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GTR-World.net: MCR Nissan R35 GT-R Test Drive

June 10, 2008

GTR-World continue their high standards with their latest article on the MCR Nissan R35 GT-R. In this edition they have met with Kobayashi-san, owner and boss of Matchless Crowd Racing (MCR) workshop which frequently graces the page of this and many other blogs. Here is the GTRBlog translation of the article.

MCR recently completed their new paddle shifter setup. “Why don’t the paddles turn with the steering wheel together?” wondered Kobayashi-san from day 1 of receiving their new GT-R. It wasn’t long before they had figured out the workings of the system and put the finishing touches on the new original MCR paddle shifters.

Source: GTR-World.net

The standard paddle shifters are in a fixed location on the steering column. In the middle of a corner when a bit of steering angle is applied they can be difficult to reach. You may have to fumble with the wheel or take a hand off to shift. The MCR system is similar to those found in Formula-1 as well as on the BMW E46 M3 (SMG-II).

First impressions using the new paddle system is that it isn’t any different. The position and height of the paddles and the action required is the same as normal. When cornering however, especially in tight turns it really pays off. Your hands never have to leave the 10:10 or 9:15 position and you can concentrate simply on controlling the car. Kobayashi-san relates a story about the track use of his invention “On Fuji Speedway at the hair pin final turn, and at Tsukuba at 80R when you have to upshift approaching Dunlop you would not want to move your hand for such a corner don’t you think?”. The MCR paddle shifter is just such a device that can improve your times in corners such as these.

Unfortunately one cannot use the MCR paddle shifters with the original GT-R steering wheel and an after market wheel must be chosen. The loss of the steering wheel functions such as cruise control, and cell phone controls is inconvenient but MCR have come up with an add on to their paddle shifter kit to give back those features even when using an aftermarket steering wheel.

Driving Impressions

The theme for the MCR GT-R is a fusion of speed and everyday driveability. Normally when one thinks of MCR they think of a hard edged tuned time attack cars, light weight, even stripped sporting roll cages. In reality the MCR R35 GT-R is none of those. It’s aimed at taking the top times at the track without compromising daily comforts such as A/C and the full audio system. As for the engine, Kobayashi-san says “The engine is standard but the suspension and brakes are where we improve towards the theme”.

The suspension he speaks of is original MCR specification Endless Zeal Function damper technology. Spring rates are 14kg at the front and 12kg at the rear. Going by these numbers you’d think the ride would be harsher than standard but you’d be wrong and it’s actually significantly improved over standard. This suspension modification is good to net you a one minute flat Tsukuba lap.

The MCR GT-R wears Yokohama DNA S-Drive 20″ tires at the moment but Kobayashi-san is not very impressed to be truthful. The sidewalls are lacking sitffness. The tire provides a good ride and performs fine for driving on the street or down your favourite winding road but cornering performance could be better. Around town and on the freeway though the combination of Endless suspension and Yokohama tires make for a comfortable ride even at high speed on imperfect roads.

How About Endless Monoblock Brakes?

The MCR car utilises Endless Mono6 racing calipers and Endless two piece rotors to match. This braking system is like the ones fitted to the Endless GT300 car. You thought the Brembos were effective? Well these are even better. On the street or at the track these brakes will become your new best friend. The metallic pad squeal is a trade-off for high performance that you must learn to live with however.

So we can truly say that MCR are realising their theme, a fusion of daily usability with speed. The numbers speak for themselves, 1 minute flat around Tsukuba with no engine modifications while maintaining an excellent level of ride and comfort.

Checkout the full article in English with the full photo gallery over at GTR-World.net at the links below.

Link: GTR-World.net: MCR Nissan R35 GT-R Test Drive (Updated for English version)
Link: MCR Website