Tags Posts tagged with "Nissan"


Well, we’re back in New Zealand for the Targa Rally.  Today was the first official day of the event and it started with scrutineering in the viaduct in Auckland Harbor.  Last night was pretty exciting as the All Blacks (New Zealand rugby team) won the world cup!  Today was a bit busy in Auckland as they shut down the main streets and had a ticker tape parade for the team.  GO ALL BLACKS!!!!!

Once we got down to the scrutineering location we let Steve and Jen (more on Jen later in this post) do their thing with the organizers of the event.  Mark and Joe (you know them from years past) have to follow up with their crew meeting.  Conrad and I cruised through the park ferme (parking area) to check out some of the competitors cars.  The BS has already started as some of the other GT-R teams are telling us they aren’t running as much power as we know they are….That’s OK…we’re not going to tell them everything we’ve done either!!!

Joe Nagy of Nissan North America tech center joins the team again this year.  This is Joe’s third event with the Team STILLEN Nissan GT-R. He worked with Steve on the initial launch of the GT R at all of the magazine and dealer demonstrations and knows these cars inside and out.  He and I flew into New Zealand on Thursday and spent Thursday and Friday preparing the car.  On Saturday Mark Ungles flew in and joined us while we worked on the tuning and further preparation.  Mark has been with the team since 2006, the first year of the Ford GT.  He brings a lot of knowledge of rallying and great mechanical aptitude.  We spent Saturday and Sunday wrapping up the final adjustments to the car, ride height, tuning (special thanks to Jack at Horsepower Logic) etc.  Overall preparation has been relatively easy.  We added some adjustable rear toe arms as well as changed springs, injectors, and a few other little tweaks.

Jen Horsey is new to the team but not new to racing, especially rally!  Jen has been involved in North American rally racing since 2004.  You may remember her from the X Games in car commentator.  She was also the co-driver in the Evo that decided to do an endo in X Games competition over the jump in 2008…We’ve already told her that she was brought on board for her navigator skills…not acrobatics abilities.

You all know Steve Millen.  Steve is the President and CEO of STILLEN.  Steve was born and raised in New Zealand, competing in rally and hill climb events before progressing into saloon and open wheeled race cars.  After moving to America, racing all over the world, and winning multiple championships Steve still looks forward to coming home every year and competing in the Targa rally.  These events are always a fun time and a great way to see the country and catch up with friends for a week.  Plus it doesn’t hurt to “sight see” at 100+ MPH through back country roads!

Steve’s wife Jodi is kind of the team mom.  Taking care of the service crew as well as making sure Steve and Jen have everything they need.  There is no more important job on the team than making sure the driver and co driver are happy and the service crew is fed and ready at any moment.

Then there is me and Conrad.  I’m Kyle Millen, I’ve been coming on the Targa’s every year since 2006.  I have done some navigator work but after a couple of bad experiences with motion sickness we’ve all agreed I’ll be most useful as the reporter sending updates back to everyone back home!  Conrad Healey has been on every Targa New Zealand Dad has ever done.

We’re ready to go, the car is running great!  Steve and Jen are working on the route books and how they want to call the instructions.  Jodi is getting the crew sorted with everything they need.  I need to get to work to make sure all the cameras and what not are ready.  Check back tomorrow for the first update of actual racing news!  By the way….the first day is allllll new stages!  Needless to say we’re very excited!

Here’s a quick video of the STILLEN GT-R, lots more to come as the Rally begins!


If you missed the previous years coverage, here’s a compilation video of some of the NZ courses from 2010, and links to previous years coverage:


2010 Recap: http://blog.stillen.com/2010/11/targa-new-zealand-rally-2010-recap-and-wrap-up/

2008 Recap: http://blog.stillen.com/2008/11/2008-dunlop-targa-rally-new-zealand-wrap-up/


All 2011 Targa New Zealand Coverage


For over 25 years STILLEN has been recognized as a leader in Nissan/Infiniti tuning. With a history of setting “first time” milestones in the aftermarket for these great vehicles, STILLEN has established themselves as the company to follow when it comes to Nissan and Infiniti product development. STILLEN was the first company to develop the HICAS eliminator system for the 300ZX Z32 platform. When the Z33 350Z was introduced, STILLEN was once again the leader with the first forced induction solution, as well as the first to offer CARB legality, and AGAIN the first with a 3-year/36,000 mile engine warranty.

Well, STILLEN has done it again as Team STILLEN is proud to announce the CARB approval of the Nissan 370Z (Z34) G37 Supercharger Kit.

STILLEN has not only been the first company to achieve CARB legality of a forced induction solution on the VQ37, we have also been the first company to achieve such an accomplishment while tuning through Nissan’s sophisticated ECU with larger injectors. This is a major accomplishment for Team STILLEN and one that will join the many other first time landmarks STILLEN has achieved in the Nissan/Infiniti tuning world.

CARB (California Air Resources Board) is the division of the California state government that controls all aspects of air quality and standards. With standards getting stricter it is getting more and more difficult to achieve CARB legality. CARB is recognized as the toughest emissions control in the country and is therefore recognized in all 50 states as an emissions standard for all performance parts. If a performance part achieves CARB legality, it is recognized as 50-state legal.

The power the STILLEN Supercharger system delivers is dramatic, taking the factory 3.7L V6 from 332hp to over 500hp! The system is designed to work with both automatic and 6-speed vehicles, including convertible and AWD models.

The STILLEN VQ37 Supercharger features a new cast aluminum intake manifold engineered specifically for this kit, complete air-to-water intercooler system, and boost is derived from a Vortech V-3 Supercharger unit. The V-3 features a quiet V-belt design, and a self-contained oiling system for easy maintenance.

In the past year STILLEN has shipped supercharger systems around the world. Fantastic reviews and reports are coming in from:

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Russia
  • Thailand
  • Korea
  • Canada
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • France
  • Unite Arab Emirates
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • United Kingdom

Not to mention all of the kits that have been installed with great success across the United States at Nissan/Infiniti dealerships and performance shops. This is a bolt-on system, capable of being installed by any qualified ASE-certified automotive performance shop, or at hundreds of Nissan and Infiniti dealerships across the country, or right here at STILLEN at our in-house install facility.

Once again, STILLEN has successfully accomplished all of its goals with another great forced induction solution for the Nissan/Infiniti vehicles.

STILLEN 3.7L Supercharger System Features Include:

  • Vortech V-3 Centrifugal Supercharger Unit
  • STILLEN purpose designed cast aluminum intake manifold with long runners for increased torque
  • Installs under the stock hood – No modifications needed
  • Complete system includes pre-assembled Vortech V-3 supercharger assembly, air intake with polished air charge pipe and genuine K&N intake filters, fuel injectors, air-to-water intercooler, UpRev ECU Tuning cable/software and detailed installation instructions.
  • Optional 3-year/36,000 mile powertrain warranty
  • Made in the USA
  • 50-State Emissions Legal (E.O. Number D-436-17)

STILLEN, located in Costa Mesa, CA, is a premier manufacturer and distributor of a select line of high performance products for late model import and domestic vehicles — developed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. Founded in 1986 by renowned professional driver and race car builder, Steve Millen, STILLEN incorporates cutting edge race proven technology and advanced aerodynamic designs into the company’s proprietary performance and appearance product lines. Millen is known worldwide for achieving the greatest number of wins in IMSA GT history during the course of an impressive racing career that spans 30 years and numerous wins in series around the globe – from Le Mans to the 24 Hours of Daytona. Still family owned and operated, STILLEN branded products include exhaust systems and components, superchargers, fuel systems and components, brake kits and components, and urethane body styling products. The company’s race heritage and continued participation in motorsports has added special focus on motorsports proven R&D, manufacturing processes and materials, and expert, enthusiast-based customer support, distinguishing STILLEN in the field of performance manufacturers. In addition, STILLEN is an online reseller of many high performance products for late model cars and trucks, import and domestic, and creator of unique, one-of-a-kind performance project vehicles.

We gave you the heads up earlier this month that we were in development of the STILLEN Protective Skid Plate for the new 2012 DBA-R35 GT-R’s, and we’re proud to announce that these have been completed and are now shipping!

Here’s the product text from the STILLEN website:

It’s every GT-R owners worst nightmare, scraping the front bumper on anything from driveways, dips, speedbumps, and pulling into that parking spot with the raised curb and making contact.
STILLEN has developed a urethane Skid Plate which protects the OEM fascia and paint from scrapes and light bumps. This piece is specifically molded to the GT-R’s front bumper, and installs with 3M automotive acrylic foam tape and self-tapping screws to the underside. Durable urethane construction ensures no cracking, and doesn’t require painting, although can be color matched if desired.
As with all STILLEN urethane body components, these are proudly designed and made in the USA at our Costa Mesa, California facility.

STILLEN is proud to announce the availability of the VQ37 supplemental warranty for the STILLEN 500HP Supercharger System!

The VQ37 Supercharger supplemental warranty program is available as a 3-year/36,000 total mile term (whichever occurs first), with liability coverage of up to $8,000.  This coverage warrants engine components (including the STILLEN Supercharger), transmission and rear axle components.  The supplemental warranty is valid in the United States and Canada, has a $0 deductible, and is available for $395.

One of the biggest concerns we hear from our customers is the worry of voiding their warranty with the use of aftermarket parts, and we’ve outlined some information in previous posts regarding this subject, and with the combination of an engine/drivetrain warranty, can give solid piece of mind.

For more information, please contact your STILLEN representative at 866-250-5542.

One of the more popular products we make for the Nissan GT-R has been the polyurethane Protective Skid Plate, and with the changes to the new 2012 GT-R’s front lip, this required a new skid plate to be designed. Proud to announce we are in final development of the new version for the new model!

Here’s a sneak peek inside the STILLEN modeling shop located in Costa Mesa, CA, and shows the final piece test fitted on the car before we sent it into mold preparation.  The final production part will be black urethane, sprayed with a black matte paint, and can also easily be painted to match any specific color if desired.

The skid plate is designed to protect the extremely expensive front fascia from scrapes and light bumps. It follows the specific contours of the car, and installs in just minutes with everything needed supplied.

We are in full swing with the 2012 Nissan GT-R, and are also nearly finished with the Front Lip Spoiler, as well as the Aerodynamic Side Skirts which are also available for the 2009-2011 GT-R.  Look for more information soon.

We’ve also been doing product fitment on other STILLEN items, such as our Cat-Back Exhaust System, Secondary Cat-Delete Y-Pipes, Stainless Steel Brake Lines, AP Racing rotor upgrades and much more!

Keeping an eye to the future includes everything from new vehicles, new products, and even new enthusiasts.  This past Wednesday, December 15th, Steve Millen and the STILLEN crew delivered a modified Nissan Altima to the Coastline ROP Automotive Technology class at Laguna Hills High School.

This car was one of the main display vehicles for Nissan when they released the new model Altima, and was also an R&D project and show car for STILLEN for many years.  The car has been outfitted with a long list of performance modifications, suspension improvements, brake upgrades, aesthetic enhancements by way of a body kit and custom interior.  The car is even sporting a 3 part paint job featuring Lamborghini Orange.

Students get a chance to check out the car and meet and greet with STILLEN.

Laguna Hills High School offers its students a first-rate facility to learn about everything from proper maintenance to performance improvements.  The students at Laguna Hills are guided by their teacher Tim Chambers.  Mr. Chambers has already had the students build a Class 11 VW Beetle and a current ongoing project consists of a Ford Maverick drag car!

We enjoyed our time spent with the students discussing these projects.  It was especially neat to see how excited they were about their work and their enthusiasm in continuing on with modifying vehicles in the future, and being part of the automotive industry.  By giving the students a vehicle with aftermarket parts the goal is to allow them the opportunity to learn how performance parts work and how they can improve their own vehicles safely and legally.

It’s unfortunate that these awesome types of programs are few and far between, and with budget cuts and educational programs being trimmed all the time, we feel it’s vital for all of us to do what we can, and support automotive programs that can attract new young enthusiasts.

List of modifications performed to the Nissan Altima:


  • STILLEN Race Pipe
  • STILLEN Exhaust
  • STILLEN Intake
  • STILLEN Front Strut Brace
  • STILLEN Rear Sway Bar
  • Eibach Pro-Kit Lowering Springs
Body / Aerodynamics
  • STILLEN Front Lip Spoiler
  • STILLEN Side Skirts (Rockers)
  • STILLEN Rear Corners
  • Street Scene Grille Shell and Mesh Grille
  • STILLEN AP Racing 4-Piston Calipers / 13″ Cross-Drilled / Slotted Rotors, Brake Pads, Stainless Steel Brake Lines
  • STILLEN Cross-Drilled Rear Brake Rotors
  • STILLEN Metal Matrix Rear Brake Pads
Wheels / Tires
  • Enkei Forged Wheels 18×8
  • Yokohama Advan Tires 225/45ZR18
  • Classic Soft Trim Custom Leather Front Seats
  • Classic Soft Trim Custom Leather Rear Seats
  • Classic Soft Trim Door Panels
  • Custom Lamborghini 3 Part Orange

The Orange County Register was also on hand for the delivery of the vehicle, and have also done a writeup, as well as took these photos as well.  OCRegister.com – Laguna Hills High auto shop receives car

Photos courtesy of OCRegister.com


STILLEN has added another application to the popular Front License Plate Bracket kits available for most Nissan and Infiniti vehicles with the inclusion of the new 2011 Nissan Juke!

For all of you who don’t want to have to drill the factory plastic license plate brackets into your bumper, damaging it and leaving you without options if you don’t want to run a front license plate, this kit is for you.  This kit uses the factory tow hook on the front of the vehicle, which is accessible by a small removable panel in the fascia, and makes it easy to add or remove whenever necessary.

No more worries about being pulled over, or ticketed when parking for not having a front plate, you can simply install this into the tow hook when needed, and have the freedom to remove it whenever, keeping the clean look without the plate.  Kit includes everything necessary to install, including a billet aluminum post, and steel backing plate for a solid installation.

These popular kits are available for the following applications:

Every year towards the end of October, teams from around the world gather together in Auckland, New Zealand to start the 5 day Dunlop Targa Rally.  The Targa Rally is a grueling test of man and machine that takes place over closed country roads that would normally be open to the public.  The roads get closed down for just a few hours, just long enough to funnel 100+ “rally” cars through.  Competitors arrive in all types of vehicles, from a Ferrari F430 World Challenge race car, a Maserati and a few Porsche GT3 super cars to WRC-prepared Subaru and Mitsubishi rally cars, and even the older classic cars come out in force, like the old Mark 1 Escort’s and even a Datsun 240Z with a supercharged LS2 engine and sequential gearbox.  2010 however was the year of Godzilla.

In the 2010 running of the New Zealand Dunlop Targa Rally there were four Nissan R35 GT-R’s competing in the actual race, and one GT-R competing in the Targa “Tour”, an event which takes place on the same closed roads and along the exact same route as the actual rally, the only difference being the Tour drivers are limited to a much lower top speed and do not compete for any sort of winner’s prize.  The four GT-R’s this year were piloted by some of the most experienced Targa Rally competitors, including Tony Quinn.  Tony has won 3 Targa’s now and competes in Australia and New Zealand with his GT-R in numerous different Targa’s each year.  Steve Millen took the STILLEN-prepared GT-R to the event for the first time.  Clark Proctor and Harry Dodson are the local New Zealand drivers and both came out with heavily modified GT-R’s of their own.  The stage was set for a great battle all week long.

Strategy is a big part of these Targa rallies.  When preparing for a Targa rally the key thing to plan on is rain.  Pretty much every Targa NZ Rally sees at least one or two days of rain.  In the 2009 Targa Rally they actually experienced hail and snow on the last day of competition!  In 2008, the organizers had to close the final stage as hurricane force winds were blowing the ocean waves across the road.  The reason rain is so important to the rally is because the competitors are limited to six tires for the entire week, including the four you start with.  This means if you get a blow out or wear out your tires too early, you can only count on two spares.  If you take a seventh tire you get a 3 minute penalty, and for your 8th tire and on, you get a one minute penalty each.  The final stages are run in Wellington, New Zealand, one of the most modern cities in all of New Zealand and is actually the country’s capital.  It is also known as “windy Wellington” as the weather is often adverse.

When preparing for the Targa Rally Steve and the crew analyzed the weather forecasts and it appeared the weather would remain dry for the first couple of days, but would turn towards the end of the week when we got to Wellington.. Perfect!  Just what we wanted to see!  Keeping this in mind Steve took the first day relatively easy, letting Clark Proctor and Tony Quinn battle it out for the lead.  Knowing that the harder they pushed the more tire they were going to be scrubbing, the entire team felt confident in the strategy and were looking forward to the wet days when the other teams had scrubbed off their tread!  Glenn Inkster, a local tarmac rally champion, stuck his nose in the fight with his heavily modified Mitsubishi Evo, but it appeared he wouldn’t have any tires left after watching him drift through turns and slide his car all around the roads.

On day 2 Proctor retired from the rally after sliding off the road and damaging the rear of the car in the second stage.  In the same stage, he also blew the engine and his week was done.  Steve meanwhile decided to pick up the pace and start giving chase.  Applying more pressure to Quinn and Inkster and even setting some fast times for some stages.

As day 3 approached, so did the weather!  The STILLEN team was excited and we knew the times were going to tighten up.  Steve felt even more comfortable with the car as he also noticed the Dunlop tires did not seem to be wearing heavily so he pushed on harder and again, laid down some fast times and won a couple of stages on the day!  A real battle for second place was starting to shape up between Millen and Inkster for second place as they both slowly but steadily began chopping time out of Quinn’s lead.

By the end of day 4 the team was ecstatic!  The car had been working great and the tires were holding up well!  The best news though came at the end of day 4.  Driving down to Wellington you couldn’t help but think about tire strategy as the heavy fog came rolling in and the air got cold.  Quick inspections of Inksters and Quinn’s cars showed nearly no tread left on both cars with plenty to spare on Millen’s!  The team went to bed that night thinking the leaders would either need to take time penalties for new tires or try to drive their cars on essentially slick tires through Wellington’s notoriously harsh weather which would allow Millen the opportunity to make up the time in the rain!  All weather reports were pointing to rain and the team was very excited to wake up in the morning.

The next morning we all jumped out of bed and ran to our windows to open the blinds and hope to see grey skies and rain pouring down.  Shock!  Nothing but clear skies and white clouds!  Could this be the first year that the Targa Rally competed all week on dry roads?  On day 2 there was a 30 minute shower in the morning that lightly dampened the roads but not enough to be considered an impact on performance.  It turned out that yes, this was going to be the first year that the Targa Rally ran dry!  So, Steve knew it was up to him to strap in and do his best to push as hard as he could, even though now Inkster’s and Quinn’s tires were actually better suited to the conditions since they were essentially slicks.  Steve pushed as hard as he could and again managed to set some fast times but was unable to overcome the time deficit.  After a week of hard racing, 2,000+ miles, and over 5 and a half hours of accumulated stage times, Steve finished 3 minutes and 30 seconds behind Tony Quinn and only a minute behind Glenn Inkster.

Overall, it was a fantastic week and the car performed flawlessly!  Steve took advantage of the awesome power and handling of the GT-R and pushed it to the limits.  Unfortunately, the weather did not play into the tire strategy and the result was a 3rd place finish.  Had the weather worked as it normally does on the Targa Rallies, we probably would have won the rally.  With the time penalties the other teams would have taken for tires the strategy may have worked perfectly and the team would be celebrating a win.  However, at the end of the day, the prize is the same.  Targa Rallies were started in Italy and the Italian word “Targa” translates to “plate.”  So, the top three finisher’s receive plates indicating their final position.  There is no prize money, just a great week spent with great people enjoying some amazing cars as you tour through a beautiful country.  Just like most endurance racing, simply finishing every stage is the real prize!

Follow all of the coverage of the 2010 Dunlop Targa New Zealand Rally

Racing Day 5 Wrap Up!

I am in my hotel room writing this before Steve and Phillip get into the wharf for the final destination.  They have both done an amazing job and the entire team is very proud of the effort and hard work put in by all!  Steve pulled out some pretty miraculous skills this week and showed that he hasn’t lost his edge.  Steve competes in very few of these rallies and really doesn’t get much time to get back into the racing lifestyle anymore, so it took a day or two for him to feel fully comfortable with the car, but I’ll tell you once he was in the zone he was a machine!  The in-car video footage and the photos tell the story better than I ever could!

The car has performed flawlessly all week and Mark and Joe have done a great job maintaining the car and making sure Steve and Phillip have exactly what they needed all week.  Jodi and Vivian (Phillip’s wife) have been great team moms and looked after the service crew and the drivers better than anyone could have asked for.  We are all very happy to come home with the drivers and car all together in one piece and with a very strong finish!  I am pretty sure this is Steve’s best finish in a Targa Rally and the competition is fierce!  Tony Quinn is a great driver and has a lot of Targa experience with his GT-R having competed in three New Zealand Targa’s as well as others in Australia.  Glenn Inkster is a very talented driver and will surely make a name for himself in the Rally scene.  Watching him flick his Evo through turns is a thing of beauty!

Finally, what is with this weather?  It was sunny and dry pretty much all week.  It’s been chilly but I have never even heard of a Targa rally being pretty much dry for the entire week!  Heck, last year it was hailing and snowing in Wellington!!!  In 2008 they had to cancel a stage because the waves from the ocean were coming up over the stage road!

Well, I’m off to meet Steve and Phillip and join the festivities!  Thanks for following along this week!  We’ll definitely have a ton of photos and in-car video footage and a final recap!

Follow all of the coverage of the 2010 Dunlop Targa New Zealand Rally