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Uncovering Double Unicorn’s Magic – Mechanical Stig’s turbo V8 Stagea

To the fans of Mighty Car Mods who followed the build on MCM’s YouTube Channel this car needs no introduction.


For the benefit of everyone else, a Stagea is essentially a Skyline wagon. This particular C34 Stagea however has a few surprises under its hood.


The car belongs to Ben aka “Mechanical Stig” and is known as the “Double Unicorn” thanks to its unique grille badge.


Externally the car looks quite stock with only a few cosmetic mods but a quick peek under the hood quickly dispels any notion that this is a “stock” car.


Instead of a straight six of the RB variety, we find a turbocharged, 4.1L, DOHC, V8 engine.


The VH41 fills up the engine bay forcing Ben to come up with some clever space management solutions. A GM electronic throttle body replaced the factory unit and the entire throttle body was moved to the opposite side of the plenum to make room for the turbo setup.


A Garrett turbo is a snug fit with a GFB EX50 external wastegate plumbed straight into the exhaust housing. The engine retains its original front diff which is connected to an R33 GTR transmission via a custom flywheel and a twin-plate clutch.


The whole setup is good for 480hp at all fours on just 14psi boost. Despite being a daily driver, the car is also capable of running 12 second quarters which, for a car nearing a 2 tonne kerb weight, is not bad at all.


The engine is wired using its original factory harness which has been re-pinned to plug straight into Haltech’s Elite 2500 ECU. The Elite works in conjunction with Nissan’s ATTESA (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All-Terrain) computer allowing Ben to retain all the factory all-wheel-drive controls. It’s also using a Haltech Flex Fuel sensor giving Ben the option of using different types of fuels.


Internally, the car remains mostly stock with the most obvious mod being the Haltech IQ3 dash mounted on the instrument cluster. In its “every day use” mode Ben has the dash configured to display oil pressure, water temperature, gear position, AFR and flex fuel.


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