Meet the 1000-hp Nissan GT-R called the “Ronin.” The name, which translates roughly as “a warrior without a master,” would seem to overdo it on the samurai imagery, but this car, this barn-built Bugatti, is the quickest road car we’ve tested in our 59 years. So maybe the name fits.
AMS Performance in West Chicago, Illinois, built the Ronin, which is not even the quickest GT-R it sells. That one has 1800 horsepower and a service interval of a quarter-mile. AMS president Martin Musial explained, however, that the Ronin is its optimal street-going package.
To achieve the four-figure horsepower rating and 850 pound-feet of torque, all on 93 octane, AMS installs a stroker crank and connecting rods in the GT-R’s stock V-6 block, increasing displacement from 3.8 liters to 4.2. Dished pistons drop the compression ratio to 9.5:1, and the factory turbos are gutted and rebuilt with custom compressors and Garrett GT35 turbine wheels, yielding a maximum of 21.0 psi of boost. The tuner upgrades the intercooler, fuel system, and blow-off valves, and tucks new intakes in the bumper. Despite the increase in stroke, AMS raises the engine redline from 8000 rpm to a Wankel-like 9000. The Ronin package starts at $60,000, plus the cost of a GT-R.