Famous Nissan GT-R heads for Speedshow

AutoTrader NZ
Published 3 September 2020

Expat New Zealand racing legend Steve Millen received one of the first examples of the Nissan GT-R to arrive in the US last year, and using aftermarket performance parts from his company, Stillen, he transformed what was already a sensational 357 kW (485 bhp) vehicle into an outstanding 456 kW (620 bhp) beast.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have Steve Millen’s Nissan GT-R as one of our star cars at Speedshow in 2010,” says Keith Sharp who developed and organises the annual Speedshow, which takes place at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland over the weekend of 24 and 25 July.

“The Stillen Nissan GT-R can go from zero to 100 km/h in just 2.9 seconds,” he says. “It’s not like the ‘standard’ GT-R is any slouch, of course, with a 0-100 km/h time of 3.3 seconds, so it’s fair to say that the Stillen GT-R is something pretty special!”

The Stillen treatment on the 3.8 litre twin turbocharged V6, All-Wheel-Drive GT-R involved gutting the interior, fitting lightweight race seats and replacing the bonnet, boot, rear wing and side mirrors with carbon-fibre versions. Carbon-ceramic brake rotors by AP Racing, sold by Stillen, theoretically make the brakes immune to fade, and are combined with AP Racing brake pads and a Stillen brake cooling package.

A re-flashed ECU and a free-flowing central-outlet Stillen exhaust (from the turbos back) add up to about 620 bhp on 91-octane fuel, versus 485 bhp for the stock 2010 GT-R. Millen says he retained the stock turbos “…because I wanted really good throttle response – a lot of the steering of the car is through the throttle, and I don’t want to wait for the power to come on.”

Stillen also added a Stillen/Eibach suspension system, consisting of mega-adjustable shocks with 10 per cent stiffer Eibach springs along with three-way adjustable Stillen anti-roll bars. “We have a lot of adjustability in the car,” Millen says. “We can change the ride height, the rebound and so on. But we’re really trying to keep the tires on the ground – that’s the key.”

Prestigious American car magazine Road & Track conducted a comparison between the distinctive orange Stillen upgraded GT-R and a 2010 stock version prior to Millen competing the car in the Targa Newfoundland Rally in September 2009. Here’s what they said: “The Stillen GT-R’s power advantage was obvious from the first drag launch. Even forgoing the car’s launch-control system (at Millen’s request) – building revs to only 2000 rpm – resulted in 0-60 mph runs about the same as those of the stock car, which ran 3.5 seconds. When we increased revs to about 3500 rpm (still not invoking launch control), Stillen’s GT-R leapt out of the box spinning all four tyres for a run to 60 mph in an astonishing 2.9 sec.”

Millen has been returning to New Zealand virtually every year since 2001 to compete in New Zealand’s Dunlop Targa event in a variety of Fords.

“Most recently he’s been driving his own Stillen-enhanced mid-engined Ford GT supercar with son Kyle doing the navigating,” says Sharp. “Like the new Nissan GT-R, you don’t see a Ford GT too often in New Zealand, so we’re also very pleased to have this distinctive and rare performance car at Speedshow in July.”

“Ford enthusiasts will want to make the most of the last opportunity to see this car before it returns to the USA,” adds Sharp.

Speedshow hosts an amazing array of vehicles – from drag bikes to New Zealand V8s. There’s a live action arena and some great interactive entertainments inside the Speedshow halls.

For more information visit www.speedshow.co.nz or for the chance to win a double pass to Speedshow, subscribe to the June issue of Motorcycle Trader magazine.