>While automation is everything when it comes to car building, here the controlled ‘clean’ room is a seat of assembly for about 374 engine parts where street GT-R engines and Super GT300 racing versions are made.
The 3.8 liter engine produces 545 hp. In the buildup, after about a 6-hour assembly period, the responsible takumi places a name seal on the engine block, a pledge of quality and consideration of its use ahead (kansei). The nameplate attached forges a seal of craftsmanship.
“By putting my name on the engine block, I strongly feel I represent Nissan and am regarded as a builder of GT-R engines,” said Kurosawa. “I feel a strong pride.”
“We are constantly improving our quality,” says Tsunemi Ohyama of his three decades at Nissan. “When GT-R production started in 2007, valve clearance adjustment was by machine, but now everything is by hand – measuring, tightening, measuring again. After manual checks and confirmation, only then do we deliver to our customers.”
“If you just want to assemble GT-R engines, any skilled person can learn in three to four months, but GT-Rs are used for shopping or to drive at speeds of 320 km per hour on a racing circuit, so exact precision for each engine part is required.”
“Takumi are responsible not only for engine assembly but also judging part quality and guaranteeing precision. Each GT-R engine is hand-made by a single craftsman – that’s the difference from other engines.”
“The GT-R owner has a special feeling towards their car, ” says GT-R builder and owner Nobumitsu Gozu. He added, “Although it’s an older model, I also own a GT-R, so I understand the feelings of GT-R customers, and we put our souls into each engine, hoping to deliver that excitement to customers.”
“What I consider a ‘perfect engine’ is one that I am convinced will have the highest performance,” says Izumi Shioya who has built engines for 2 decades.
“We sometimes receive comments from GT-R owners such as ‘Who built this engine?’ Some even come to the Yokohama plant wishing to meet the actual engine-maker. When they met, he said, ‘Thank you for building my GT-R engine,” says Yokohama plant chief Nobuhiro Ozawa