AMS Alpha Omega Nissan GT-R Breakdown: 7-Second Record Setter

AMS Performance president and the project’s head tech weigh in on building the world’s first 7-second R35

By , Photography by Brian Young, AMSPerformance.com

The Details:

  • First R35 to break into the 7-second quarter-mile range
  • Best timeslip of 7.984 at 186.14 mph
  • 0-60 mph in 1.72 seconds
  • Stock 2014 GT-R Track Edition runs quarter-mile in 11 seconds at 125.1 mph

Chicago-based AMS Performance has made headlines repeatedly for its record setting turbo builds – most notably for its Nissan GT-R and Mitsubishi Evolution tuning techniques. Dedicated to rigorous testing and continued R&D helped spawn the latest world record setter: The AMS Alpha Omega GT-R. Recently, it became the first R35 on earth to enter into the 7-second quarter-mile club with a best time of 7.984 at 186.14 mph – track conditions were not ideal either. The feat occurred at the Great Lakes Dragaway in Wisconsin.

To put it into perspective, this GT-R hits 0-60 mph in 1.72 seconds, 60-130 mph in 2.67 seconds and 100-150 mph in 2.42 seconds. That is light years faster than a stock 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition that runs the quarter-mile in 11.0 seconds at 125.1 mph, according to Motor Trend. Did we mention the Alpha Omega also is streetable…sort of.

To find out more about this monumental achievement and GT-R behind it we contacted AMS Performance president Martin Musial and the lead Alpha Omega project technician/driver Ivan Phipps. Check out the interviews below.

Martin Musial: AMS Performance President

What was the first car you modified?

MM: “Believe it or not it, it was a Merkur XR4Ti. A turbocharged 2.3-liter engine based on the Ford Pinto engine! Back in 2000, we were making 360whp and 360 lb-ft of torque on pump gas, which was really impressive for the time.”

At around 1600 awhp, we started to have major tire slip problems on the dyno.

What made you choose the GT-R for these record attempts?

MM: “The GT-R is just an amazing platform. We've already accomplished a lot with the Mitsubishi EVOs - setting drag and time attack records - so the natural progression was the Nissan GT-R. It probably has one of the best drivetrains available on the market right now. The engine makes tons of power stock and has huge potential once modified. The transmission shifts unbelievably quick and just keeps the power flowing uninterrupted to the ground. You take a car that makes more power, is lighter, but with a manual trans, and the GT-R will walk all over it because it puts down all of the power to pavement all of the time.”

Any Alpha Omega engine mods you can share?

MM: “I can share the specs but there are a lot of parts and processes that are proprietary to our engine builds. The same technology that goes in the Alpha Omega engine goes into all our customers engine builds, providing the most reliable engine package available.”

  • Compression: 9.75:1
  • Bore: 98mm
  • Stroke: 88.4mm (stock)
  • Darton MID sleeves
  • AMS propriatery block strengthening
  • Rods: AMS custom specification Manley rods
  • Pistons: AMS custom specification JE pistons
  • Crank: Stock Nissan VR38DETT
  • Heads: AMS CNC ported heads with oversized valves and upgraded springs
  • Camshafts: AMS specification Kelford Camshafts
  • Boost Level: 40 psi
  • Fuel: E85 (mixed by AMS)
  • ECU: Syvecs stand-alone

How much dyno-proven horsepower have you’ve extracted from the engine?

MM: “At around 1600 awhp, we started to have major tire slip problems on the dyno, so anything beyond that we can't accurately measure. We were going 175-176 mph in the quarter-mile at that power level so I would imagine we're somewhere in the 1800 awhp range to run 186mph now.”

What inspired this build?

MM: “The main inspiration was to prove the performance of our products. We always push ourselves and our parts.”

What’s the most important thing to remember during a project like this?

MM: “We've learned over the years that good planning is a huge time saver in the long run. Take your time, plan it out, and build it once. In this case, we planned out the project well and really didn't have to go back and change anything drastic during the build. We set a goal in mind and put milestones in place to reach that goal.”

Ivan Phipps: Alpha Omega Head Tech and Driver

Explain the process leading up to a quarter-mile run.

IP: “Getting into Omega is more like strapping yourself to a rocket. Fire suit, HANS device, six-point restraints, helmet…breathe…window net, HANS strapped to helmet, gloves…Make sure traction control is off, launch mode on…breathe…did Chris pull the chute pin? Pull up to the burnout box. Double check that traction control is off and launch is on. Little dry hop to make sure the tires are clean…breathe…touch the chute release handle to make sure it is still there and it’s time to pull up to the line. Pre-stage… stage…first bulb lights and go WOT.

Acceleration is somewhere between ‘too much of a good thing’ and ‘shit your pants scary.’

What do you launch at?

IP: “4700 rpm and 7 lbs. of boost with antilag cracking and popping out of the back. At launch, it jumps like you just got rear-ended.

What does if feel like at WOT?

IP: “Acceleration is somewhere between ‘too much of a good thing’ and ‘shit your pants scary.’ In the lower gears you are just praying you don’t have to make any steering corrections and in the higher gears you are only looking forward to getting the chute out. Release the chute before the finish line and feel the tug as it opens. Luckily, it is over so quickly that there is not enough time to really dwell on anything.”

The next two big goals are sub 5-second 1/8th mile times, 190 mph trap speeds in the quarter, and 220 mph in the half-mile.

Is more left in this GT-R?

IP: “Definitely, yes!”

What is your next record goal?

IP: “The next two big goals are sub 5-second 1/8th mile times, 190 mph trap speeds in the quarter, and 220 mph in the half-mile.”

How does the Alpha Omega compare to past GT-R builds?

IP: “It's a dedicated test car, so we push this car harder than any other car that we build for our customers to assure our products will stand up to the abuse.”

What is it like to drive on the street?

IP: “People scream at the car all of the time when you street drive it. The car is at such a level that it isn't really safe to run at high horsepower on the street though.”

You can make a small fortune in drag racing, you just have to first start with a larger fortune.

Any tips for tuners who want to start drag racing?

IP: “You can make a small fortune in drag racing, you just have to first start with a larger fortune.”

For R35 owners, what is the single most important performance upgrade?

IP: “A proper ECU tune. The ECU is the foundation of the entire car - how it shifts, how it runs, and most importantly, reliability.”

Nowadays it's tough for a company to recoup its financial investments in time attack.

How does time attack compare to drag racing?

IP: “It's another cool motorsport different than drag racing but still cool. We used to do quite a bit of time attack with our EVOs but nowadays it's tough for a company to recoup its financial investments in time attack.”

What is your daily driver?

IP: “2007 Subaru Legacy Wagon.”

Besides racing, what other hobbies take up your time?

IP: “RC helicopters, planes and cars.”

For more visit: amsperformance.com

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