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Old 04-02-2009, 11:28 AM   #1
SS 376

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Hennessey GTR600

From Road & Track:

Now that we know Nissan will not be bringing the GT-R SpecV to the U.S., we at Road & Track went looking for a fitting substitute, one that properly enhances the performance of the car without disrespecting its spirit — and besides, not many people could justify the steep $160,000 price tag of the SpecV. Call it fate, but just as we were about to throw in the towel, an email arrived from Hennessey Performance Engineering, whose all-conquering Dodge Vipers have graced many pages of past R&T issues. Turns out, he had just finished his own special GT-R, one called the GTR600, and wondered if we were interested in driving it.

If it seems odd that John Hennessey, owner and founder of Hennessey Performance Engineering, is now also tuning Japanese cars, let us remind you that he got his start tweaking Mitsubishi 3000GTs nearly 20 years ago. And it was clear after driving the Hennessey GTR600 that he's still familiar with Japanese cars.

The first thing Hennessey worked on was on the twin-turbocharged V-6. The factory turbochargers were modified with new 47-mm compressor wheels, with boost set at 17 psi. There's also a long list of new parts (under the company's SUMO brand) that includes the exhaust system, ECU, intercooler piping and wastegate actuators. All this results in 642 bhp at 6400 rpm and 611 lb.-ft. of torque at 4500 using premium gasoline (Hennessey claims that it'll pump out 700 bhp with racing fuel and boost turned up to 21 psi).

And man, does this make a difference at the dragstrip. The launching system limited engine revs to just about 2700 rpm with VDC on or off. Take your foot off the brake pedal, and you could swear the GTR600 is about to go airborne as it leaves the line. The GTR600 hit 60 mph in a scant 2.9 seconds and reached 100 mph in 6.5. The quarter-mile mark goes by in10.8 sec. at 130.4 mph. Hard to believe, but this thing made the GT-R SpecV feel slow...With race gas and the boost turned up, the GTR600 hit 193.8 mph in the standing mile, said Hennessey, and it hit 150 mph in just 14.3 sec.

The amazing part? Hennessey has kept the GTR600 easy to drive around town. He chose not to tweak the suspension too much, lowering the car an inch or so, but keeping ride quality smooth, There's a KWs suspension coilover kit that improves body roll through tight corners. The GTR600 failed to outperform the SpecV on our handling tests primarily because it wore the less-sticky Bridgestone Potenzas instead of the Dunlop SP Sport 600. The GTR600 circled the skidpad at 0.97g and raced through the slalom at 73.2 mph.

Hennessey Performance Engineering has started taking orders for the GTR600 (call (979) 885-1300 or go to The cost of Hennessey's tweaks with installation included is $38,800. Add that to the base price of the Nissan GT-R, and you get a total price of $118,090. Not bad for a car that makes the $160,000 SpecV seem like it's slow.

(Engine) Tweaks

* SUMO Stainless Steel 88 mm Catback Exhaust System
* SUMO Stainless Steel Midpipe Exhaust
* SUMO Engine Management Computer Programmer (17 psi boost)
* SUMO Intercooler Piping Upgrade
* SUMO Inlet Piping Upgrade with Stainless Steel Blow-off Valves
* SUMO Sport Turbo Upgrade – Modified Factory Turbos with 47 mm Compressor Wheels (stock compressor wheels = 42 mm)
* SUMO Modified Factory Wastegate Actuators
* Professional Installation
* All Necessary Gaskets & Fluids
* Chassis Dyno Tuning & Engine Management Calibration
* Limited One Year Warranty
* Powered by Hennessey Custom Floor Mats
* Limited Edition GTR600 Plaque in Interior & Engine Compartment
* Factory Engine Cover in Red with black GTR600 Badges
* Hennessey & GTR600 Exterior Badges

$25,000 seems like a wee bit steep to me for an exhaust, a boost controller, and modified factory turbos & wastegates.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:31 AM   #2
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You're paying for the name and the product when you go through a company like that. They know what they're doing, and you owe them for their research. This looks like a great improvement on the GT-R.
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:16 PM   #3

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In before the Hennessey bashing starts!!!
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:31 PM   #4
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I gotta say that looks like a tasty bowl of rice.
Not a big fan of the GT-R but with those mods it's a pretty wild car(or wild rice).
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