Adam Saruwatari has been at the forefront of the import scene for some time and was the first import drag racer to land a major sponsor. His A&L Racing RX-7 has been lifting the front wheels across the country, running a best-ever 9.33 at the November 1999 IDRC/NHRA Inter-national Finals. While everybody knows what Adam coaxes down the drag strip, some may wonder what he cruises down Main Street. He has a considerable stable of cars, including a recently acquired Ferrari. We have film on a number of the possibilities but our favorite is his 1992 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo.
Like his race car, the street Z shows immaculate attention to detail, high-impact performance parts and the looks to match its high expectations. The Z is an excellent platform; the price of a '90-and-up model is reasonable-hovering around $13,000 to $20,000. For that you get Nissan's American flagship powered by a twin turbo VG30DETT V6, with available Super Hicas all-wheel steering, sleek body lines, the high-tech electronics that personified the '90s supercars and all the comforts of home.
Adam has left no leaf unturned in his pursuit of Z-Car performance; every component system of the Nissan has been fortified, pumped, upgraded, tweaked or detailed.
The look of the Z has been updated to the 21st century with a GRacer front clip featuring a large center duct that is home to a massive HKS air-to-air intercooler. Out back a GRacer spoiler has been tweaked by Brian's Auto Body, the same body shop that painted Adam's RX-7. Nismo clear corner lights and PIAA 1100X driving lamps illuminate with style while sponsor stickers from Intense Graphics finish off the car's body shaping program.
Inside, Adam is treated to an intoxicating array of race and street amenities. Trick carbon fiber Sparco racing buckets help resist g-forces while a Sparco shift knob provides stylish gear selection to help generate said g-forces from the boosted V6. A Duncan-Horvath carbon fiber dash accent package adds a racing aura to the interior while a Clarion DRX9375R-based stereo provides the civility of tunes.
Of course, when it comes to tuning, information is power. To stay in the loop when it comes to engine performance, Adam spies an Apex 60 mm peak-hold boost gauge, HKS exhaust gas temperature readout and an Apex Multichecker. The latter is an LED display that allows the user to view specific engine parameters in the ECU. The parameters, which cannot be programmed, include ignition timing, water temperature, O2 voltage, engine speed and more.
When it comes to power production Adam has kept things simple but potent. The turbos have been upgraded with ball-bearing units from FasTrax. A custom twin filter set-up from Turbo Accessories and an ExtrudeHone processed intake manifold help feed the hungry V6 powerplant. The intake and HKS intercooler piping of the turbo system have been polished and a HKS Super Blow-off valve is on call to relieve pressure between powershifts. Ignition chores are handled by MSD DIS componentry and Denso Iridium plugs. Spent gases are escorted out via an Apex single-side racing system.
These upgrades work in harmony thanks to a Jim Wolf-tuned ECU. The Wolf ECU is programmed with larger fuel and ignition maps and all constants from idle to WOT are custom tailored to the turbocharger's characteristics and the capabilities of the fuel system. Of course, the speed limiter is deleted and the rev limiter is set to more aggressive levels.
Suspension mods were limited to Koni adjustable shocks and Eibach Pro Kit lowering coils which provide a 0.75-inch drop in ride height. Adam's Nissan illustrates the importance of the often overlooked braking system. It seems strange but brakes can get you through a corner faster. With upgraded brakes, a car can brake later and in a shorter distance than with stock binders and therefore exit the corner before a stock-equipped car. To increase the stopping prowess of Adam's Z-Car and add to its stance, 13-inch, two-piece, cross-drilled rotors are joined by four-piston AP Racing calipers up front and PowerStop rotors in the rear. The braking kit is from KVR Racing and Motul 600 brake fluid pressurizes steel-braided brake lines. Rolling stock consists of Enkei Aegis wheels and Nitto rubber. The Z runs 18x8-inch Aegis rims and 245/40 Nittos up front and 18x9.5-inch wheels and 285/35 tires in the rear.
The '90-and-up Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo is a '90s supercar at a 2000 economy car price. There is still a potent Z-Car aftermarket eagerly supporting the car and a properly tuned VG30DETT can run with the big dogs on the street. Adam's Z illustrates the possibilities of the Z on all fronts and proves that for show or go there are few vehicles that combine performance, style and comfort so well.
| POWER TECHNIQUE |
|VEHICLE ||1992 Nissan |
| ||300ZX Twin Turbo |
|ENGINE ||VG30DETT V6 |
|DISPLACEMENT ||3.0 liters |
|FORCED INDUCTION ||FasTrax |
| ||ball-bearing turbos |
|INTERCOOLER ||HKS air-to-air |
|NITROUS OXIDE ||n/a |
|FUEL SYSTEM ||Upgraded injectors |
|IGNITION SYSTEM ||MSD |
| ||DIS ignition |
|AIR INTAKE ||ExtrudeHoned |
| ||stock manifold |
|EXHAUST ||Apex single-side |
| ||racing system |
|BOOST CONTROL ||Apex AVC-R |
|ENGINE MANAGEMENT ||Jim Wolf |
| ||Technology ECU |