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Their next step for­ward was an en­graved sil­ver Nis­san GT-R, re­vealed at the 2015 SEMA show to a mixed bag of reactions from fans. Be­tween Kuhl Rac­ing's wild body kit de­sign and Izawa's AR­TIS paint and en­grav­ing work, the GT-R had been rad­i­cally reimag­ined. The project gained a sig­nif­i­cant amount of at­ten­tion among au­to­mo­tive me­dia and en­thu­si­asts alike, both good and bad, but there was still more to come from the Kuhl-Izawa part­ner­ship. For their third and most re­cent en­graved project, Kuhl Rac­ing de­vel­oped their mag­num opus, a sec­ond ver­sion of their ex­treme GT-R body kit, once again to be fit on a car de­signed in part­ner­ship with Izawa Takahiko.

Takahiro Kataoka, the boss at Kuhl Rac­ing, de­signs the body kits him­self. Hav­ing pre­vi­ously done full kits for the Mazda MX-5, Toy­ota GT86, Suzuki Swift, and Prius mod­els, he had cer­tainly amassed a re­spectable amount of ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore tack­ling the GT-R project. The end re­sult of sev­eral years of ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­per­tise is one of the most wildly ec­cen­tric body kits avail­able for the GT-R, which quickly be­came one of the Ja­panese shop's most pop­u­lar prod­ucts. With the pop­u­lar­ity of their ver­sion one kit ris­ing af­ter the de­but of the sil­ver GT-R, the team knew they had to go above and be­yond with the crafts­man­ship on Goldzilla's ver­sion two.

At the 2016 Tokyo Auto Sa­lon, Kuhl Rac­ing and AR­TIS re­vealed one of the most in­tri­cately de­signed GT-Rs of all time. Their in-house ver­sion 2 body kit is a dras­tic al­ter­ation to the R35's body styling on its own, but the kit is only the be­gin­ning of a long list of cus­tom­ized touches and de­tails. The sec­ond ver­sion of the kit shares some sim­i­lar­i­ties with the pre­de­ces­sor kit of the pre­vi­ous year. Both share the same front and rear fend­ers, as well as a stylish cus­tom swan-neck GT wing, but the gold iter­a­tion dif­fer­en­ti­ates it­self with the help of brand new front and rear bumpers with some wildly ag­gres­sive styling cues.

For the crew at Kuhl Rac­ing, mod­i­fi­ca­tion of this project was in­tended to show­case Ja­panese “del­i­cate and high qual­ity” tech- niques. En­ter Izawa Takahiko. To achieve the show-stop­ping look that both sides of the part­ner­ship were look­ing for, the cus­tom en­grav­ing of the body was taken a step above that of their pre­vi­ous projects. Where the sil­ver GT-R of the pre­vi­ous year's SEMA show was se­lec­tively en­graved, the gold ver­sion would be en­graved top-to­bot­tom and front-to-back. Al­most ev­ery square inch of ex­posed body was met with Izawa's skilled hand and scalpel.

Carv­ing in­tri­cate pat­terns as deep as these into FRP pan­els is one thing, but work­ing with alu­minum and steel parts pre­sented its own chal­lenge. “We could carve deep into bumpers made of FRP, but it was im­pos­si­ble


opened the hood to a mostly stock mo­tor on the sil­ver GT-R, you are now met with Kuhl's cus­tom turbo setup, which uti­lizes a pair of GTX3076R tur­bocharg­ers. With the help of some other Kuhl Rac­ing good­ies, 800 horses bel­low the VR38DETT's sig­na­ture song out of a hand­made tri-tip ex­haust, which is in­te­grated into a cen­terexit within the mas­sive rear dif­fuser.

Part of good ar­ti­san­ship is know­ing when to put the tools down, so for now, this spec­tac­u­lar build is done. In the short time since the car has seen the spot­light, it has cer­tainly carved its mark into the au­to­mo­tive world. In­quiries have been pour­ing in at Kuhl Rac­ing, and they will soon be sell­ing en­graved wings, in­te­rior pan­els and other Kuhl Rac­ing prod­ucts, sug­gest­ing that AR­TIS Izawa's in­volve­ment with Kuhl projects is far from over.

The pair have al­ready in­formed us that they ex­pect to ex­per­i­ment with a metal and candy paint com­bi­na­tion for their next project, reach­ing fur­ther into the low-rider styles of yes­ter­year for in­flu­ence. They also tell us they have big plans for Acura's next-gen­er­a­tion NSX, in­tend­ing to de­sign and fab­ri­cate a com­pre­hen­sive body kit, which will also re­ceive Izawa's spe­cial touch. Un­til their next project, you can catch the Goldzilla at this year's SEMA show. We plan on get­ting lost in the de­tails for a lit­tle while, our­selves.

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