The ‘takumi’ who put their heart and soul into every Nissan GT-R engine
You might think it was the preserve of prestige British manufacturers such as Aston Martin and Bentley to individually hand-build their engines and have a plaque engraved with the master craftsman’s signature applied to the block.
But at Nissan’s Yokohama factory in Japan, an exclusive group of just four master engine-builders lovingly hand-assemble the VR38 engines that power the car at the pinnacle of the brand’s range – the mighty GT-R.
The men are known as takumi and they hold a special place in the ranks of Nissan’s Yokohama ‘salary men’.
Nobuhiro Ozawa, Yokohama Plant Manager explains: “Yokohama is the plant where our company was established, and we’re proud to make Nissan’s flagship engine here. The engines are built by takumi, who are admired by all the employees, and we offer a special respect to them. “
“The VR38 engine, featured in the GT-R, is our flagship engine. It represents the pinnacle of the Nissan brand. We adhere the nameplates of the takumi who hand-built these engines, and put their souls into each with a sense of responsibility. We have received a positive reaction from our GT-R customers.”
As Tsunemi OyamaI, one of the four takumi says:
“By putting our nameplates on GT-R engines, it gives us pressure, but in a positive way – not in becoming nervous, but instead to concentrate. It also keeps us from compromising.”
As you would expect, all VR38 engines meet a certain base specification. But it seems that some are slightly more powerful than others. This short film made by Nissan gives no hint as to whether this is a function of the individual takumi or some other factor. Of course the differences are likely to be so negligible that most of us would never notice, and in any case, if there’s one thing GT-R owners are unlikely to complain about, it’s lack of power.