Coronavirus may have decimated the 2020 car events calendar, but out of a bad situation, one company is making the most of its downtime by creating something special. Essex-based SB Motorsport is going to build something it’s had on the back-burner for years - a glorious mash-up between a Navara pick-up truck and a Nissan GT-R, dubbed the ‘Navara-R’.
After building a V8-powered R35 drift car a few years ago, SB was left with the 3.8-litre VR38 DETT twin-turbo V6, front and rear subframes, and a whole bunch of suspension components. Chucking all that at the firm’s 2016 Navara pick-up seemed like the obvious thing to do, and the situation we currently find ourselves in presents the perfect opportunity to get it done.
The Navara, as company founder and pro drifter Steve ‘Baggsy’ Biagioni explained to Car Throttle over the phone, is made of three main chunks. There’s the ladder frame, the floor pan, and the truck cab. What SB plans to do is drop the frame, and join the GT-R’s front and rear subframes - plus the suspension components - to the cab.
This makes the project very different to other Franken-GT-Rs we’ve seen, such as the Juke-R. “We’re not just glueing a Navara body onto a GT-R chassis,” Biagioni says. The powertrain won’t be left alone, either - the eventual target is 1000bhp.
The plan is to have the car completed by the end of the year. Assuming the 2021 event calendar doesn’t end up decimated like 2020’s, the Navara-R will be kept very busy. Appearances at the likes of the Goodwood Festial of Speed, Gatebill and various WRX rounds plus a US tour are being talked about.
The best part of all this? The Navara-R will be road legal. It’ll even have a tow bar, and Steve fully intends to use the pick-up as something of a workhorse. Bravo.