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InGram's Vague Guide to Initial D. **LATEST** Skyline GTR



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InGram's Vague Guide to Initial D. **LATEST** Skyline GTR
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InGram
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 10:31 pm    Post subject: InGram's Vague Guide to Initial D. **LATEST** Skyline GTR Reply with quote
InGram's Vague Guide to Initial D

Hi there, racing fans! Very Happy

Initial D. Not just an anime series, it's a way of life!

A way of life that is sometimes far removed from the life of the average Australian anime fan! Crying or Very sad

"Yeah sure, we know what's going on, they explain stuff pretty well on the show, but I'm sure there's more to it" I hear you say?

Well, I decided to write a little series of FYI's on some of the more obscure aspects of the background information of Initial D, one subject at a time, since knowing a bit more about what the heck they're on about can only make the series more enjoyable for everyone, right?

I'm not going to quote engine compression ratios and rehash the twenty or so drifting methods or claim to be the world's biggest Initial D/racing/drifting/tuning egghead. I'm learning more about my car and driving techniques every day, thanks to the kindness of other people who have much more driving and racing experience than me. However, I am as interested in driving, racing and drifting as I am in anime (which as for some of you who know me would guess, is a lot!)

So this FYI will be written in a fairly informal manner, hopefully so that we can all enjoy this cult series that little bit more.

I'll start off with some of the more basic aspects of the series, then as Madman releases subsequent volumes, move on to the new concepts brought up in each episode.

All corrections/comments will be welcome.
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Last edited by InGram on Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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InGram
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
HACHIROKU: Akina's Ghost Car.

The Hachiroku. It can't be that good, can it?

First of all, a little bit of background information is needed on this car to understand why something that looks like Grandma's old Corolla is given so much praise and attention. The Toyota Sprinter 86 series was, and still is, very much a cult car in Japan. On the surface, it doesn't make sense, because it's not really a great looker, and it's not fast in a straight line, unlike similar cult cars in Japan, like the Hakosuka (essentially the "first" Skyline GTR, which was a non-turbo, carburetted straight six) and the Nissan 240Z. Today's comparative model, the current Corolla Sportivio, makes nearly double the stock engine power. Why base a whole manga and anime series around the 86? Not much going for it, right?

So it would seem, but countless young blokes in swinging 80's Japan forked over their hard earned wedge for a bit of the action, one of which was Shigeno Shuichi (surname first), the creator of the Initial D series. So, obviously, he's going to have an affinity for the car he owns, and talk it up, but does anyone else?

It would seem so. Magazines and videos are still being produced about this one model of car. Unmodified second-hand models of the GT-Apex and GTV versions still command a hefty price for a car that normally would have been sent to the scrapyard, as is the fate of most older cars in Japan, due to expensive roadworthy inspections, re-registrations and severe depreciation.

A very famous Japanese racer and technical director of the anime series, Tsuchiya Keiichi who is often referred to as "Dorikin", or "Drift King", still brings his TRD (Toyota Racing Developments) modified 86 out to thrash newer and more expensive cars around a circuit. Remember the scene inside the petrol station in Initial D when we see Itsuki and Iketani watching a video of a white S14 Silvia drifting? That's Tsuchiya-san's How-To-Drift instructional video, "Super Drift Technique", sold in Australia as the Best Motoring "Drift Bible".

The current champion of the Japanese "D1 Grand Prix" professional drifting competition, Imamura Youichi, can be seen on videos drifting his olive coloured 86 before he graduated (eventually) to the high-powered FD RX-7 he competes in today.

Another highly ranking D1 competitor and Japan Grand Touring Championship driver, Taniguchi Nobuteru, can be seen on very old Option Ikaten (drift meeting) videos as a gawky twenty-one year old drifting a white Trueno with a motorbike muffler. He now drives the HKS S15 Silvia in the D1 competition.

Yet another currently high-ranking D1 competitor, Ueo Katsuhiro, successfully competes in an 86, taking advantage of its comparative light weight to defeat other highly competitive drivers and cars.

Orido Manabu, a famous Japanese touring car racer and judge in the D1 competition, can be seen on old car videos, drifting his supercharged white Levin notchback.

It seems a lot of people who can drive high-powered sportscars well, used to own a lowly Hachiroku!

This is what makes it a good car. It lends itself to teaching the driver to drive well, a common theme of Initial D.

So it's just a cult car that a bunch of old men have good memories of then?

Depends on who you ask, but there's more to it than that, and there are reasons for all those good memories. Plenty of people say that the Hachiroku has had its day, and that there's lots of other cars that can perform much better, are newer, cost less to fix etc. They're right, since the Hachiroku is getting to the sort of age where if it wasn't looked after, it should be in a pretty sorry state, requiring replacement of any part that can be removed and a new one bolted on in its place. There are also some aspects of the suspension and driveline design that are not exactly ideal for competing against more modern designs.

These are all "current day" statements. Remember that they were all once brand new! Back then, another aid to their popularity would have been their light weight and high-revving, small displacement four cylinder engine and tightly-ratioed gearboxes, helping to keep the running costs of fuel, tyres and brake pads down, as well as being perfectly suited to driving through the narrow, winding roads of Japan.

However, these days, it's common to see the engines from the later model front wheel drive Sprinters be fitted, and it's not uncommon to see whole rear-end transplants from cars like the Nissan S13 Silvia fitted to improve suspension traction and tunabilty.

OK, but I want a Hachiroku like Takumi's!

A lot of people do. There's a guy who drives around in Sydney with an almost exact replica (the wheels aren't exactly right, but he does have the tofu sticker on the door!), and a guy who lives near me owns a panda Trueno notchback (it has a boot instead of a hatch). We're likely to see more and more genuine Japanese Hachirokus arriving into the country soon, due to recent changes in the laws that govern the importing of secondhand cars.

However...

Remember, this is a car that was around when Miami Vice was popular.Razz Any cheap example you find will most likely require half the purchase price spent again to get it up to at least the reliability needed for driving every day. So unless you've got someone in your family who will happily change your brake pads, belts and oil for you, or unless you can do it yourself, you'll spend a fair time at the mechanics or at the wreckers, finding spare parts.

However, a conservative figure of $15,000 will get you a decent condition, "Takumi-spec" AE86 Trueno GT-Apex. Big dollars, considering that price can get you something much later model, with a turbo, and much higher overall performance (and chick-pulling power Razz).

But here's how it rounds out. Many Sprinter owners wouldn't dream of buying another car, no matter how sexy and fast it was. Sprinters provide an overall challenge to the car owner, to learn how to tune it, how to drive it, how to get the most out of it. Which is why so many people are so attached to them.

So have you ever owned or driven one, smartypants?

Well, a series two RX-7 with a 13B engine conversion used to grace my garage, replaced this year with a two-litre turbo 180SX, which adds up to a measly six years of owning performance cars. I've also driven often at racetracks (not racing, only time trials) at a pretty decent speed, but one car I've driven sticks out in my mind.

Once, I had a drive of a rally-spec Levin, which had a reasonably normal engine fitted, but ran on avgas (fuel for aeroplanes, which burns with much more power), around a simulated "forest special stage" dirt track. The amount of control I felt I had was incredible. The car felt light and responsive. Even more amazing was the ability to tweak the angle of slides by applying more or less throttle. At the same event, I drove a Subaru Leone XT, which is the grandfather of the WRX, being both four wheel drive and turbo. The Leone XT was clearly the faster of the two, but the Sprinter was far more fun to drive, since it was basically telling me exactly what I was doing wrong, and rewarding me when I got it right (which was less often Razz).

It sounds like an advertisement line, but the reason the Hachiroku was, and still is so popular, is because it's a total driving experience.Very Happy

For further reading try:

Club4AG - A USA Sprinter site.
Toymods - An Australian Toyota site.
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Last edited by InGram on Sat Feb 07, 2004 9:56 pm; edited 5 times in total
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GreyWolfe
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
If anyone frequents the www.twincam.org or the www.toymods.org.au forums, you'll find out that there are a *crapload* of people interested in the ae86 and many who have them. Actually theres a couple for sale in Sydney atm if youre interested Smile

As mentioned in the series, the ae86 is known as a car that 'teaches the driver'. This is due to its almost perfect 50/50 weight distribution and smooth handling. Its a car that takes care of itself while the driver figures out what they're doing. Plus, popup headlights are just cool Very Happy

I myself was going to buy one, but went for a s/c ae92 instead (we wont mention the problems I'm having with it). But as Ingram said, they still command a decent price...a rust free stock ae86 levin or trueno (popup headlights) will set you back anywhere from 3-7 thousand...this is for a car thats almost 20 years old remember Smile
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Requiem
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2004 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I've seen a panda trueno around newcastle a couple of times.
As for paying $15k... I'd probably go with a TT soarer or a 180sx Very Happy

Maybe for your next piece you could explain the difference between the takahashi's rotors and everyone elses piston engines, since they make a point of mentioning the difference.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2004 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Requiem wrote:
As for paying $15k... I'd probably go with a TT soarer or a 180sx Very Happy


I've been trying to find a 180sx but still no luck. Sad
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Kardith
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2004 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
That's as good as it was when I read it while you were writing it. ^_^ (Probably better, considering it's finished now. XD)

*hopes for more on the RX7s next time* Wink
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2004 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Any chance of an Initial D Arcade Stage Ver.2 FAQ, hints or tips?
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InGram
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2004 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
RED SUNS: The Rotaries of Akagi.

What the heck is a rotary?

A rotary car is any car equipped with a rotary engine (of course!), which differ greatly to the regular piston engines you find in just about 99.9% of cars on the road today. Without getting into too much in the way of mechanics (Howstuffworks links - Rotary engine and Piston engine.), piston engines have cylinder shaped pistons that move up and down to compress the fuel/air mixture, and rotary engines use a "trochoidal" or three sided piston that spins around to compress the fuel/air mixture.

Oversimplifying it a bit, try to think a rotary engine is to the car world what two-stroke engines are to the motorcycle world. They both have a much simpler construction, are smaller, can make enormous amounts of power for their size, make lots of noise, require more maintainence, and require fixing more often after breaking when pushed hard.

So where are rotaries used?

A German by the name of Felix Wankel patented the rotary engine in 1929. It was slowly developed and used most famously (or infamously) in a German passenger car made by NSU until the engine's notorious petrol/oil/spark plug consumption and general lack of being a good engine caused it to remain an oddity.

Shortly after World War II, the Toyo Kogyo Company in Hiroshima, Japan, was attempting to rebuild after a large part of the factory was destoyed by the atomic blast. Part of this rebuilding involved the development of a small, efficent engine that could be used in small trucks and three-wheelers, as part of the country's post war redevelopment. After a long struggle with the development of the engine (if you have an interest in engineering, I suggest you read up, as it's one of the most incredible stories I've ever read on the subject), the by then renamed Mazda had a decently working example of a rotary engine. It has actually been fitted to trucks and small buses, but let's stick to the interesting parts.Very Happy

Mazda fitted the rotary engine to lots of different cars, some of the earliest being the orignal Cosmo, which any self respecting businessman of the day would have killed to be seen in, the R100, RX-2, RX-3, RX-4. RX-5, RX-7, and the updated Cosmo. All of these cars, except for the Cosmo, have been sold in Australia, and are still reasonably common among rotary fans, but a bit hard to buy unless you have some sort of contact or lots of money, especially the rarer versions of the RX-3. In Australia, most modified versions of rotaries prior to the RX-7 are used as drag racing cars. Recently, Mazda has re-engineered the rotary to make more power and be more efficient, dubbed it the "Renesis" (RE stands for "rotary engine", combined with "genesis") and sold it in the new RX-8.

So they drive RX-7's in Initial D, right?

Both the Takahashi brothers drive Mazda RX-7's. Ryousuke drives an FC series, and Keisuke drives an FD series. The FC is the model that came out before the FD (and before the FC came the SA22C, but that never appeared in the series).

So what makes them special?

The FC and FD RX-7 as a whole are specifically designed to race. They're not based on a shopping trolley version of the same car Razz (It's no big secret that the first two series of RX-7's were based on Porsches). They're small and lightweight, with a powerful engine, good handling and suspension set up for lots of grip.

This is where the rotary engine comes in. Rotary engines are about one third the size of a piston engine of the same capacity. If the engine is smaller, it means it can be placed lower in the car, and more towards the driver. This is what it means when people refer to the weight balance and centre of gravity of the car. Generally, if more weight is near the middle of the car, and as low to the ground as possible, the better it can handle. The next trick is to turbocharge the engine. Turbocharging has a similar effect to making the engine larger (which would result in more power, more on this in a later), but without adding a whole lot of weight, which is perfect for an engine trying to be as light as possible in the first place! The engine shots of Keisuke's engine bay shows an enormous turbocharger. He'd be making a whole lot of power.

Another plus of the rotary engine is that it's famous for its smoothness. Rotary engines don't have as much "snappiness" as a piston engine when power is applied. If you put your foot down in a powerful piston-engined car, there is an immediate rush of acceleration. In a rotary, the sensation is more like being at then end of a large rubber band that slowly pulls you forward faster and faster. Applying this to the philosphies in Initial D, this would be a good thing, since smoothness is an essential part of good racing technique.

So why don't all the racers in Initial D drive rotaries if they're so good?

For a few reasons, apart from that not making a good story.Razz The Mazda RX-7's are and were, expensive cars to buy. The Takahashi brothers are obviously reasonably well off, and can afford to purchase them in the first place, and then have them taken care of by proper tuning workshops. Most of the other characters don't have much money, like the members of the Akina Speed Stars. Not only are the rotary cars expensive to buy, they are expensive to maintain, requiring much more in the way of consumables, and are prone to blowing up if subjected to too much abuse. The upside of this is that rotary engines are reasonably easy to rebuild very quickly with only a few new parts, but in Japan, mechanics' labour is very expensive, so once again, it's not a cheap option, one only for the boys with either lots of time or money.

So have you ever owned or driven one, smartypants?

I thought you'd never ask.Razz As I said in the Hachiroku FYI, I used to have a Series II RX-7, which was the first model that came out. A couple of years into ownership, the engine decided to break an apex seal (which had nothing to do with me, it was a bloody Audi mechanic thrashing it too hard), so I had it rebuilt bigger, and with stronger parts. Later on, I had a good set of suspension installed to improve the handling. Some aspects of the car I loved (apart from its looks, damn sexy) was the distinct *bwaaarp* of the engine (I can tell the sound of a rotary from a long way away Very Happy) and the smooth power delivery I mentioned before. I couldn't shift down a gear and absolutely storm away immediately like some of my friends could, but as soon as it gathered a head of steam, it charged along about as well as a decent six cylinder would in a straight line, even though it was probably only making 100kW. The handling was kind of tricky and unforgiving, with a couple of snap-oversteer incidents on the track (that made me glad I brought spare undies), but uninteresting to drive, it was not.Very Happy
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Last edited by InGram on Sat Feb 07, 2004 9:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Requiem
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2004 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for the info, InGram.

A few things - rx-7s aren't very expensive nowadays. You can pick up a fairly old example for under $10,000. Also, the rx-7 was right up there with the supra and gt-r with regards to circuit racing in the early 90s. Basically one of the 3 or 4 best cars in Japan at the time.
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Shana


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Requiem wrote:
Thanks for the info, InGram.

A few things - rx-7s aren't very expensive nowadays. You can pick up a fairly old example for under $10,000. Also, the rx-7 was right up there with the supra and gt-r with regards to circuit racing in the early 90s. Basically one of the 3 or 4 best cars in Japan at the time.


The newer RX-7's are still expensive(in my opinion). A series 7 RX-7 is around $40,000 used. But they are so damn good looking^_^, I can't afford but I'll be happy with a 180SX Smile
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Kardith
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Speaking of rotaries;






One day, you will be mine. (Yes I just wanted an excuse to post these images :p)

Hooray for another chapter InGram! ^^
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Argowal
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2004 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
*drools*

Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2004 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
My roomate saw a yellow rx-7 with a redsuns sticker on it in Sydney last year.

ssj3main_vegeta: Yeah, but the older ones are much cheaper. Early 80's models are under 10k usually. The latest ones were only just superseded by the rx-8 so its not surprising that they are still quite expensive.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
RX-8 was on the news tonight. Won the Wheels car of the year I think. They said standard price of a new RX-8 is approx $54,000 + on road costs, but with all the extras it'll cost you up to $70,000 or so. Very nice Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Argowal wrote:
RX-8 was on the news tonight. Won the Wheels car of the year I think. They said standard price of a new RX-8 is approx $54,000 + on road costs, but with all the extras it'll cost you up to $70,000 or so. Very nice Very Happy


I saw that on the news too. Personally, I prefer RX-7's over the RX-8. RX-8's seems more of a family sports car.
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Shana


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
................
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Mr Waffle
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Early model RX7's (series 1-5) will sell between $5k-$15k. Series 6 will set you back $30-$40k, while a S7 or S8 will be more like $80k, simply because they are newer and rarer. Most people buy a S6 and buy the lights from a S8, since they look fantastic Very Happy.
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Shana


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Mr Waffle wrote:
Early model RX7's (series 1-5) will sell between $5k-$15k. Series 6 will set you back $30-$40k, while a S7 or S8 will be more like $80k, simply because they are newer and rarer. Most people buy a S6 and buy the lights from a S8, since they look fantastic Very Happy.


*Drools*
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2004 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I suppose I should elaborate for anyone going "huh? Series? What about FC and FD @_@". The RX-7 was released in 8 series:

The first 3 series of RX-7 (model number "SA22C") were powered by a 12a, twin-rotor naturally aspirated engine. While that was a decent engine in its day (it served well as the engine of the popular RX-3 and 4), it was nothing when the 2nd generation (series 4 and 5, "FC1031" and "FC1032") introduced the 13b turbo, which was then promptly fitted into many 1st gen shells by enthusiasts. Nowdays it's more common to find a series 5 13b in a series 3 body than the old engine Razz.

The 3rd generation RX-7 (series 6, "FD1033") wasn't popular in Australia because of the near $100,000 pricetag, which meant series 7 and 8 were never imported by Mazda. The final RX-7 ever made was the SpiritR. Good luck ever seeing one of these babies in real life, though Sad

From the Mazda Australia website-

RX-7 1979-1986 (featuring series 1, 2, 3, and 4)
RX-7 1986-1991 (series 4 and 5)
[url=http://www.mazda.com.au/pastModelsDetails.asp?articleZoneID=66]
RX-7 1995[/url] (series 6)

You'll have to look elsewhere for better pics, unfortunately ^_^; if you do a bit of web hunting you'll find a complete history of the RX-7 in Australia. It's a good (but sad) read.

I've never had the chance to drive one a rotary, though one of my friends has owned several models (a 12a RX-3 coupe, a bridgeported 12a s2 RX-7, and currently a 13b turbo s3 RX-7), and it's a hellva lot of fun to ride in, I can assure you Razz. Just don't plan on fitting anyone into the back seats, that is strictly luggage space (unless the person in question is a midget, then they'll be in for a bumpy ride).
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braddles
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Great FYI, keep 'em comin'
My brother-in-law got an 86 for a graduation present, though it was a few years old by that time. His father couldn't see the point of it when he was offering to buy him a new car. Later, his younger brother got a 180SX.
They both spent time on a famous pass above Kobe (there's a mountain range above the city) and both returned on occassion with their tails between their legs and broken bits in the boot. Razz [/b]
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Nice work Ingram, can i suggest 4WD/AWDs next? As i am up to the race against Emperor in the manga Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Possibly also a good idea since volume three of the anime features the 4WD GTR.
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InGram
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Like I said, as Madman releases the DVD's, I'll cover what's in them. Wink
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Kardith
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Then talk more about RX7s, sif' you'd care about the other cars. XD ;p
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2004 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
sweet FYI ingram

man i sooo have to get myself a 86 when i can drive. man i love those cars.

keep it coming man. really good so far
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2004 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
InGram wrote:
Like I said, as Madman releases the DVD's, I'll cover what's in them. Wink


V3 is out. Time for something about GT-R's. ^_^
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InGram
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
WARNING! Contains spoilers for volume 3.

Japan's Legend. GODZILLA - the Nissan Skyline GTR.

Yeah, I know what a Skyline is!

You're not too likely to meet someone who is into cars who hasn't heard of, or has an opinion on the Nissan Skyline GTR. It has a bit of an aura about it, as most cult cars do. It's got a bit of a reputation too, both good and bad. Just looking at its general description gives a good idea as to its potential. A two door, powerful and high revving 2.6 litre inline six cylinder engine, twin turbocharged all wheel drive. Enough to make any insurance agent take out that boat loan.Wink

The Skyline GTR could be considered the pinnacle of Japanese motorsports engineering, with many integrated systems working as a whole with the driver to hopefully achieve the fastest possible race times on any track. As we hear Nakazato say, the GTR was basically built without compromise to decimate all before it. Very Happy However, like any other car, it has its good and bad points. The big plus points are basically the engine and drivetrain. A lot of power is a good start, but unless it can be put down to the road without spinning the tyres or having to heavily feather the throttle when it shouldn't be needed (feathering is only applying light throttle), power is useless.

So, the GTR can put down that power because it has four wheel drive?

Right, but the GTR all wheel drive system (let's call it AWD) works differently to other popular AWD sportscars, like the Impreza WRX and Lancer Evolutions, which have full-time AWD drivetrain. The GTR uses a system called ATTESSA, which is an on-demand AWD system.
During normal driving, the GTR is driven only by the rear wheels. The car has sensors to detect the amount of power being given to the rear wheels by the engine, determined by how much you mash the throttle.Wink When they sense that the rear wheels are being given a lot of power, which means that they might start spinning, a percentage of the torque is transferred to the front wheels from the back, and by doing so, lessens the chance the back wheels will spin,and at the same time uses the "excess" power to drive the front wheels. So it sort of assures that maximum power can be used as often as possible.

Huh? It sounds weird. Why'd they do that?

I'm sure if you asked a Nissan engineer, they'd probably give some sort of Zen-like "because it could be done" answer.Razz It applies to racing (and we're talking Initial D-style winding track racing, not drag racing or anything like that) this way: Rear-wheel drive is the traditional layout for a racing car. Arguably, it is the layout that gives the most easily understandable and successful results to most drivers. Therefore, if you could make a car that drives like a rear wheel drive (RWD) with the added bonus of having extra front acceleration grip when you need it, it should make for the fastest car.

So why isn't it full-time AWD like a Lancer Evolution or WRX? Isn't that the best for grip?

Tyre Grip 101: Car tyres are made of (mostly) rubber. Rubber is grippy, and helps a car stick to the road when you go around a corner. Try to imagine that tyres have an amount of grip on the road, measured from zero to 100%. When you're sitting still, the tyres have 100% grip. When you're under heavy acceleration, the level of grip decreases, because the tyres are fighting the two opposing forces of sticking to the road, and wanting to spin, because the engine is applying a turning force to them. When the level of grip under acceleration equals zero, the wheels spin against the road, like when you see someone performing a burnout. The same thing goes for cornering. The tyres are fighting the two forces of sticking to the road and being pushed in another direction by the weight of the car. When the grip level equals zero, the tyres will just slide in the direction the car is travelling, often off the side of the road. This is called understeer. Ever hear tyres squealing when someone is cornering hard? That's the grip level down arond 20% or so.

Now back to the point. AWD cars understeer in corners. Not many people will argue that. If you turn into a corner (for argument's sake) in a Nissan Silvia, and floor the throttle, the rear wheels will spin, and the back end of the car will spin out. This is called oversteer. If you do the same thing in a Subaru WRX, the front wheels will be close to sliding, because they are already turned into the corner, and are at the limit of their grip. If you try to add more force to them by adding acceleration, their grip limit will be exceeded (remember what I said above?) and they will just slide. The rear wheels still have grip, so they will keep pushing the car the way it is going, which is straight ahead, and off the road, or into a guardrail.

The advantage of the full time AWD systems is in coming out of corners, when acceleration is at its highest. Normally, in a front or rear wheel drive car, you might get understeer or oversteer, respectively, if you try to accelerate quickly out of a corner, because you are applying too much power to only two wheels, and are exceeding their maximum grip. Either of the uncontrolled understeer or oversteer conditions are undesirable, since they generally slow you down, and cause excess tyre wear. If you can use all four wheels to drive the car, you're basically doubling your usable grip to put power down.

So it's good to act like a RWD in corners, and a AWD out of corners? Is that what the GTR does?

Right. It's a very clever attempt at setting up the ideal racing car, to let the driver get the most out of the car by being the ideal setup at all times. This system has been both widely praised and abhorred for the same reason, because it almost does too much for the driver. I've heard it described as one motor reviewer as "the Hand of God", and that would save you from even the most unsavable situations, by applying power and grip when normally there would be none. Some people would consider this the ultimate, as it means you'd be able to drive at the absolute limit all the time. Other people would consider it as a crutch that bad drivers could use to make themselves seem better. Nakazato felt thoroughly pissed off that a driver with lesser skills than himself, but with a better car like the GTR, could beat him. So, being the hot-headed guy he is, he decided that adding one to his garage would make him the ultimate mountain racer.

How could the Hachiroku beat him if it's such an awesome car then?

Remember that Initial D's theme is more about driving skills than the car. Let's look at the race itself. Nakazato led the entire race until he spun after Takumi overtook him down the inside. The GTR is not a lightweight car, and is not really suited to mountain racing, especially on a course like Akina.

The GTR has had a brilliant racing career on the track, and has competed and won in many respected races, like its classes in the Spa 24-hour and Nurburgring 24-hour and the Japanese Grand Touring Car championships. It even won Bathurst the last year Japanese cars ever ran in the event ("Godzilla" is the Australian nickname for the GTR), until it became a Ford/Holden only series. However, all of these victories were on proper, large racetracks. Long, grippy racetracks, with a smooth surface and plenty of sweeping corners and long straights, perfect for a car of such grip and power.

The mountain roads of Japan are tight, windy, often wet, and not very grippy. You can start to see that all the potential might not be realised. The GTR is also a heavy car. Constant corners are hard on brakes and even harder on tyres. Also, the benefits of having a lot of acceleration grip and power are not all that useful when you have to slow down heavily on every corner to avoid crashing. Another bad point is the nature to the GTR's turbocharged engine. I'll cover turbos and non-turbos more in another article, but basically, turbocharged engines don't make power in a linear way. At lower engine revs, they're not very responsive, meaning that it takes a couple of seconds for the large turbos to make maximum power. These split seconds can cost speed and time, enabling the chaser to catch up. This happens every time a corner is taken, and of course, there's a lot of those in the mountains.

Takumi, even though he has about one-quarter the power of Nakazato, is able to use the light weight of his car, and the responsiveness of his non-turbo engine, to carry more speed through corners. Nakazato's front tyres began to wear down as the race progressed, due to all the heavy braking and steering. If the race had been an uphill battle, he would have stood a much greater chance of winning, since the GTR has much more uphill pulling power than the Hachiroku, but there's more prestige and honour in winning a downhill battle, since the speeds are much higher.

As his grip began to decrease, instead of taking a tight line that prevented Takumi from overtaking down the inside, he tried to take a wider line through the corners to preserve his grip, and rely on his power to win. Unfortunately for him, Takumi picked up on this, and used his greater mid-corner turning ability to overtake on the inside of the corner.

Of course this freaks out Nakazato, who then put on full power in the hope of stopping Takumi getting any further in front. If you watch the animation, you see Nakazato push his foot to the floor, then there's a shot of the GTR's turbo boost gauge spiking. This is what I meant by turbochargers not making power linearly. They tend to spike up shortly after you give full acceleration (this is commonly called "boost lag"). This sudden rush of power exceeded the grip of the rear tyres, causing oversteer. The rear of the car then clipped the guardrail and spun Nakazato around. Score another to Takumi. Very Happy

So have you ever owned or driven one, smartypants?

Not owned, not yet, Smile and the only GTR I've been in wasn't driven by me, but by the cousin of a friend of mine. It was an R34 GTR, a much newer version than Nakazato's, but still very similar. It was definitely one of the more interesting cars I've ridden in, but it was only for a short time. The effect of the AWD system was very interesting. From the passenger's seat it felt kind of like this: going fast into a corner, the car would start to oversteer slightly as expected, but then the front wheels would be given power, and the whole front of the car seemed to be suddenly pulled in the direction the wheels were turning, almost as if the Earth's gravity temporarily went sideways. It was quite impressive to say the least. Shocked


For further reading try:

Skylines Australia - Australian Skyline forums.

GTR Central - I should have just sent you there instead of typing all this out. Razz Lots of good videos for the bandwidth rich.
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Last edited by InGram on Sun Apr 04, 2004 7:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sauce
Sakura Kinomoto


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
*applauds* Yaaaaay! Very Happy
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Kardith
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Woo, Skylines, hooray, uh yeah.. Yay. Great work InGram. Very Happy Now come to the canberra anime con, you can sleep on my floor. XD
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Slykura
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
InGram-sensei has done it again.

I must say even just sitting in one is quite a thrill.
*insert picture of me in one at Auto Salon FINAL BATTLE 2003* nyhehe
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Chichiri
Kenshin Himura


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for that Ingram Smile Good work!
If you're stuck for a topic you could always cover the Evo 3's misfiring system Wink
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Argowal
Shiina Tamai


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Cool, I want one of those GTRs Very Happy.
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Pyro Maniac
Nia Teppelin


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
hell yea! gozillas are tanks

they can rip up the streets. kinda outta my leauge tho
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InGram
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Chichiri wrote:
If you're stuck for a topic you could always cover the Evo 3's misfiring system Wink


Yeah, might do that soon, since we're not going to see it for a while on DVD eh...
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insomniac
Doraemon


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2004 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Whoa
step back
o.0
nice info Cool
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Vultz
Doraemon


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Nice articles Smile I enjoy reading this kind of stuff alot so was happy to find so much crammed into one thread!

Since Shingo is racing Takumi soon, you should cover FF cars, the fact they can't truly drift, why Shingo can eliminate understeer by depressing the brakes as he flys through a corner etc.

I look forward to reading it, especially if i can garner some more knowledge to apply to my own driving !! Very Happy
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md5
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
InGram wrote:
Another bad point is the nature to the GTR's turbocharged engine. I'll cover turbos and non-turbos more in another article, but basically, turbocharged engines don't make power in a linear way. At lower engine revs, they're not very responsive, meaning that it takes a couple of seconds for the large turbos to make maximum power. These split seconds can cost speed and time, enabling the chaser to catch up.
One question, the GTR would still have more power than the AE86 even suffering from Tubro-Lag right? I mean, it have a 2.6 litre inline six cylinder twin turbocharged engine, the 2.6 and 6 cylinder should be able to overpower the AE86's 1.6 engine, even with the weight it carries; and I thought that twin turbo is where it has a small turbo for low rev and a bigger one for high rev, I am not too sure, hope you know!Smile
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Shana


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
md5 wrote:
InGram wrote:
Another bad point is the nature to the GTR's turbocharged engine. I'll cover turbos and non-turbos more in another article, but basically, turbocharged engines don't make power in a linear way. At lower engine revs, they're not very responsive, meaning that it takes a couple of seconds for the large turbos to make maximum power. These split seconds can cost speed and time, enabling the chaser to catch up.
One question, the GTR would still have more power than the AE86 even suffering from Tubro-Lag right? I mean, it have a 2.6 litre inline six cylinder twin turbocharged engine, the 2.6 and 6 cylinder should be able to overpower the AE86's 1.6 engine, even with the weight it carries; and I thought that twin turbo is where it has a small turbo for low rev and a bigger one for high rev, I am not too sure, hope you know!Smile


In a straight line, A GTR would outrun an AE86 easily but with the mountain passes having so many windy bits and minimum straight-aways, you don't get to make use of the power advantage alot.

Power doesn't matter much on a mountain pass hence Ryosuke detuned his FC for the battle between him and Takumi
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InGram
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
What he said. Very Happy

md5 wrote:
and I thought that twin turbo is where it has a small turbo for low rev and a bigger one for high rev, I am not too sure, hope you know!Smile


Some are and some aren't. The FD RX-7 for example, came with a staged twin-turbo system, meaning as you said, there is one larger and one smaller turbo that work together to provide boost across the rev range.

The GTR uses two equally sized turbos, relying mostly on the airflow capability of the 2.6 litre engine to drive them. Sequential turbo systems are difficult to set up, are expensive, and even more difficult to extensively tune, which is why they're not commonly seen outside a reasonably stock car.
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Yoriko Nakaido


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I was looking for something like this. Nice work, Ingram. I'm a bit of an Initial D n00b, so, yeah. This is gold.
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Loran
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
ssj3majin_vegeta wrote:
Argowal wrote:
RX-8 was on the news tonight. Won the Wheels car of the year I think. They said standard price of a new RX-8 is approx $54,000 + on road costs, but with all the extras it'll cost you up to $70,000 or so. Very nice Very Happy


I saw that on the news too. Personally, I prefer RX-7's over the RX-8. RX-8's seems more of a family sports car.


The Rx8 is never meant nor will it be the replacement of the Rx7. The Rx8 was Mazdas experiment to re-introduce the rotary engine to the masses. The Rensis rotary that powers the Rx8 is very similar to the Type 13B-REW that saw action is series 6 - 8 Rx7 just minus the turbos as well as some porting modifications. Infact the 2 engines are so similar it is possible to use both the Apex seal and rotar from a Rensis engine for a normal 13B.

The Rx8 is very much a Grand Tourer (GT) type car with proper passenger seating capabilities much like a Toyota MarkII Chaser and Toyota Soarer. While the Rx7 is a true sports car.

Twin Turbo / Sequential turbo systems - As seen in the Supra/Skyline GTR tuning scene, it is actually quite common practice for people to remove both turbos and replace it with 1 turbo. As a solution for some of the problems mentioned above.
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Mr Waffle
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Loran wrote:
The Rx8 is never meant nor will it be the replacement of the Rx7.


Let's hope the vaguely possibly true rumor of the next gen RX-7 being in development is, infact, true. I've been in an RX-8, they're awesome, but I've also been in an RX-7 and they're orgasmic.

Sigh~ I miss riding in my friends. I'll get one eventually! Razz but I still love my car *huggles sportivo*
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Loran wrote:
ssj3majin_vegeta wrote:
Argowal wrote:
RX-8 was on the news tonight. Won the Wheels car of the year I think. They said standard price of a new RX-8 is approx $54,000 + on road costs, but with all the extras it'll cost you up to $70,000 or so. Very nice Very Happy


I saw that on the news too. Personally, I prefer RX-7's over the RX-8. RX-8's seems more of a family sports car.


The Rx8 is never meant nor will it be the replacement of the Rx7. The Rx8 was Mazdas experiment to re-introduce the rotary engine to the masses. The Rensis rotary that powers the Rx8 is very similar to the Type 13B-REW that saw action is series 6 - 8 Rx7 just minus the turbos as well as some porting modifications. Infact the 2 engines are so similar it is possible to use both the Apex seal and rotar from a Rensis engine for a normal 13B.

The Rx8 is very much a Grand Tourer (GT) type car with proper passenger seating capabilities much like a Toyota MarkII Chaser and Toyota Soarer. While the Rx7 is a true sports car.

Twin Turbo / Sequential turbo systems - As seen in the Supra/Skyline GTR tuning scene, it is actually quite common practice for people to remove both turbos and replace it with 1 turbo. As a solution for some of the problems mentioned above.


Sorry if it came out wrong but I never said or meant that the RX8 was the replacement of the RX7. All I said was that I prefer the RX7 over RX8 anyday.

Mr Waffle wrote:
Let's hope the vaguely possibly true rumor of the next gen RX-7 being in development is, infact, true.


I think I've seen the concept for the next gen RX7 somewhere but I also remembered that I liked the FD better. I'll try and dig some pics up.

On another matter, has anyone else seen the concept Skyline R35 GTR, IMO, it's shape is too rounded.
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Mr Waffle
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
ssj3majin_vegeta wrote:
I think I've seen the concept for the next gen RX7 somewhere but I also remembered that I liked the FD better. I'll try and dig some pics up.

On another matter, has anyone else seen the concept Skyline R35 GTR, IMO, it's shape is too rounded.


Ahhh yes, you just jogged my memory. There was a concept drawing of the new RX-7 in a car mag... um... Wheels? Motor? Something like that. I think it was obviously a member of the RX7 family, but brought in the new, more 'organic' shape that current Japanese cars have (look at the 350Z or the RX8 for what I mean).

*5 mins later*

I vaguely looked on the net, but nope. Some Mazda exec in the USA said that if there was going to be a new RX-7, it wouldn't be shown until at least 2005, I assume that's so the RX-8 is able to finish making its groove in the market.

On the topic of that car, there are plans for a turbo model next year, with an electric-assist turbo- at 1000rpm an electric motor gets it spinning, and higher in the rev range it switches to traditional exhaust pressure. Neat Very Happy I've seen an electric supercharger before for Hondas (similar to the electric motor in the Toyota Prius, it's an instant 100nm of torque), but never a turbo... apparently it was developed for the prototype hydrogen RX-8.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RX7 concept(It just looks like someone edited pics of the RX8)


R35 GT-R Concept


R35 GT-R Concept


R35 GT-R concept steering wheel

I just have to say that I don't like any of those concepts, especially what they've done to the RX7. Well, the R35 GT-R concept steering wheel isn't that bad.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2004 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
They look funky, but the R35 doesn't seem... Skyline like to me. It looks cool, but it's not the look I would associate with a Skyline. The RX-7 looks mad.

Speaking of car models, I heard that a new model of RX-7 was gonna be supercharged instead of turbocharged. Can anyone tell me whether this is BS or not? I don't believe it myself, but I'm just asking about what I'm being told. Razz
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Mr Waffle
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2004 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
BGSarevok wrote:
They look funky, but the R35 doesn't seem... Skyline like to me. It looks cool, but it's not the look I would associate with a Skyline. The RX-7 looks mad.

Speaking of car models, I heard that a new model of RX-7 was gonna be supercharged instead of turbocharged. Can anyone tell me whether this is BS or not? I don't believe it myself, but I'm just asking about what I'm being told. Razz


That GT-R is based off the G35 Skyline, which in itself is based off the 350Z platform. It's being designed by Peugeot (they at least partially own Nissan I believe)... (is that how you spell it? XD that's what Word told me...)

I highly doubt the RX7 would be a supercharged rotary, since superchargers are meant for low-end power and are dangerous in high-rev applications (since they're a physical belt/chain). I believe the current gen Mercs with superchargers have an electronic clutch fitted to the chargers, to disengage them when they rev over a certain amount. At least, that's what I read on some Toyota forums (as the option of supercharging the 2ZZ-GE, which revs to 8600rpm, was being discussed).

Besides, what fun would a rotary be if you couldn't make the tach spin around the dial to near jet engine rpms? XD
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BGSarevok
Yoriko Nakaido


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yeah, true. Besides, I didn't put much faith in that rumour anyway.

Is it Peugeot that partially owns Nissan? I knew someone did but forgot.
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MR_MR2
Minawa Andou


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm pretty sure its Renault that owns a part of Nissan but even then I thought they (whatever company that is) only owned like 25%.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
BGSarevok wrote:
Is it Peugeot that partially owns Nissan? I knew someone did but forgot.


All I remember is that they're french and their name starts with P. I can't think of anyone else ^^;
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