MINES R34 GTR
It's unlikely that you found this page by chance, the Mines R34 GTR occupying almost mythical status in Japan Domestic Market folklore. Their commitment to pursue ultimate engine response instead of outright power speaks to those who are looking for an engaging driving experience.
Michizo Niikura, founder of the company looks deeply at the underlying purpose of each change made to the vehicle. Let's explore some of his modifications in more detail.
"We just concentrate on the things that make a difference."
- Michizo Niikura
The front diffuser is an OEM design redone in carbon, with a slightly different profile for increased downforce. The rear spoiler is similarly redone in carbon, with an increase in 30mm of height and an added gurney flap. The side mirrors seem like E36 M3 replicas in carbon, and probably have a better drag coefficient than the stock pieces. A V-Spec II carbon hood from Nissan rounds out the package, and from the outside, the car is almost unassuming.
By reducing weight at the far corners of the car, the overall mass becomes more centralised, which aids handling. It is notable as it stands in contrast to the massive GT wings and front lips that other tuners add more for visual effect than actual performance on the street.
"What I've striving for is not the ultimate speed or quickness or time. It's actually drivability, or driving pleasure. It has to do with feeling comfortable while you're driving, what the driver feels."
Throwing grip at a car with wide tires may make it faster, but matching the available grip to power makes a car fun to drive. It is what makes cars like the Toyota 86 and MX-5 so revered.
18 x 9 (+30) @ 9.3kg
BBS RE Magnesium Wheels:
18x10.2 (+18) @ 8.2kg
Bridgestone Potenza ???
Bridgestone Potenza RE540S
The Mines R34 GTR is putting out just under double the power of the original car, get there is only a modest increase in grip levels, and a wheel choice that reduces unsprung weight with a modest increase in width. The cars look very slightly squirrely on the videos on corner exit, which looks extremely fun.
"You have to feel good, safe about the feel of the vehicle. That's a lot deeper than just speed or horsepower."
- Michizo Niikura
Mines focuses on ultimate response on the RB26 engine. Starting with the same bore and stroke, the entire rotating assembly is replaced with parts from Tomei, intake & exhaust port-matched with a mild camshaft selected.
Intake / 240º duration and 8.58 mm lift
Exhaust / 236º duration with 8.28 mm lift
Intake / 260º duration and 10.2 mm lift
Exhaust / 252º duration with 9.5 mm lift
The mild camshaft upgrade is matched with a valvetrain that copes with over 9,000rpm redline. Matched with twin HKS GT2530 turbos that are designed for quick spooling on the RB26 engine. Matched with a full titanium exhaust package with high flow cats, the engine flows. A custom map yields 600 HP at 7,200 rpm & 464 lb/ft of torque at 5,400 rpm.
"if we start to do too many things we lose focus as a company"
- Michizo Niikura
Despite the increase in power, Mines runs a 3.7 shorter final drive ratio from the stock 3.5. All that torque is transferred through the driveline to a twin plate carbon clutch matched to a carbon driveshaft that sends power to the wheels via carbon propshafts. Looking further at external vendors, AP Racing Brakes 6 pot Front and 4pot Rear with ducting sculpted through the front bumper.
The suspension setup branded ESTA, consists of a myriad of custom parts, from titanium strut-bars to lower control arms with roll center adjusters. Everything is mounted on pillow ball bushings to allow for the best feedback to the driver.
Hopefully one day, I will be able to meet the man himself to drill into his specific engineering philosophy, until then, this is what I have extrapolated from his work.
Principles of a Mine's Build:
1. Do not deviate wildly from the initial engineering
2. Reduce the polar moment of inertia through reducing weight
3. Rotating mass of the car must be reduced to a minimum
4. Focus on engine response not ultimate power
5. Consider how all elements of the car work with each other