Last week, the “Goliath” GTR blitzed the standing mile in just 22.7 seconds at more than 225 mph on its maiden shakedown run at the most recent Moscow Unlimited test and tune day. “That’s a good start,” explains Tym Switzer, head of Oberlin, Ohio-based Switzer Performance where the car was built. “We’re in good shape to meet our customer’s goals on raceday.”
To understand what Goliath is, and how it’s been developed to meet the customer’s wants and needs, however, we need to go back to the early part of 2012 (before Switzer moved into their new facility) and a conversation between Tym and one of Switzer’s early Porsche customers. The client wanted a GTR - but not just any GTR! “The car the client asked us to build had to be ‘for street use’, not just ‘street legal’,” explains Tym. “The difference there is the difference between ‘comfortable’ and ‘tolerable’. He made it very clear that he expected this to be a ‘real car’ with full climate control, cruise control, sound system - all the amenities, in other words. What he did not want a stripped-down drag car that was technically street legal.” He also wanted the car to run a low 20-second ET at the Moscow Unlimited.
To accomplish those goals, Switzer had to make sure the client’s car was not only making plenty of power - but making plenty of reliable power. To that end, the silver GTR was fitted with larger turbos and CNC-milled cylinder heads from Switzer’s 8-second R1K-X PKG and plumbing hardware from Switzer’s Ultimate Street Edition GTR model, which delivers more than 1000 hp on pump gas with a catalytic-equipped exhaust and carries a comprehensive 2-year warranty. “We started with a proven foundation of proven components,” says Switzer, “and then started pushing the envelope.” From there, the project became something of a rolling test-bed that explored the limits of Switzer’s existing package architecture. The intercoolers, plumbing, and exhaust hardware were lifted directly from the USE, along with the Switzer-built and blueprinted 3.8L VR38 engine (which uses factory bore/stroke dimensions).
“Once we had the car on the dyno and started getting the results back, someone in the shop started calling the car ‘the Goliath GTR’, and the nickname sort of stuck,” explains Tym - and it’s easy to see why the name stuck! In early testing, the car made more than 1500 whp on race gas, and more than 1000 whp on pump gas without the high-strung twitchiness that sometimes plagues big-turbo tuner cars. Once the Switzer crew was happy with the car’s performance, it was loaded onto a plane and shipped to the client’s Russian garage.
Fast-forward, then, to last week’s Moscow Unlimited test and tune.
For the uninitiated, a “test and tune” is an opportunity for competitors to come to the track before the race and try different set ups on their cars. The goal is to “dial in” the car to make sure the driver and support teams know how to extract all of the car’s potential performance on race day. It’s like a practice race, and the atmosphere around the track is much more laid-back. There’s no pressure, and no fanfare. It looked like this:
Because this was to be little more than a maiden “shakedown” pass and it was the client’s first time driving such a powerful car, Switzer set the car’s Syvecs SGTR engine management system to pull back horsepower to about 1400 and limit the engine to 8000 rpm. Even in this mildly de-tuned state, the Goliath GTR glided across the finish line in just 22.7 seconds at more than 225 mph!
Tym congratulated the owner on a great run, and the Goliath GTR is headed back to the garage (along with reams of data on the car’s runs from the day) for some drivetrain modifications that will support a more aggressive, “full power” Switzer tune. “The flexibility and superior data-logs that we get from the Syvecs SGTR engine management system in this car is what has made the biggest difference in our ability to support this vehicle from afar,” explains Tym. “We’ve really been able to dial the car in, and still keep it user-friendly for the client.” Co-developed by Syvecs UK and Syvecs North America, the Syvecs SGTR ECU was instrumental in John Sheperd’s recent ethanol GTR 1/4 mile record and has proven its capabilities to push the R35 into the 7 second 1/4 mile record books and beyond. “The Syvecs’ capabilities have pushed everyone in the industry forward and put the 1/4 mile guys on a new level,” says Tym, “and we think the Syvecs will push the Goliath, and other real-world street cars like it, to that next level of performance as well.”
We’ll have more after the next Moscow Unlimited race. Stay tuned!