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19 January 2018

Check out this tuned Elgrand that's trying to unleash the Skyline inside

By Tom WhiteTom White
Some say if you dream hard enough any Nissan product can be a track weapon.

Japan in particular has a weird thing for tuned vans. This one kind of makes sense, in a way.

As we've mentioned before: Japan has a habit of keeping the best stuff for its own domestic market. Usually this comes in the form of fancy rear-drive versions of boring cars we get here (see Camry vs Chaser or Mark X etc...) or, of course, the entire range of kei cars.

But never forget, there's a whole world of upmarket vans or people movers that apparently also don't make a good business case for Australia.

One of these people mover oddities is the Nissan Elgrand. To prove how nuts the Japanese go for these things, check out this Elgrand E51 that can apparently keep up with R33 and R32 GT-Rs on the circuit. You'll have to excuse the Japanese audio and seemingly ridiculous characters.

The more you read about the Elgrand, the more this build makes sense. You see, underneath all that bodywork is a bunch of Skyline bits trying to get out. It shares a platform with the later model V6 Skylines, is in a RWD or AWD layout and is powered by the same ever-tunable VQ35DE engine that's shared with the 350Z.

Yeah, an FR van. In this case the engine is paired with a tidy HKS supercharger kit, (we assume putting out decidedly more than the stock van's 180kW) with some mean RAYS alloys and an ATS LSD to boot. A nice touch is the original gear lever apparently held on with tape.

Not so much a 'people mover' as it is a 'person mover' now. Not so much a 'people mover' as it is a 'person mover' now.

Skip to 3:38 to see the car to a hotlap of Okayama International Circuit. It looks like possibly the most fun you could have in something this shape, although the bouncing about at 4:19-ish suggests the suspension could use some work.

What do you reckon of this weaponised people mover - nice or rice? Tell us in the comments.