Ever since we saw it at last year’s Tokyo Auto Salon, I’ve been waiting for HKS to tell us more about their RB26 full pipe kit conversion they teased us with.

Back in January 2022, we saw not only the Advanced Heritage RB that HKS is currently working on (more on that later), but also the kind of pipe and airbox setup that the RB26 dreams of. Think the Nismo carbon intake and carbon airbox on steroids and you get the idea.

Last year, the package was in the first stages of development; the design was locked and the first 3D printed prototype was shown to the world. Fast-forward 12 months to the 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon, and the printed white part magically turns into a pre-preg carbon fiber part.


The result is quite spectacular, especially when it’s presented in its entirety, all connected and coming out of the car. This is really the only way to fully understand all this complexity.


As beautiful as this final solution might be, it will be a challenge for HKS to break it down into packages that make sense for as many users as possible. For example, there could end up being two versions of the airbox, one with the air flow meter flange and one without.

Then there are turbo accessories. The kit is designed around HKS’ own GT25-sized GTIII twin-turbo upgrade, by far the most popular and widely used HKS setup among Skyline GT-R owners. If you run something different, you’ll have clearance issues.


The turbine is mounted on a stock cast iron exhaust manifold and discharges the exhaust into the HKS outlet pipe.


The first pipeline prototype was designed for the BNR32 GT-R. The BCNR33 and BNR34 applications required a slight redesign, as did the airbox.


And then probably the most exciting part of all of this – HKS is rebuilding their Zero-R BNR32 complete bike, which debuted 30 years ago, to develop a new Advanced Heritage engine setup. Talk about full circle!


The iconic GT-R was shown at the Tokyo Auto Salon over the weekend in a largely stripped state, with a slightly different version of the pipe kit.

Looking at it, this one might be more track/performance oriented, or just a higher class version. As you can see, HKS has replaced the silicone hose and traditional metal clamps with AdelWiggins hardware.


The Advanced Heritage engine itself is now in the testing and development phase, as the fuel consumption targets set by HKS are not easy to achieve. Just to jog your memory, HKS aimed for an engine that would not only make 600 hp and strong, flat mid-range torque, but return 20 km/l (47 mpg) under normal driving conditions. This is where all the tech that HKS put in comes into play, starting with the dual-chamber carbon/billet-aluminum intake chamber, dual injector setup, dual V-CAM, electronic wastegate control and electrically powered single throttle body.

You might also notice that the vertically mounted twin-turbo setup we’ve seen in 2022 doesn’t work with either of the engines shown. If the placement of the turbines goes ahead, another version of the carbon piping kit will need to be designed and tuned.


It’s amazing to see how an engine that is over 30 years old continues to receive so much attention. Skyline GT-R owners are in desperate need of new parts and many manufacturers and tuners are constantly responding, making these cars the most exciting time to modify, refine and modernize.

dino dal carbonal
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare
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