Nissan Skyline GT-R

Nissan Skyline GT-R
Nissan Skyline GT-R
The Nissan Skyline GT-R in the R34 generation.
Manufacturer Nissan
Production 1969–1973
Assembly Musashimurayama, Japan
Successor Nissan GT-R
Related Nissan Skyline
Nissan Stagea

The Nissan Skyline GT-R is a Japanese sports car based on the Nissan Skyline range.

The first GT-Rs were produced from 1969–1973. After a 16 year hiatus since the KPGC110 in 1972, the GT-R name was revived in 1989 with the Skyline R32. This car was nicknamed "Godzilla" by the Australian motoring publication "Wheels" in its July 1989 edition, a name that sticks to this day. The R32 GT-R dominated the motorsport in Japan, winning 29 straight victories out of 29 races. The GT-R proceeded to win the JGTC Group A series championship 4 years in a row, and also had success in the Australian Touring Car Championship winning from 1990–1992, until a regulation change excluded the GT-R in 1993.[1] The Skyline GT-R (R33) was also the first production car to lap the legendary Nürburgring in under eight minutes.

The Skyline GT-R became the flagship of Nissan performance, showcasing many advanced technologies including the ATTESA-ETS 4WD system and the Super-HICAS four-wheel steering. The GT-Rs remained inexpensive compared to its European rivals, with a list-price of ¥4,500,000 (US$31,000). Today, the car is popular for import Drag Racing, Circuit Track, Time Attack and events hosted by tuning magazines. The GT-R is the winner in the 2007 Tsukuba Time Attack held in Japan—the M-Speed GT-R (9 out of the top 15 cars consists of GT-Rs). Production of the Skyline GT-R ended in August 2002. The car was replaced by the GT-R, an independent vehicle not sold as a Skyline.

The Skyline GT-R was never manufactured outside of Japan, and the sole export markets were Hong Kong, Australia and the UK, in 1991,[2] and New Zealand as used Japanese imports. Despite this the car has become an iconic sports car, including in countries from the Western World (mainly the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Canada).[3][4][5] It has become notable through pop culture such as cinema and video games like The Fast and the Furious series, Initial D, Shakotan Boogie, Wangan Midnight, and Gran Turismo.

The car was named by BBC's Top Gear as the only true Japanese contribution in the line of supercars.[6] The car was also named by the main presenter of the show, Jeremy Clarkson, as one of the best cars in the world.[7][8]


History of the brand

The Skyline name originated from 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 while the GT-B stands for Gran Turismo Berlinetta. The Japanese chose to use Italian when naming the car – as most cars made in Japan at that time used Western abbreviations – 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 four-door PGC10 2000 GT-R, 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 119 kW (160 hp) 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 major race despite the sole purpose-built racecar which now resides in Nissan's storage unit for historical cars in Zama.

The Skyline continued into the 1990s when it became popular largely because it remained rear wheel drive, while most other manufacturers were focusing on front wheel drive cars.

Throughout its lifetime, various special editions containing additional performance-enhancing modifications, were released by Nissan and its performance division Nismo (Nissan Motorsport).


First generation (1969–1972)

First generation
1972 Nissan Skyline GT-R coupe
Production 1969–1972
Body style 4-door sedan
2-door coupe
Layout FR layout
Engine 2.0L 160 horsepower (120 kW) S20 I6
Transmission 5-speed Manual
Designer Shinichiro Sakurai

The first Skyline GT-R, known by the internal Nissan designation PGC10, was released on February 4, 1969. It was available originally as a four-door sedan after a public debut at the October 1968 Tokyo Motor Show. It was advertised alongside the Nissan R380 racecar to showcase the Skyline's racing heraldry. It was equipped with the 2.0 L DOHC S20 I6 producing 160 hp (120 kW) at 7000 rpm and 177 N·m (131 ft·lbf) of torque at 5600 rpm. Power was delivered to the rear wheels by a 5-speed manual transmission. The first Skyline GT-R rode on a semi-trailing arm strut suspension. It was available as a coupe in March 1971 with the chassis code KPGC10.

A popular name for the PGC and KPGC10 Skyline GT-R was "Hakosuka," which is a combination of the Japanese word for box ("hako" or ハコ) and the pronounced abbreviation of skyline ("Suka" or スカ as in スカイライン or "sukairain").

A total of 1,945 PGC and KPGC10 Skyline GT-Rs were produced.

Second generation (1973)

Second generation
1972 Nissan Skyline GT-R coupe
Production 1973
Body style 2-door coupe
Layout FR layout
Engine 2.0L S20 I6
Transmission 5-speed manual
Designer Shinichiro Sakurai

The KPGC10's successor, the KPGC110, was released in 1973 after its introduction at the 1972 Tokyo motor show. Powered by a 1989 cc I6 S20 engine, the second generation GT-R delivered power to the rear wheels through a 5-speed manual gearbox. The suspension was a semi-trailing ring arm setup and minor aerodynamic parts were added.

This edition of the GT-R was also known as the "Ken & Mary" Skyline, due to a popular advertisement featuring a young couple (Ken and Mary) enjoying the Hokkaido countryside. The advertisement later spawned a hit song by Buzz, and the tree featured in the advertisement later became a minor star itself.[citation needed]

Unfortunately, the second generation GT-R was unsuccessful, for a gas crisis hit in the early 1970s, drying out any demand for high-performance sports cars. A total of 197 cars were built by the end of its short production run. For the next decade, this would be the last GT-R until the production of the R32 in 1989.

Third generation (1989–1994)

Third generation
Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R 001.jpg
Production 1989–1994
Body style 2-door coupe
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Engine 2.6 L RB26DETT I6
Transmission 5-speed manual
Designer Naganori Ito


After cancelling the Skyline GT-R in 1973, Nissan revived the GT-R again in 1989. At the time Nissan was competing in Group A Racing with the Skyline GTS-R. Nissan wanted to retire the GTS-R in favor of a more competitive vehicle. The new generation GT-R, E-BNR32 chassis (commonly shortened to R32), was designed to dominate Group A racing.

Nissan Kohki (Nissan's power train engineering and manufacturing facility) originally tested a twin turbocharged 2350cc bored and stroked version of the RB20 engine. This set up produced 233 kW (313 hp) and used 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, Nissan made the decision to make the car all wheel drive. Nissan 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. Nissan 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 tires. New engine block and heads were then developed to better match the increased displacement. The result was a 600 horsepower car.[9] Later REINIK (Racing & Rally Engineering Division Incorporated Nissan Kohi) produced Group A racing engines between 373–485 kW (500–650 hp)[10] depending on track conditions.


This new 2.6 L all wheel drive concept was put into production as the R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R. The R32 developed 206 kW (276 hp) and 266 lb·ft (361 N·m) of torque, it had a curb weight of 1,430 kg (3,146 lbs). Initial production of the car was the required 510 to allow for homologation starting on May 22, 1989. Its successful debut along with critical acclaim by the motoring press created a heavy demand for the car. Nissan officially started an unlimited production run 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.

Veilside R32 Evolution III GTR – ARKHAM

The Skyline GT-R 'Nismo', introduced on 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.

A rear view of an R32, showing the traditional four round taillights.

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. The result was a 30 kg weight savings for a curb weight of 1,400 kg.

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 ¥5,260,000.

Finally on 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 1,480 kg (3,256 lbs), weighing 50 kg (110 lbs) more than the standard GT-R.[11] 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 starting on May 22, 1989. An above average proportion of the GT-R's were sold in white: this is likely because white is the national racing color of Japan in international motorsport.

Production figures

  • 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

Fourth generation (1995–1998)

Fourth generation
A standard R33-generation Skyline GT-R.
Production 1995–1998
Body style 2-door coupe
4-door sedan
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Engine 2.6 L RB26DETT I6
Transmission 5-speed manual
Designer Kozo Watanabe

The E-BNR33 (R33) was developed in 1995 as a successor to the venerable R32 model. The engine in the R33 was nearly identical to the R32. It used the same turbochargers and the same specification for the manual gearbox, although the syncros were made to be stronger. The engine corrected the R32's weak oil pump drive collar, which tended to fail in higher power applications, with a wider collar. The base model R33 GT-R weighs 1,540 kg (3,400 lb).[12]

The R33 GT-R launched in January 1995 with the base model GT-R and the V-spec model. The V-spec model weighed in 10 kg (22 lb) heavier, and had sportier suspension resulting in lower ground clearance. The V-spec also featured the newer ATTESA E-TS Pro all wheel drive system, which included an Active Limited Slip differential. The V-spec model also included a four wheel independent channel anti-lock braking system.

Rear view of an R33 GT-R.

At the same time as the release of the R33 GT-R and GT-R V-spec, Nissan released the R33 GT-R V-spec N1 model. Changes made in the R33 N1 are similar to those in the R32 N1. The car was made lighter by removing the ABS, air conditioning, sound system, rear wiper and trunk carpet. The R33 GT-R V-spec N1 received the slightly revised R33 N1 engine.


A special edition R33 was released on November 3, 1997 called the 400R, with R standing for Racing. Overall development and planning was by NISMO (Nissan Motorsports International). But, its bored and stroked RB26DETT engine, the RBX-GT2, was engineered and produced by REINIK (later renamed REIMAX – "REINIK to the MAX"). The engine featured 77.7 mm stroke crankshaft (73.7 mm stock), forged 87 mm pistons (86 mm cast stock), upgraded rods, polished ports, high lift camshafts, upgraded oil system, larger exhaust manifolds and higher output turbochargers. NISMO produced an upgraded exhaust, a twin-plate clutch, and intercooler system. Nismo brake pads were fitted to the car. 400R exclusive aerodynamic updates were also added, such as wider fenders, side skirts, a new rear bumper, a new front bumper with bigger air scoops, and a redesigned bonnet and rear spoiler made of carbon fiber. The 400R was also fitted with 18x10 Nismo LM-GT1s. The car developed 300 kW (400 hp) and 347 lb·ft (470 N·m), which allowed a top speed of over 186 mph (300 km/h), and enabled it to reach 0–97 km/h in 4.0 seconds. 370 kW (500 hp) is easily achieved with a higher boost setting. NISMO had originally planned to produce 100 units of the 400R, however only 44 units were made before production of the R33 ended in 1998.[13][14]

Production figures

  • Standard cars = 9,871
  • V-Spec = 6,551
  • Total = 16,422

(Figures include N1 and LM Limited Versions)

Fifth generation (1999–2002)

Fifth generation
An R34-generation Skyline GT-R M-Spec Nür
Production 1999–2002
Body style 2-door coupe
4-door sedan
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive / all-wheel drive
Engine 2.6L RB26DETT I6
Transmission 6-speed manual
Designer Kozo Watanabe

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 overhang was reduced. 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, G-Force meter and an increase in boost pressure measurement to 2 bar. The R34 GT-R was made shorter in response to customer concerns who thought the R33 was too bulky.

Like the R33, the new R34 GT-R V-Spec (Victory Specification) 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, thanks to front and side splitters, as well as 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, revised suspension set up, stiffer rear sway bar and a leather interior with heated front seats. The 'M' on the M-Spec stood for Mizuno who is the chief engineer of Nissan.

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 air conditioning, audio equipment, rear wiper, or trunk lining, but ABS remained. The new R34 N1 was also given the new R34 N1 engine. Only 45 R34 V-spec 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.

The V-Spec version was also imported into the UK with a number of modifications carried out on the car. These included 3 additional oil coolers, revised ECU map, full Connelly leather interior, underbody diffusers, stiffer suspension, active rear limited slip differential, extra display feature on the in car display.[15]

Rear view of an R34 GT-R Nür.

In August 2000, Nissan released the V-Spec II, replacing the V-Spec. The V-Spec II has increased stiffness in the suspension (even stiffer than the original V-spec) and had larger rear brake rotors. It also comes equipped with a carbon fiber hood equipped with a NACA duct, 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 aluminum pedals. The seats were upholstered 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. With the exception of the carbon fiber bonnet, the standard trim level GT-R also received these updates.

In February 2002 Nissan released a final production model of the R34 GT-R called the Skyline GT-R V-spec II Nür and the Skyline GT-R M-spec Nür. The Nür was named after the famous German Nürburgring racetrack, where the Skyline was developed. In total 1000 R34 GT-R Nür(s) were made, 750 were V-Spec II Nürs' and 250 M-Spec Nürs'. The Nür model featured an improved RB26DETT based on the N1 racing engine. The standard turbochargers were upgraded to larger versions with a slight increase in boost and the ceramic blades were replaced with steel versions. This has increased lag, but to compensate the turbo's durability was improved while being able to handle a bigger boost increase. This allowed tuners to increase the boost safely with standard turbos up to 340 kW (450 hp) at the crank. 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), and gold valve covers instead of red. Due to then-current Japanese law the car was advertised as having 206 kW (276 hp) but it actually had over 246 kW (330 hp) when it left the factory.

Production figures

  • Standard Cars = 3,964
  • V-Spec = 1,308
  • V-Spec UK = 100
  • V-Spec N1 = 45
  • V-Spec II = 5,512
  • V-Spec II Nür = 750
  • V-Spec II N1 = 18
  • M-Spec = 228[16]
  • M-Spec Nür = 250
  • Total = 12,175


Nismo originally designed the concept of the Z-tune in 2002 when Nissan was putting an end to the R34 Skyline production. The first Z-tune was built in 2003, using a used 2002 Skyline GT-R V-Spec II. It was built with a concept RB26DETT 'Z1' engine. This engine was based on Nissan's Le Mans GT2 and GT500 racing experiences. As with the racing vehicles a strengthened engine block and stroked crankshaft were utilized. The engine was also bored. With the new displacement of 2.8L and upgraded turbo-chargers the Z1 produced 370 kW (500 hp). The Z-Tune had a 0–100 km/h (0–60 mph) time in 3.2 seconds and has a top speed of over 195 mph.[citation needed]

Nismo was then given the approval from Nissan to build Z-tune models for the Nismo anniversary. Nismo then purchased 20 used R34 GT-R V-Specs, each with less than 18,000 miles (29,000 km) on the clock, they were then completely stripped and were resprayed to a "Z-tune Silver," a special color exclusively for the Z-tune.[17] For each of the 20 production models, the 2.8L engine was revised to allow it to reach 8000 rpm. The turbochargers were supplied by IHI in Japan. The engine is advertised as making as much as 370 kW (500 hp) (for warranty reasons). This second revision of the Z-tune engine is called the 'Z2'. The bodywork is designed with the same functional components used in Nismo's GT500 racing cars, such as engine bay vents on the hood and fenders, as well as wider fenders for wider wheels. The Z-tune is also improved with an aggressive suspension setup from Sachs, and a specially designed Brembo e brake system.

The entire car is essentially handmade, with the car being completely stripped and re-built from the chassis up. Engineers reinforced and stiffened the chassis seam welding in key areas such as the door seams and door frames and added carbon fiber to the strut towers and transmission tunnel and the engine bay, completely redesigning the suspension, drivetrain, engine, gearbox and other components so as to work at maximum efficiency and reliability as is expected of a road-going vehicle. Although Nismo planned on building 20 cars, they ceased production on only 19 (including 2 prototypes).[18] The Z-tune is often regarded as the most expensive (prices for some have been known to exceed US$180,000) street legal GT-R ever built.[citation needed]


Following the end of R34 production in 2002, Nissan announced their plans to separate the GT-R model from the Skyline name, creating an entirely new vehicle although it would be loosely based on the same platform as the Skyline. This new car, now known simply as the Nissan GT-R, debuted in 2007 in Tokyo. Released to the consumers in 2008, it was the first GT-R available worldwide, entering the North American market for the first time.

Although based on the FM platform used by the V36 generation Skyline[citation needed], the GT-R uses an evolved Premium Midship (PM) platform. The car retains its heritage by using the chassis code CBA-R35, or simply R35.


The RB26DETT as used in the R32 and R33 Skyline GT-Rs. Later R34s have red colored valve covers.
A modified RB26DETT in an R33 Skyline GT-R.

The GT-R of the 1990s included a 2.6 L straight six-cylinder twin-turbo engine producing 206 kW (276 hp). The stock turbo-chargers were of a hybrid steel/ceramic design allowing them to spool up faster due to the light nature of the ceramic exhaust wheel.

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 center 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 GT-R customers, and came as standard equipment in GT-R V-spec models. It was later standard equipment in all GT-R models for the R34 Skyline GT-R. 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 electronically 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 R32 could be switched from AWD to RWD by removing the 4WD fuse, but R33 and R34 models had to have the front tailshaft removed, or the centre diff can be depressurised for 'towing mode' as specified in the owners manual.

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 (50 mph) 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 than help in race applications. The system tends to favor 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 its hydraulic lines back on themselves. This is seen to make the car much more predictable when driving at the limit of grip.

While the published figures from Nissan were as quoted above, practical tests showed the car had a factory power output of closer to 330 PS (243 kW; 325 hp) 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 280 PS (206 kW; 276 hp) of power output.

N1 engines

RB26DETT N1 is an upgraded version of the standard RB26DETT engine. It was developed by Nissan Kohki's REINIK division for NISMO and N1 race cars. The standard RB26DETT, although known for its durability, proved to require too much maintenance for Group N (N1 class) racing conditions. REINIK started with strengthened RB26DETT block. N1 block is identified by its 24U number stamped on the block (05U standard blocks). The cylinder walls are thicker and water cooling channels are enhanced to increase flow. It also received an upgraded oil pump and water pump, to improve the cooling and lubrication for race conditions. The pistons have 1.2 mm (0.047 in) top rings and were balanced before assembly but otherwise very close to standard. The connecting rods are also similar to standard but made from slightly stronger material and balanced. Standard crankshaft is balanced to a higher level. Higher flow exhaust manifolds and turbochargers were added for increased torque and slightly higher top-end power. Turbine wheels on the N1 turbochargers are also made from steel for durability, rather than the lighter but weaker ceramic found on the standard turbine.

The R32 Skyline GT-R N1 street car marked the N1 engine's introduction to the consumer. R32, 33, and 34 N1 street cars were known for lack of amenities and their light weight. The R33 N1 engine and turbochargers were slightly revised, and the R34 N1 engine saw further improvement. The camshaft timing was altered slightly for more torque. R33 and R34 N1 turbochargers are the same size however R34 N1s use a ball bearing center section. NISMO states the ball bearings in the R34 N1 allow them to spool 400rpm faster than R33 N1.

The final N1 engine is the R34 Nür engine. The only differences are the cam cover color change from red to gold and R34 Nür edition was a fully loaded street car. There were 1000 Nür engines made for use in the R34 V-spec II Nür and R34 M-spec Nür models, however an undefined amount of extras were made and sold through Nissan dealers.


The CALSONIC R32 GT-R from the Group A series.

The GT-R's history of racetrack dominance began with its 50 victories scored from 1968–1972, including 49 consecutive wins in the Japanese race circuit. Nissan pulled out of racing shortly after the release of the KPGC110.

The Skyline GT-R soon earned the name "Godzilla", for its "monster" track performance and country of origin. The R32 GT-R dominated JTCC, winning all 29 races it entered in the series, as well as taking the series title every year from 1989–1993.

It took 50 races from 50 starts from 1991–1997 (latterly R33) in the N1 Super Taikyu. The GT-R's success sounded the death knell of Group A Touring Car racing; with the formula being scrapped soon after. JTCC was similarly blighted by the R32 GT-R, and splintered soon after, leading to the switch to the Supertouring category and also indirectly to the GT500 category of today.

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 winner in 1991 and 1992 was a GT-R (despite receiving additional 100 kg (220 lb) in weight penalties and a turbo pop off valve in 1992, and crashing), and in the Japanese GT series where it has remained dominant for many years. The Skyline GT-R line were retired from the JGTC series (later changed Super GT Series) in 2004. Its successor, the Nissan GT-R, competed and dominated the 2008 Super GT season, winning the GT500 (see details below).

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 (309 lb) 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, while Hasemi retired with engine failure.

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 1991 Australian Touring Car Championship Jim Richards, the 1991 Australian Endurance Championship (Mark Gibbs & Rowan Onslow), the 1991 Australian Manufacturers' Championship, the 1992 Australian Touring Car Championship (Mark Skaife) and the 1992 Spanish Touring Car Championship.

Akira Kameyama has taken the GT-R to the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb race on three occasion winning in each Open Class for production cars he entered, one in 1993 with the R32,[19] another in 1996 with the R33[20] and again in 1998.[21] For the following year, Rhys Millen took an R33 Skyline GT-R to win the High Performance Showroom Stock category.

At the 1994 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, the GT-R would make its US debut when Nismo entered a sole Group A specification R32 for the GTU category, the car would finish 20th.

A Skyline GT-R LM which competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
A Falken R33 Skyline GT-R.

In 1995 Nismo developed the Skyline GT-R for endurance racing with a pair of JGTC specification R33s for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In order to meet homologation regulations, a street legal version had to be built, although Nismo only required one example to comply. The two racing cars were able to achieve some success at Le Mans, with one car achieving tenth overall, and fifth in its GT1 class, being beaten only by the more developed McLaren F1 GTRs. For 1996, the Skyline GT-R LMs would return, this time carrying enlarged RB26DETTs displacing 2.8 litres. Again competing in GT1, they would finish 15th overall, and 10th in class. However, Nissan chose to abandon their production-based Skyline GT-R LMs in 1997 and instead turn to the purpose-built R390 GT1s. In honor of the success of the Skyline at Le Mans, Nissan marketed a limited edition R33 referred to as "LM Limited", only available in a Competition Blue. There were also 3 of the "LM Limited" model made in white (paint code QM1)

In 2007 Automotive became the first ever to compete with a Skyline GT-R (R34) in the United States, participating in the Speed World Challenge GT series. Team: Driver and President of Automotive Igor Sushko, Crew Chief Sean Morris, Team Manager Victor Reyes, Mechanic Josh Mitchell, and Engineer Merritt Johnson.

In 2007 the Heat Treatments Drag R32 Skyline GT-R driven by Reece McGregor of New Zealand, broke the world record for the fastest AWD over a 1/4 mile with a 7.57 at 305.98 km/h (190.13 mph) at the Willowbank Dragway in Australia, a record previously held by the HKS R33 Skyline GT-R with a 7.67.[22][23]

See also


  1. ^ GT-R may race in Australia.Autoblog.
  2. ^ Nissan Australia sells R32s.uniquecars.
  3. ^ GTOC.UK.Skyline Enthusiast board from UK.
  4. ^ Skylines Australia.Skyline Enthusiast board based in Australia & New Zealand.
  5. ^ GTR Canada.Skyline owners board based in Canada.
  6. ^ Top Gear – Season One, Episode 04.
  7. ^ Jeremy Clarkson's Motorworld: Japan – "The Skyline – and I'm not joking — is one of the best cars... ...I have ever driven..."
  8. ^ Jeremy Clarkson – Top 100 Cars
  9. ^ – Nissan Heritage Collection "R32 Story"
  10. ^ – REINIK History "REINIK History"
  11. ^ JLIMPORTS.AU – Skyline R32 GT-R "GODZILLA"
  12. ^ "Nissan Skyline GT-R V specifications specifications". Retrieved October 7, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Nismo 400R". JB car pages. Retrieved October 26, 2008. 
  14. ^ "REIMAX". 
  15. ^ "Nissan Skyline R34 Buying Guide – Skyline R34 Specs". May 4, 2007. Retrieved October 7, 2010. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ Sports Compact Magazine – NISMO Z-TuneNISMO bought used GT-R V-Specs, each with less than 18K miles on the odometer, and stripped them to bare shells.
  18. ^ Z-Tune News: Z-Tune
  19. ^ Artemis Images – Akari Kameyama driving his Nissan Skyline in[dead link]
  20. ^ Artemis Images – Akira Kameyama driving his Nissan in 1996. He[dead link]
  21. ^ "Off Road: Rod Millen Wins Pikes Peak Hill Climb". Retrieved October 7, 2010. 
  22. ^ Reece McGregor Driver

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