Saturday, April 14, 2018

Video Review of the R33 GT-R on Top Gear HK

A quick word of thanks to everyone for their support! Really appreciate it!

Ok now before I publish several posts where I show you what I've done to fix the damage caused by Nakamura at WORX Auto (WORX Auto Alarmの中村がこんな無責任な作業!)here is something that popped up recently on Facebook which I just had to share. Would love to drive this car myself in Hong Kong!



So I found this recently. Too bad I don't understand Cantonese. However my friend Ken Lim does, and he was kind enough to provide the following translation - Thank You KEN!:

Ken: So, here's my translation on this based on my understanding of Cantonese.

He first started by saying that when he was small and young, the first time he seriously withdrew money to buy a model kit, it was a GT-R but not this one here. It was a R32 bec
ause it looks so cool to him but when R33 arrived, he don't know why that Nissan released a fat GT-R. The whole car itself was wider, longer, higher and heavier. Even when it comes to used price, R33 price is still cheaper than R32 and R34 price by big margin. Is the R33 that bad? 

The R33 was built with the weak points of R32 in mind. The first weak point of R32 is that it is understeers, secondly, the aerodynamics of R32 is still not good enough and thirdly, the body rigidity is not stiff enough. Starting with body rigidity, it has improved in several areas which improves rigidity by 1.5 times or 150%. So, it is hard to imagine this as it makes you think what kind of car R32 is? A paper crafted car? 

When it comes to aerodynamics, the biggest improvement in R33 is that it solves the problem of R32's floating front end during high speeds. Secondly, the drag force of R32 is too strong. If we go by drag coefficient, R32's figure is at 0.4. Too much emphasis is placed on downforce but the drag has not been well taken care of. When it comes to R33, not just that the front floating feeling has been significantly reduced, the drag coefficient has also been reduced from 0.4 to 0.35. 

Lastly, how to solve the understeer problem? Of course, the most direct way would be to modify the 4WD system. So, the 4WD system in R33 has changed a lot. For example, the weight distribution of the car. For R32, the front and rear weight distribution is 60:40 where it is front heavy. When it comes to R33, it went to 55:45 which is quite a reduction. But even with so much of reduction, the final question would be that what will consumers see at the end? It would be that the car's horsepower is still the same 280hp. This is due to the gentlemen's agreement back then in Japan. Although torque has increased by a little, horsepower remains the same but the R33 is heavier than the R32. Because of this, the R33 gives out an effect that it has become weaker due to larger size, weight while the power remains the same. It has disappointed the fans of GT-R. 

But when it comes to track, is it really that R33 could not match R32? Here's a simple reference for all. Both R32 and R33 has been to Nurburgring. The R32 clocked a lap time of 7 minutes and 59 seconds which is less than 8 minutes where it is considered as very fast. The R33 is faster than it by 20 seconds which is much faster. The engineers have definitely put in effort into improving the car's traction and cornering abilities but many consumers, they say that they have no chance to visit Nurburgring nor did they go to track very often. What they want would be the feeling and satisfaction but when they drive the R33 out, feeling wise, it does not feel as proud as the R32 or the later R34. Obviously, the R34 is even faster than the R33. 

But the engineers had really put in effort to improve the car. Unfortunately, for most people, they only look and take things in a simple way. Firstly, the area where the R33 shines can hardly be tested by most people and secondly, many people do not care about it at all. 

So at the end, is the R33 better than the R32 or is it weaker than the R32? I do not have an answer for now. Sorry. But when I was driving the car just now, there were two things that I am certain of. First, the body rigidity is really stiff where it is comparable with today's car. To think that this is a 20 plus years old car where Japanese cars back then even for sports cars, the frame can be as soft as they can be where it is unimaginable. But this one here is really stiff. Secondly, the traction of this car is very strong to the point that I do not feel like the car is going fast. But our cameraman just now told me that "Edmond, you are driving very fast just now.". So I said, "No way, how is that fast?". "Fast, it is indeed fast to the point that I am scared.", says the cameraman. I did not feel it at all. When I look at the speedometer, I realized that it is indeed fast. But for the driver, you do not feel that you are going fast because of the strong confidence. The same could not be said for the passenger because you can really scared from this. So these are the two points that I discovered easily from driving this car but to answer back the main question here, R32, R33 and R34, which one is the strongest? Is it that the R33 is the weakest one? This question could not be answered now but soon it will be answered. Because we have arranged a meet up with R32 and R34 together for a test. At that time, there will be an answer to this.

4 comments:

Ken said...

Thank you very much for your nice words on this post Aki. I'm happy and honored to be featured in your blog here.

Anonymous said...

Nice HK TG feature! Yeah, I also have a soft spot for the BCNR33. It's just unfortunate it has the "middle child syndrome". :D The GT-R generation it followed, w/c is the BNR32, did acts that were very very tough to follow. It did records and feats in motorsports that were so legendary, it's also the sole reason GT-Rs are called "Godzilla". But you're right, 33s are supposed to be an "improvement", but some would still prefer the rawness and lightness of the 32 GT-R.
And... hope to read more about our progress pre-worx alarm. Good luck again! We your GT-R bros. are behind you!

Anonymous said...

I'm reminded of this post regarding software development: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20040525-00/?p=39193

It seems a lot changed with the R33 but no one noticed until the R34 brought visible interior + exterior changes to go with it. The R33 and R32 are very similar in looks inside and out especially if you change the grille of the R32 to match the R33 and use the R32 with driver-side airbag vs 1995 R33 GT-Rs for interior comparisons.

Aki said...

Hey guys, thanks for the support my GTR Bros! - and yes for the comment on visible changes. So true!

Hope to have an update soon on one of several repairs done already...