Mine's - Total Balance Experts

Mine's is undoubtedly one of the most famous Skyline GT-R and GT-R tuners in world. This is in no small part thanks to Tsuchiya Keiichi's Hot Version and BMI International car shows where their cars were featured in several episodes. The Inline 6 battles as well as the battle between Mine's R34 GT-R N1 and the Amuse Supra are those we remember the best. But it undoubtedly was the video where Paul Walker visited Mine's which propelled the company to world fame.

 
 

 

Before Niikura Michizo founded Mine's as a motorsport tuning shop in 1985,  he was already tuning cars with off the shelf parts. But when he couldn't find the parts that he wanted for his cars, he started to make his own. The parts he created quickly became very popular and brought him many customers and car enthusiasts like Paul Walker.
The company based in Yokosuka-City, an hour south of Tokyo follows a philosophy based on the principle of total balance and reliability or as Niikura-san puts it: "simple is best". He wanted his tuning to reflect the European way of motorsport tuning, a philosophy that broke away from the then popular "maximum power tuning" that most Japanese tuners adopted. Over years of constant development, Mine's went one stage higher in their philosophy to adopt the principle of ultimate response.

Mine's Shop in Yokosuka

Mine's Shop in Yokosuka

Even though Mine's creates some extremely fast cars, Niikura-san is adamant that his customers understand the what was done to the cars he makes and will adapt the tuning to the knowledge of the individual.

We leave it up to the customer how to modify their car. If we start to do too many things ourselves, we will lose our focus as a company.

We do not want to offer something that the customer won’t understand.

We have our own strict policies on how to modify engines and turbo’s so that we can be as realistic as possible when we develop our cars and parts.
— Niikura Michizo

History

In its early days, Mine's started where none would have started in the late 1980's. With computers. 

A year into creation, they released their first Fuel Hacker and kept building on the electronics until in 1988 they released their first line of their famous VX-ROMs ECUs for the R31 Skyline GTS-R, setting a number of speed records on the Yatabe test track.

The results were quite astounding. They managed to get a stock GTS-R equipped with their VX-ROM to 245 km/h and a fully tuned version of the Skyline, bored up to 2,2L with a more powerful turbo, to 290 km/h.

R31 Nissan Skyline GTS-R

R31 Nissan Skyline GTS-R

At this point in the company's life, Mine's wasn't specialized in Nissan products as they are today. Using their engine management systems, they managed to set an impressive number of speed records for a variety of cars over the years, including the Toyota Soarer,  MR2, AE92 Levin, the Supra and the Honda NSX. In total they took 30 highest speed test trials at Yatabe for just as many different cars.

Mine's then went to develop more parts in keeping with their philosophy. They introduced their ESTA suspension system in 1990 and exhaust options from 1993. From 1995, the pace at which they developed new tuning parts increased dramatically with new products available every year. From aerodynamic and functional carbon parts (spoilers, propeller shafts and clutches) and air intakes to their AP Brake Systems.

However, their biggest break came in 2001 with the release of their complete "Super R" engines.

 
Mine's RB26 and VR38 engines with engine meister Nakayama Toshikazu

Mine's RB26 and VR38 engines with engine meister Nakayama Toshikazu

 

Since then, their parts line up include VX-ROMs for all Japanese sports car makers, a large variety of intake solutions, complete exhaust systems, a selection of tuned engines from the RB26 to a modified VR38 R35 engine which displaces 4.1L for a max. power reaching over 1000 HP. You can buy this completely overhauled engine for a whopping 57,000 US Dollars.


The "Demo" Cars

 

Nissan Skyline BNR32 GT-R

Mine's R32 GT-R N1 base

Mine's R32 GT-R N1 base

Mine's R32 Skyline started testing in 1993 at the Tsukuba circuit. However, it was only unveiled a year later at the Tokyo Auto Salon along with the Mine's Mk IV Supra in its N1 base version. 

Equipped with all of Mine's parts except for its two HKS GT2530 Turbos, it develops 630 HP and manages to run a quarter mile in 10.812 seconds and a lap time at Tsukuba circuit of 59.181 seconds.

In keeping with its "Godzilla" status it won all the races it entered and setting a number of fastest laps and speed records all over Japan.

 
 

BNR32 GT-R N1 Specs

Power Specs

Horsepower: 630 PS at 7400 RPM
Torque: 455 lb.ft at 5400 RPM
Boost Pressure: 20 PSI

Best Lap Time

Tsukuba Circuit: 0'59''181
1/4 Mile: 10''812


Nissan Skyline BCNR33 GT-R

The BCNR33 GT-R was first presented in it's street version at the 1996 Tokyo Auto Salon and as with the R32, in its N1 base a year later. It competed in a few races and was quite successful, managing to get several first place finishes.

 
 

BCNR33 GT-R N1 Specs

Power Specs

Horsepower: 630 HP at 7400 RPM
Torque: 455 lb-ft at 5400 RPM
Boost Pressure: 20 PSI

Best Lap time

Tsukuba Circuit: 0'58"757
1/4 mile: 10"676


Mitsubishi Lancer EVO V

The Lancer Evolution V was tested in a variety of tuned versions between 1998 and 1999 at the Tsukuba and Suzuka circuit. It won the 1998 Super Battle at Tsukuba with a best time of 1'01"961, equipped with a GT2835 Turbo from HKS. This configuration was further developed for the RS version of the Evo V to arrive at its final version.

 
 

CP9A EVO V RS Specs

Power Spec

Horsepower: 400 HP
Torque: 293 lb-ft
Boost Pressure: 18 PSI

Best Lap time

Tsukuba Circuit: 1'00"432


Nissan Skyline BNR34 GT-R

The GT-R R34 N-1 is undoubtedly the most famous car that Mine's produced, and is still their best performer.

It was first shown to the public at the Tokyo Auto Salon in 1999 and every year until 2002. It won nearly every race it entered and it is the most developed car that Mine's ever produced as it still entered shows long after the production of the R34 ended: at SEMA in 2006 and Tokyo Auto Salon in 2008.

It has been praised by many to be a very fast car that isn't too difficult to handle thanks to Mine's best response tuning.

 
 

BNR34 GT-R N1 Specs

Power Spec

Horsepower: 600 HP at 7400 RPM
Torque: 434 lb-ft at 5400 RPM
Boost Pressure: 20 PSI

Best Lap Time

Tsukuba Circuit: 0'57"746
Fuji Speedway: 1'34"674
Suzuka Circuit: 2'19"960


Nissan Z33 350Z

Development of the 350Z started in 2001. The Z33 when to claim first place at the 13th Tsukuba Super Battle in the N/A class with a best lap time of 1'04"185. 

 
 

Nissan R35 GT-R

Mine's started their research and development of R-35 parts in 2007 and went to present their first two GT-Rs at the 2008 Tokyo Auto Salon after the first shake down just the month before. Following this they went to get the title of fastest R-35 at the Tsukuba circuit with a lap time of 0'59"367. They also entered several time trials at the Fuji Speedway where the car managed to shave two seconds in the span of a year.

Development of the R35 is still ongoing as Nissan regularly releases new and improved versions of their now ten year old model.

 

Mine's R35 Early Light Tune

 

R35 GT-R Circuit Version 2007

Best Lap Time

Tsukuba Circuit: 0'59"367
Fuji Speedway: 1'49"782


Nissan Z34 370Z

Not much is known about Mine's Z34 370Z since the spotlight has been taken by the R35 GT-R. Its first public presentation took place at the 2009 Tokyo Auto Salon with it's first shakedown taking place as usual a month before in December 2008.

While waiting for more exposure from Mine's 370Z, enjoy the sound coming from its V6.

 
 

To know more specifics about the demo cars that Mine's produced and the parts that were installed in them, please visit Mine's website.

Dan DominéComment