A secret glimpse into Nismo's HQ
GT-Rs, Skylines and toilets full of camshafts: join Top Gear for a rare and exclusive tour around Nissan's tuning lair
Posted: 16 Jan 2014
Toilets. They're an unexpected highlight of Nismo's top secret Omori factory, just outside Yokohama, Japan. Not because of the toilets themselves (though they are pretty good - they have buttons and water jets and talk to you), but above the urinals, there's an entire wall of RB26 camshafts, as used in Nismo-tuned R34 GT-R engines. The door handles? They're RB26 camshafts too. And we have it on good authority that there's a wall of polished intake trumpets in the ladies. Best not to dwell on the symbolism.
But they're not the VERY best thing. Nor's the genuine R391 LeMans GT1 car hanging on the wall. Or the fact that Nismo techs are the only people allowed to restore and maintain Nissan's monstrous heritage fleet. Or the full GT1-spec GT-R collecting dust in the lobby. And definitely not the faintly ridiculous carbon-shod Nismo Leaf. The best thing about this place is the customer cars.
See, Nismo will spanner on every one of the models with its name on the back - a 30-year legacy - regardless of who it belongs to and how ropey it is. Which means the medical-grade workshops double up as a sort of rolling museum. Only the exhibits change every day, and there are air guns and angle grinders and many hammers.
That's not this place's primary purpose though. All the clever aero stuff that helped with the new Nismo GT-R's record-breaking Nurburgring lap? That was developed here. So were the chassis modes. And the engine upgrades - Nismo has its own dyno rooms, where a pair of men look at lots of graphs and numbers and discuss clever things, which makes Nissans go faster. Design work for the style-focused Nismo packs happens here, too.
You can join us on our tour by clicking through the images above. And yes, we got some shots of the toilets. You know we spoil you.