Crush Race Own: JDM With A Bavarian Twist


This one is going to split some heads.

We're back again with another incredibly difficult choice. The rules are pretty simple. You take three cars and decide which to own, race, and crush. Easy enough, right? Things are going to be pretty painful, especially with this one. Appealing directly to the "wet dreams" of rabid JDM fanboys we present you with the Honda NSX-R and Nissan Skyline R34 GTR V-Spec II Nur. Only we decided to spice things up a bit, adding some Teutonic majesty to the mix by way of the E46 M3 CSL. Let the war begin.

First up we have the patriarch of JDM lore, the Nissan Skyline R34 GTR V-Spec II Nur. One of the rarest and final R34s to be produced, only 750 units of the Nur were made, each featuring the legendary RB26 N1 engine producing a regulated 276 horsepower. Unrestricted, the 2.6-liter inline-six easily makes 450 hp. The N1 was initially built for use in the Group A and N motorsport series. The standard RB26 was not suitable for the hardships of racing, forcing Nismo to update. The block was updated and featured larger channels for oil and water flow. The crankshaft was rebalanced as well as pistons, cams, turbos, and basically the majority of engine components.

Mated to the ATTESA all-wheel-drive system, the Nur proved its worth as one of the fastest and best handling cars around. Next up we have Honda's legendary NSX-R. Weighing in at 1,270 kg, or just under 2,800 pounds, this car takes the Colin Chapman philosophy of "simplify and add lightness," to the next level. The NSX-R saves 320 lbs off it's standard equivalent. A carbon-fiber hood and rear spoiler provide ample weight savings as does the removal of the central locking system and addition of a lightweight battery. Power comes from a 3.2-liter V6 quoted at a pessimistic 276 hp and 224 lb-ft of torque. The NSX-R includes multiple aerodynamic tweaks over the standard model including a rear diffuser and functional hood scoop.

The chassis is the real selling point here. The 170 mph top speed and 5.7-second 0-60 mph time hardly matter in a car that turns from the hip. The raw and unsynthesized feel in a mid-engine platform is exactly what sets the NSX-R apart from so many of today's performance cars. That analog feel and authentic Japanese street-racing aesthetic provide a perfect combination. Our last entry is what many claim to be the best M car that BMW's M branch ever conceived. "Coupe Sport Lightweight," a name fashioned originally to the 1972 E9 CSL homologation special. That car would go on to become one of BMW's most defining and legendary racing cars.


The M3 CSL has a lot to live up to. First arriving in 2003, the M3 CSL took the standard S54 out of the E46 M3 and bumped the power figure. The result: 360 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. The mild power bump comes in addition to a massive weight saving operation, which reduced the total weight by ten percent over the standard model. Carbon fiber and thermoplastics were abundantly used. The only transmission available was the SMG II single-clutch. Only 1,358 were built for the European market, and was one of the first thoroughbred track cars, performing a 7:50 Nurburgring time.

There is no easy way to put this so here it is. Crush BMW M3 CSL. A mob of rabid Bimmerforum members have begun rioting. The reasoning for this is fairly simple: The CSL is only available in SMG II. This forbids any three-pedal tango from taking place and in a track-oriented car, three pedals are preferred. The CSL may be a quintessential BMW performance model but it loses this contest. The mid-engine NSX-R offers three pedals and an unrivaled analog driving experience. It takes the win for race. That leaves the Nur as the car we'd take home. Almost no other car is as lusted after in the US as a R34 Skyline. The Gran Turismo generation grew up with it and it will always be the forbidden fruit we so desperately desire.


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