The Nissan Skyline GT-R is an iconic Japanese sports coupe in the Nissan
Skyline range. Dubbed "Godzilla" by Wheels magazine in Australia when
released there in 1989, it was rated by many motoring magazines, including the
well-respected Wheels, as providing performance and handling equal or
superior to that of European icons like the Porsche 911 and the Ferrari
Testarossa, at a considerably lower price. The Skyline's home-market competitors
have included the Honda NSX, Toyota Supra, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Subaru
Impreza WRX STi, and Mazda RX-7.
Bugatti Veyron vs Nissan Skyline GT-R R34
History of the
Comment "i think the new 08' skylines are bad ass, but there looking more and more like the Nissan 350z's but there both really nice cars.- Justin C
The Skyline name originated with the Prince automobile company which
developed and sold the Skyline line of sedans before merging with Nissan-Datsun.
The GT-R abbreviation stands for Gran Turismo Racer, with the word Racer being
separated to enhance the performance version, as the GT-B stands for Gran
Turismo Berlinetta. The Japanese chose to use English as their first language
when naming the car, as most cars made in Japan at that time used American
abbreviation to further enhance sales. The earliest predecessor of the GT-R, the
S54 2000 GT-B, came second in its first race in 1964 to the purpose-built
Porsche 904 GTS. The next development of the GT-R, the 4-door PGC10 2000 GT-R ,
later to be superseded by the 2-door KPGC10 version, scored 33 victories in the
one and a half years it raced and by the time it attempted its 50th consecutive
win, its run was ended by a Mazda Savanna RX-3. The car took 1000 victories by
the time it was discontinued in 1972. The last of the original GT-Rs, the
KPGC110 2000GT-R, used an unchanged S20 160 hp (120 kW) inline-6 engine from the
earlier 2000 GT-R and only sold 197 units due to the worldwide energy crisis.
This model was the only GT-R to never participate in a race despite only having
one built which now resides in Nissan's former factory turned storage unit for
historical cars in Zuma.
The Skyline model continued into the 1990s when it became popular largely
because it remained rear wheel drive, while most other manufacturers' models
were front wheel drive (which had certain complexities inherent in achieving
high performance in power or handling when compared to a rear-wheel drive car).
After a 16 year hiatus, from the KPGC110 Skyline GT-R of 1973, the GT-R
version of the Skyline was reintroduced with the eighth generation Skyline R32
in 1989. The GT-R became the flagship of Nissan performance, showcasing many
advanced technologies, including the ATTESA-ETS system (a hydraulic on-demand
four-wheel drive) and Super-HICAS (four-wheel steering). The 1989- GT-Rs
remained (relatively) cheap, with a list-price of ¥ 4.5 million (about
GT-R Skylines of the 1990s progressed from the R32 (1989), through to the R34
(1998). Production of the GT-R ceased in August 2002. Although Nissan continued
the Skyline name with the release of the Infiniti G35 (sold as the Nissan
Vitesse/Skyline in Japan), a new GT-R has not yet been released. Throughout its
lifetime, various special editions, containing additional performance-enhancing
modifications, were released by Nissan and its performance division Nismo.
R32 Nismo, N1, and V-Spec
After canceling the Skyline GT-R marque in 1973, Nissan revived the GT-R
again in 1989. At the time Nissan was competing in Group A Racing with the 1988
Nissan Skyline GTS-R. Nismo wanted to retire the GTS-R in favor of a more
competitive vehicle. The Nissan Skyline E-BNR32 chassis (commonly
shortened to R32) had just been designed, and was chosen as a base to
build a more competitive Group A race car.
Nismo originally designed the new R32 Group A Skyline to have a 2350 cc
Straight 6 turbocharged engine, and produce 313 horsepower (230 kW) using a RWD
drivetrain. Under Group A regulations, a turbocharged engine must multiply its
engine displacement by 1.7, putting the new Skyline in the 4000 cc class, and
requiring the use of 10-inch-wide tires. Knowing that they would be required to
use 10-inch-wide tires, Nismo made the decision to make the car all wheel drive.
Nismo developed a special motorsport-oriented AWD system for this purpose called
the ATTESA E-TS. Although this assisted with traction, it made the car 100 kg
(220 lb) heavier; the added weight put the GT-R at a disadvantage to other cars
in the 4000 cc class. Nismo then made the decision to increase the displacement
to 2600 cc, and put the car in the 4500 cc class, with the car's weight
near-equal to competing cars. The 4500 cc class also allowed for 11-inch-wide
Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R
This new 2.6 L all wheel drive concept, designed by Nismo, was put into
production by Nissan as the R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R. The R32 developed 206 kW
(276 hp) and 266 lb/s (360Nm) of torque, it had a curb weight of 1430 kg (3146
lbs). Initial production of the car was the required 5000 to allow for
homologation starting on
May 22, 1989 which
with critical acclaim by the motoring press along with heavy demand for the car,
Nissan opted to allow an unlimited production run which went on sale to the
public in August 1989, and began its Group A campaign in 1990. Due to strict
Group A homologation rules, Nissan was required to also sell a series of the
Skyline GT-R which more accurately reflected the car they use in Group A racing.
This series was called the Skyline GT-R 'Nismo' edition.
The Skyline GT-R 'Nismo', introduced in
February 22, 1990,
has a total production of 560 units as required for the "Evolution" models
regulation (over 500). Its purpose is to homologate a number of aerodynamic
changes used in Group A racing. Changes include additional ducts in the front
bumper to improve airflow to the intercooler, a bonnet lip spoiler to direct
more air into the engine bay, and an additional boot lip spoiler to provide more
downforce. The 'Nismo' GT-R was only available in Gunmetal Grey.
The Skyline GT-R 'N1' model, introduced on
July 19, 1991, was
designed for home-market N1 racing with a total of 228 units produced. The most
notable change was in the engine, which was upgraded to the R32-N1
specification. The car was also lightened by the removal of the ABS, air
conditioning, sound system, rear wiper, trunk carpet, and the use of
light-weight headlights. No color options were available and all 'N1' cars were
delivered with a thin layer of Crystal White paint.
To celebrate the success of the GT-R in both Group N and Group A racing,
Nissan introduced the Skyline GT-R V-Spec ("Victory Specification") car on
February 3, 1993.
The V-Spec added Brembo brakes and a retuned ATTESA E-TS system to the Nismo and
N1 packages, as well as 17" BBS wheels with 225/45/17 tires. The V-Spec has a
list price of ¥ 5.260 million.
February 14, 1994
the Skyline GT-R V-Spec II was released, with the only change being wider
245/45/17 tires. In addition, both the V-Spec and V-Spec II had a curb weight of
1480 kg (3256 lbs), weighing only 50 kg more than the standard GT-R.
Total production of the V-Spec I and II was 1,453 and 1,303 units respectively.
Total production of the R32 Skyline GT-R was 43,394 units, with production
May 22, 1989. An
above average proportion of the GT-R's were sold in white: this is likely due to
the fact that white is the national racing color of Japan in international
- Standard Cars = 40,390
- NISMO Group A Evolution = 560
- V-Spec = 1,453
- V-Spec II = 1,303
- N1 Race Version = 228
- Total = 43,934
The R33 was developed in 1995 as a successor to the venerable R32 model that
Japan had gotten to know well. It had an upgraded RB26DETT, with bigger valves,
a smoother exhaust, and an Upgraded SUPER HICAS All Wheel Drive System.
There were many variants of the R33, including racing versions, the most
popular being the Skyline LM and HKS Drag GT-R. To develop the LM for
homogelation, a special edition R33 was released on November 3rd 1997. The car
was called the 400R, with R standing for Racing. Developed with Nismo, it
featured an overbored RB26DETT engine, the RBX-GT2, with polished ports, an
upgraded exhaust, composite parts, and a more free flowing turbo and intercooler
system. The car developed a staggering 450 Horsepower, and allowed the car a top
speed of over 200mph.
One R33 GT-R LM was made for road use, although that sits in Nissan's car
collection in Zuma.
The GT-BNR34 (R34) Skyline GT-R and GT-R V-spec models were
released in January 1999. The R34 GT-R was also made to be shorter (from front
to rear), and the front wheels were made closer to the front. The valve covers
were also painted glossy red, rather than dull black.
A new feature on the R34 GT-R is a 5.8" LCD multifunction display on the
center of the dashboard, which shows seven different live readings of engine and
vehicle statistics such as turbocharger pressure (1.2 bar max), oil and water
temperature, among others. The GT-R V-spec model added two extra features to the
display: intake and exhaust gas temperatures. Nismo Multi-function Displays (MFD)can
be bought at an extra cost, they include a lap timer and an increase in boost
pressure measurement to 2 bar. The R34 GT-R was made shorter to increase
handling and stability.
Like the R33, the new R34 GT-R V-spec models come equipped with the ATTESA
E-TS Pro system and an Active LSD at the rear, while standard GT-R models come
with the non-Pro system and a conventional mechanical differential. The V-spec
model also had firmer suspension, and lower ground clearance. The V-spec model
also included a plastic front air diffuser (covering the underside of the
engine), and also a rear carbon fiber air diffuser, designed to keep air flowing
smoothly under the car.
Another special model of the R34 GT-R is the M-spec. It was similar to the
V-spec, but had special "Ripple control" dampers and a leather interior with
heated front seats.
At the time of the R34's release, like the R32 and R33, Nissan released an
R34 N1 model. The R34 GT-R N1 was equipped similar to the R32 and R33 N1 models
- a homologation special. It was sold without ABS, air conditioning, audio
equipment, rear wiper, or carpet in the trunk. The new R34 N1 was also given the
new R34 N1 engine. Only 45 R34 N1 models were produced from the factory, 12 of
which were used by Nismo for Super Taikyu racing. The rest were sold to various
customers, mostly racing teams, and tuning garages.
In August 2000, Nissan released a newer V-Spec II GT-R model. The V-Spec II
has increased stiffness in the suspension (even stiffer than the original
V-spec) and had larger brake rotors on the rear. It also comes equipped with a
carbon fiber hood, which is lighter than the aluminum that all other GT-R hoods
are made from. Also different on the V-Spec II was an iridium center console and
aluminium pedals. The seats were also made with black cloth rather than the gray
cloth used on previous R34 GT-R models, and the amber turn lenses were replaced
with white versions. From this point on the standard trim level GT-Rs and
V-Specs also received these updates, with the exception of the carbon fiber
In February 2002 Nissan released a final production model of the R34 GT-R
called the Nür. Nissan also released a limited Manufacturer Special model
designated the M-Spec. This came in two forms, the base M-Spec, and the Nür. The
Nür was sold in 2 different models: the Skyline GT-R V-spec II Nür and the
previously mentioned Skyline GT-R M-spec Nür. The Nür was named after the famous
German Nürburgring racetrack, where the Skyline was developed. The Nür model
featured an improved RB26DETT based on the N1 racing engine, used by Nismo in
Motorsports. The V-spec II Nür is based on the regular V-spec II model, and the
M-spec Nür was based on the regular M-spec model. Other than the addition of the
Nür engine, the Nür models also included a different color of stitching on the
interior trim, as well as a speedometer reading up to 300 km/h (186 mph).
- Standard Cars = 3,964
- V-Spec = 7,301
- N1 Race Version = 45
- Total = 11,310
The GT-R of the 1990s included a 2.6 L straight six-cylinder twin-turbo motor
producing 206 kW (276 hp). The turbo-chargers were of a hybrid steel/ceramic
design allowing them to spool up faster due to the light nature of the ceramic
Power was delivered to all four wheels using an electronically-controlled all
wheel drive system referred to by Nissan as the ATTESA-ETS system. The
ATTESA-ETS system uses two G-Sensors mounted underneath the centre console,
which feed lateral and longitudinal inputs to the ECU. The ECU would then
control the feed of power by allowing a limited amount to be delivered to the
front wheels via an electronic torque split converter. In 1995, the ATTESA-ETS
Pro was introduced as an option for R33 GTR customers, and came as standard
equiptment in GTR V-spec models. It was later standard equiptment in all GTR
models for the R34 Skyline GTR. The ATTESA-ETS Pro added an Active Limited Slip
Differential, which was controlled by the onboard ATTESA computer. This was only
for the rear differential, as the front differential remained as a normal
Limited Slip Differential. The ATTESA-ETS Pro was also advertised in brochures
as adding an electroniclly controlled 4-channel ABS brake system. Although it is
not related to the all wheel drive system, it uses much of the same sensors, and
the same computer.
The car also had computer-controlled all wheel steering system referred to as
HICAS. The HICAS system activated when the vehicle exceeded 80 km/h and
controlled the steering of the rear wheels in the same direction as the front to
improve turn in on entry to corners. It should be noted however that this
feature is often seen as more of a hindrance then help in race applications. The
system tends to favour less advanced drivers, and can make the rear suspension
unstable during high speed cornering. For this reason many kits are available to
override this system usually by looping it's hydraulic lines back on themselves.
This is seen to make the car much more predictable when driving at the limit of
While the published figures from Nissan were as quoted above, practical tests
showed the car had a factory power output of closer to 330ps (325hp) at the
flywheel. The lower published figure was Nissan's response to the need to abide
by a gentleman's agreement between the Japanese auto manufacturers not to
release a car to the public exceeding 280ps (276hp) of power output.
The Skyline GT-R is a popular target for modification due to the strength of
the RB26DETT engine. This engine, common to all GT-Rs, is widely considered as
one of the most durable engines when heavily modified. Many aftermarket
suppliers have produced "bolt on" upgrade kits for the GT-R to boost power
output well beyond the factory specification.
In relatively stock form with proper maintenance, the RB26DETT has been known
to produce as much as 500 HP on stock internals (pistons, rods, crankshaft,
etc.). Part of the reason why the RB26DETT responds well to modifications is
simply because the block is made of iron. Many GT-R owners who choose to remain
relatively stock have been able to get many years of service from this stout
engine as many consider it near indestructible with stock output.
The ceramic turbochargers that are equipped from the factory on some GT-Rs
are some of the biggest weak points of the car. They are set to make 7psi of
boost pressure (0.5bar) and raising them past 11+ PSI can cause them to break
off. Being ceramic, they are not as durable as a steel turbine would be under
higher boost but the benefit is that they spool quicker. A common upgrade for
the turbocharger is the N1 turbo, which is equipped on the RB26DETT-N1 version
of the Skyline GT-R engine. Intended for racing, the N1 turbo provides more
power without sacrificing response while keeping the cost relatively low for
A common swap for those GT-R owners in search of more horespower and torque
is the RB30 shortblock. This shortblock was originally produced for Australian
markets under Holden and several other brand names but due to its compatibility
with the RB26 cylinder head it is gaining massive popularity with Skyline
enthusiasts all over the world. The common swap is to merge the RB26DETT
cylinder head with the RB30 shortblock to produce a hybrid 3.2L RB32DETT. The
RB30 shortblock is essentially an RB26 with a longer stroke ratio, which in turn
means more displacement and the addition of much needed torque. The stock RB30
requires a bit of modification to work with an RB26, or with the right resources
OS Giken sells a fully prepped 1500 HP ready RB30 shortblock for $20,000 USD. A
3.2L RB series engine has been known to provide up to 1400+ WHP on a properly
Some tuning garages in Japan, UK, and Australia, have managed to harness the
engine to produce levels in excess of 1000 hp. Veilside, in Japan, has modified
an R34 Skyline GTR to 1200 whp. They have also modified an R32 Skyline GTR to
accelerate to 300 km/h in 13 seconds.
The GT-R's success in motor racing was formidable, particularly in the annual
1,000 km race at the Mount Panorama circuit in Bathurst, Australia, where the
champion in 1991 and 1992 was a GT-R (despite receiving additional 100 kg in
weight penalties and a turbo pop off valve in 1992 due to its unbeatable
performance), and in the Japanese GT series where it has remained dominant up to
the present day.
No other race victories by the GT-R could escape without controversies, at
the 1990 Macau Grand Prix Guia touring car race, the factory backed R32 driven
by Masahiro Hasemi led the race from the start to the finishing line which
caused a wave of protests by the European entrants. The following year, the car
was forced to carry a weight penalty of 140 kg and was up against the more
competitive DTM BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II. A disgruntled
Hasemi was forced to settle for fourth place. For the following and final year
the weight penalty was reduced and works backed Hasemi returned with another
privateer R32 that crashed in the race, Hasemi would retire with engine failure.
The GT-R's success at Mount Panorama in 1991 and 1992, both by Jim Richards, led
to a change in formula regulations, which came to exclude turbocharged and
four-wheel-drive cars in subsequent years. It also led indirectly to a move to
the Super Touring Car category in the JTCC and the creation of the JGTC grand
touring car series in Japan, where GT-Rs can only compete in rear-wheel drive
In the UK Andy Middlehurst took the Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32) to two
consecutive championship wins in the National Saloon Car Cup. Other championship
titles include the 1993 Spanish Touring Car Championship.
Nowadays, the car is popular for import drag racing, Time Attack and events
hosted by tuning magazines.
The Skyline GT-R is also a popular car for street racing in Japan, and also
featured, among others, as the vehicle of choice for Night Kids leader Nakazato
Takeshi (by TOKYOPOP) in the anime series Initial D, as well as the manga
series Wangan Midnight. It is also featured in many racing games such as
the Gran Turismo and Need for Speed series, Forza Motorsport
and Street Racing Syndicate.
Future of the GT-R
The Nissan GT-R will likely be available internationally by the end of 2007
as a 2008 model. The car is a radical departure from the traditional GT-R
formula. It will be separated from the "Skyline" nameplate and for the first
time the car will not share a common body style with the sedan range. The
evolutionary, incremental changes between models R32 through R34 have been done
away with, with much more aggressive styling displayed on the concept model (see
below). Underneath the body Nissan will also do away with the traditional
straight-6 engine, instead using a twin-turbocharged V6 most probably from the
Nissan VQ family of engines.
There has been proof of registered trademarks for the next GT-R in Japan,
Australia, Europe, and Canada as well as the U.S. (the car will be sold in both
right- and left-hand drive versions). It will have to overcome many new,
stringent emissions laws in Japan.
Early speculation of Nissan using the Infiniti name in North America for the
GT-R turned out not to be true. At the official unveiling, Nissan stated that it
will be a "world car", sold in all nations in similar incarnations. During the
2006 New York Auto Show, Nissan Motor's President Carlos Ghosn announced that
the GT-R will be sold in North America as a Nissan model, and not under the
Infiniti brand as previously rumored.
It was initially speculated that the North American market would receive a V8
instead of the long speculated twin-turbocharged V6 (rumors of the birth of the
VK45DETT). It has long been known that Cosworth has been contracted out to do
engine development, which suggests the new motor will be just as durable and
strong as the RB series it will be replacing. The drivetrain configuration will
most likely remain All Wheel Drive, in keeping with the GT-R's longtime theme of
using advanced technologies. Additionally, Lotus has been contracted out to
assist with suspension and handling development of the GT-R.
At the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan unveiled a GT-R Proto concept car
(pictured right), and they have stated that the production GT-R will be 80-90%
based on the concept. At the same time they also revealed the near-final design
on GTRProto.com, but the material was subsequently removed and as of now the
page only harbors the "GT-R logo" image. The GT-R Proto was actually the second
concept version of the next generation GT-R, as an earlier GT-R Concept was
shown at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2001.
Test mules wearing bodywork that is highly similar to the GT-R Proto have
been subsequently spotted on the Nürburgring, more often than not followed by a
2006 Porsche 911 Turbo that has been speculated as being used by Nissan as a
benchmark car. Both the test mules and the 911 Turbo have also been spotted
parked in Nissan's test facility.
The production version of the GT-R is set to debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in
2007, with its launch in the Japanese market scheduled for Fall 2007. The U.S.
launch will follow in Spring 2008.
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Comments, Questions & Answers
i think the new 08' skylines are bad ass, but there looking
more and more like the Nissan 350z's but there both really nice cars.- Justin C
the 2009 skyline looks to me at least like the
350z the 2000 model is my dream car but my current stance is I'm partially
sighted, 18 and can't drive but i still love the 2000 skyline and all ways will
i love the skyline my car favourite!!
they are very fast and have been in one before
I love Skylines and I'm going to get one should I put
Hydraulics on it?
nice rides i like a skyline i drive in one but
i crash it in the wall:) just i need to pay for that car very stupid!!!!!
tight suspension twin turbo nice
sleek design i think the skyline is going to one of the most sought
after super cars in the world yea it my look like a z but there is
probably a good reason for and i cant wait to see what nissan does
The 1999 Skyline GTR is for me!
o.m.g de carz are savage
HEY GUYZ AND GIRLZ I LOVE YOUR SKYLINE TOTTALY ROCK :)))
i hate the nissan concept but the skyline gtr is the best.....
these cars are hot. i love nissan skylines the art is great
I like nissan skyline
GTR IS BEST OF BESTS
Amazin of al amazin cars, love it,
ho my god...I love the skyline...and i wish to have one some day
THE NISSAN SKYLINE, GTR R34 VSPEC 2 Z TUNE IS THE MOST AWESOME CAR IN MY BOOKS!
PUT ANY OTHER MODERN DAY SUPER CAR NEXT TO IT, BE IT FERRARI, LAMBO, ETC, IL
PICK THE SKYLINE! THAT RB 26 DETT MOTOR IS BULLET-PROOF! IT WAS BUILT TO TAKE
ABUSE! I love the TOP-SECRET PERFORMANCE built ones! all in all SKYLINE GTR is
I fink d skyline n 350z iz perfect combination 2 defeat d
supercarz on trackz. Gud cornering n perfect killa bodiez make d party groove.
They're kool n sexy!!! RacerZ SquaD _ 14 - "DJ _ [ KaX ]"
the Nissan skyline gtr its the perfect.......and nice and a
no comments, skyline its going to kick ass once again...
keep up the work
i think that the new skyline looks bad and i love the old 1
cant get over it.
^^ PLEASE I Liked this car and want~
hi i'm jake. i like the car i wish i had one.
these cars are ace. keep up the good work. Andrew w
What is the best way to buy a Nissan Skyline?
i love the car but i live in the states!! how can i get the
car imported from Japan?
love the cars
I think that they should stop making it looking like a 350Z
Hi l am Samer. l am 18 yrs old. l Love the car and it is my
favourite is the Nissan Skyline GTR
i like the cars