In the spring of 2012, Severn Valley Motorsport embarked on an ambitious journey, acquiring a brand-new Nissan Qashqai 2+, then one of the UK's best-selling SUVs. Our audacious vision? To transform this conventional SUV into an adrenaline-fueled, high-powered beast, leveraging the shared platform and running gear of the formidable R35 GTR. Making the Qashqai R.
Upon the Qashqai's arrival at our Tweedale, Telford facility, we wasted no time diving into the challenge.
The initial plan was simple - or so it seemed - to extract the necessary components from a white 2012 R35 GTR, our chosen donor, and transplant them seamlessly into the Qashqai. The ultimate goal: to birth a 1000BHP SUV. A Herculean task, no doubt, but we were ready to roll up our sleeves.
The first step involved disassembling both the pristine Qashqai and the R35. Their bodies lay bare on adjacent ramps as we stripped them down to their skeletons. We removed the top half of the R35 shell and, for the Qashqai, the floor was detached. As expected, this caused significant flexing, but we had a solution: a custom jig. It was designed to maintain the shell's shape, preventing any unwanted distortions as we melded the two halves together. A simple concept in theory, but a mammoth task in practice.
Both cars where stripped on adjacent ramps and go down to bare bones, On the GTR we removed all the top half of the shell, and on the Qashqai the floor was removed. Removing the floor of the Qashqai caused a lot of flexing as you can imagine. We created a custom Jig to maintain the shape of the shell and to avoid flexing as we merged both shells together. Easy to say and a lot harder to do. Now with these parts together we can trial the first engine test. All fits under the bonnet (just about)
The first engine trial was a moment of truth: would the GTR's heart fit within the Qashqai's chest? The answer: just about! With the initial hurdle crossed, we felt inspired to sprinkle some SVM magic. We introduced a full power package, coupled with tasteful styling modifications, catapulting us towards our golden 1000BHP target.
Reassembly was the next stage, commencing with the interior. Crafting a harmonious fusion of the Qashqai and R35 interiors was no small feat. Given the engine was positioned around 4 inches further back, refitting the column and dashboard posed a significant challenge. Yet, with unwavering patience and tenacity, we prevailed. The outcome: a spacious, immersive R35 cockpit experience, now adorned with a panoramic view. We devoted meticulous attention to every detail, both inside and out.
With final assembly completed, it was time to hit the road for testing and mapping. It was an exhilarating, surreal experience to unleash this unique beast onto the tarmac. The lessons we learned throughout this journey have helped us evolve as car builders and tuners, enabling us to provide unparalleled technical support for even the most ambitious customer needs.
The fruit of our labour is a one-of-a-kind, awe-inspiring vehicle that serves as a testing ground for new parts and as a demo for our R35 packages. It has remained a proud member of our collection to this day, and we plan to preserve this testament to our passion and skill for many more decades.