

The downside to wider tyres will be more tramlining. The reduced understeer will come as a result of increased contact patch on turns, which you can get by increasing front camber. Problem is the more camber you add, the less contact patch you have in a straight line, which increases braking distances and can cause ABS to invoke wrongly - so you can offset with, wait for it, wider front tyres!! I used to run rear wheels all round on my CSL with 3 deg negative front camber. You could see daylight under the last 1/4 of the wheel width in a straight line!
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Old 8th March 2012, 03:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Are you in a MY10 or 11?

I ask because of the major changes in ride quality between the two and also the turn in.

Also, has the car got Dunlop tyres or the inferior (in my opinion) Bridgestones.

I am with Anders on this one, as my car is also set up more for track and also has the Alcon's with Pagid 29's. Ecutek stage something has been fitted that is the maximum for the car without going into the guts, just filters, full Milltek etc.

Glad you like it - I would also change the seats if I had to do anything.
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Old 8th March 2012, 03:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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He has my last car - my11 with dunlops hardly showing any wear - at least when I gave them up!
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Old 8th March 2012, 03:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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We are both MY11 I believe, both with Dumlops.

I've got Litchfield stage 1 and the Akrapovic is waiting to go on. I'm going to try Pagids first before replacing the discs, and may as well kill the discs as eventually I will get the carbon ceramics.

Seats a definitiely likely. I had the BMW Performance Seats (Recaro CS) in my M3 and they were so much lower and nicer than these Recaros.
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Old 8th March 2012, 05:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have to agree with the seats, where or who is selling uprated seats?

And on a b road up north ( Tobermory last weekend via glencoe) the car was "interesting" to say the least......to the point I may even look at a evo 10, perhaps better on b roads where I have 75% of my fun time,

Saying that, it's a MONSTER of a car, but I do have my doubts as a b road blaster...
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Old 8th March 2012, 05:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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To be a B road blaster you need something nimble. Something which i think the GTR will never be no matter what mods it has. Too heavy and big!
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Old 8th March 2012, 06:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The reports I've heard from Iain is that the tuning he ha done on their upcoming suspension has been all about the B-road capability. Addressing the issue that the japanese tuned it for the track and specifically the ring.

Iain said that the composure over unsettled B type roads was vastly improved.
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Old 8th March 2012, 06:03 PM   #13 (permalink)
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My tuppence worth

Your transmission fluid is your limiting track factor, along with your std brakes, a least that's how it is on an 09. Plenty brake options without going ceramic.
Really depends on your end target, you will have to compromise in some areas, be it noise, bhp, daily comfort, track focus, stopping power, wallet depth, the choice is yours ultimately.
Enjoy it whatever.
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Old 8th March 2012, 06:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Well my purposes for the car are rather different from Anders. I am after a good GT car with some track options. Like a cannonball car

Couple of exterior changes, up to 650bhp, some brake upgrades, maybe some different wheels and tyres (although current tyres are pretty good) and a sound system improvement are all on my list.

I also have a 400bhp caged impreza for the rest of it... including the B road blasts.
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Old 8th March 2012, 06:21 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by H20 MRV View Post
I have to agree with the seats, where or who is selling uprated seats?

And on a b road up north ( Tobermory last weekend via glencoe) the car was "interesting" to say the least......to the point I may even look at a evo 10, perhaps better on b roads where I have 75% of my fun time,

Saying that, it's a MONSTER of a car, but I do have my doubts as a b road blaster...
Litchfields is putting a package together with a demo set in his car
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Old 8th March 2012, 06:23 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Tony I really think for you the seats should be your starting point!
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Old 8th March 2012, 06:23 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Well my purposes for the car are rather different from Anders. I am after a good GT car with some track options. Like a cannonball car

Couple of exterior changes, up to 650bhp, some brake upgrades, maybe some different wheels and tyres (although current tyres are pretty good) and a sound system improvement are all on my list.

I also have a 400bhp caged impreza for the rest of it... including the B road blasts.
Yep, sound system could be improved. Think your remit is close to mine.
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Old 8th March 2012, 06:25 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Tony I really think for you the seats should be your starting point!
Haha!! We know that!

Just letting Ian do the R&D

I cover about 30 miles a week at the moment so the seats will be lovely for you Henry. Car is still only 3400 miles!
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Old 8th March 2012, 06:26 PM   #19 (permalink)
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My tuppence worth

Your transmission fluid is your limiting track factor, along with your std brakes, a least that's how it is on an 09. Plenty brake options without going ceramic.
Really depends on your end target, you will have to compromise in some areas, be it noise, bhp, daily comfort, track focus, stopping power, wallet depth, the choice is yours ultimately.
Enjoy it whatever.
The appeal of the ceramics is the big unsprung weight reduction which will feel like the car has lost 150 kgs in handling terms.

If I wasn't going ceramics I would just do pads and discs
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Old 8th March 2012, 06:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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£20,000 is a lot of money to improve the feel of a £72k car.

If you do do it, please let me know as I'd love to try it.
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