The Nissan Skyline’s ability to be customized is another factor in its popularity.
Even some of the more basic motors used (particularly the turbocharged ones) can be upgraded to produce tremendous performance. The RB26DETT in the top GT-R versions is capable of significant increases through modification.
With its flexibility to be customized, the Nissan Skyline has become a well-liked option for individuals seeking a reliable foundation to work from.
There’s a good reason why YouTube is flooded with videos of customized Skylines producing hundreds of horsepower more than they did out of the factory, like this fully equipped R32 GT-R with about 1000 horsepower:
The highest GT-R variants are not the only ones that can be tuned. Here in New Zealand (where this site is headquartered), substantially modified “basic” Skylines, such the GTS-T, or even NA vehicles that had been converted to turbo later on were previously a reasonably common sight on the roads. Due to wear, mileage, and decay, you don’t see as many of these modified Skylines as you once did, but they do still turn up occasionally. When they do, police sirens can frequently be heard rushing to catch up in the background.
To cut a long story short, the Nissan Skyline’s popularity can be attributed in part to the fact that it makes an ideal platform for modifications. A Nissan Skyline would be a much better choice for someone searching for a foundation on which to build their ideal performance vehicle.
examining the controversial history, enviable power, and humble beginnings of “Godzilla.”
Over 50 years have passed since the Nissan Skyline was first produced. It was debuted in 1957 as a five-door station wagon and a luxury four-door sedan, but it was praised for its successful racing career during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s and beyond. By the 1990s, a rising scene of car enthusiasts wanting to tune them had accepted Nissan’s top performance model, and as we approached the 2000s, the Skyline emerged as a starlet on the big screen.
The Skyline served as the model for nearly every PlayStation Gran Turismo video game due to its rich racing history. When playing games like Need for Speed, where driving any Skyline iteration would be as close as a player would ever get to doing so, the Skyline became a popular option. Along with its appearances in video games, the Skyline served as the primary vehicle in several Fast and Furious movies, including the one driven by Paul Walker as Brian O’Connor, whose blue and silver 1999 GT-R R34 went on to become an iconic vehicle in and of itself.
A unicorn to the majority of people and a struggle for many others as they navigate import laws and skyrocketing pricing, Skylines are today’s holy grail of the automotive industry.
The Popular Culture Of The GT-R
A supercar like the GT-R tends to garner a lot of attention, and over time, it has been spotted in locations other driving lanes. The ongoing video game franchise Need For Speed has several GT-R cars. In the enormously successful Fast & Furious film series, both the GT-R and Skyline are depicted. The GT-R appears in dozens of different virtual iterations in the ground-breaking driving simulator/game Gran Turismo, and the response was so positive that a genuine concept car was developed.
What Makes the Nissan R34 Skyline GT-R the Best Today?
The Nissan Skyline GT-greatness R’s is supported by a mountain of evidence. This vehicle was the fulfillment of many enthusiasts’ fantasies, with an advanced all-wheel drive system and an inline six powered by twin turbochargers. The first Skylines were created in 1969, but it wasn’t until the R32 was released two decades later that they really began to attract attention.
Skylines have started to arrive from outside despite the fact that these vehicles never made it to the United States officially. Since the 1989 model year vehicles were excepted from the NHTSA’s 25-year import prohibition in 2014, it is now permissible to import R32s into the US. There are legal loopholes like registering it as a show or showcase car that some people use to bring over the more recent R33 or even the greatly desired R34 (though this severely limits the number of miles one can drive in a given year). Another, riskier option is to register it as a whole different vehicle, such a Nissan S-car. The latter is a bad idea because getting caught will probably result in your priceless Skyline being destroyed.
The absurd 25-year rules don’t apply in Canada, where this specific R34 Skyline GT-R originates from. Matt Farah ran on it and had an amazing time:
This car looks wonderful, sounds amazing, and performs amazing, at least in Matt’s opinion, even with very modest changes. The car’s owner wants to increase its power from 360 whp to 600 whp. It would be worthwhile to follow this build and look at additional pictures of the vehicle.
The R34 dates back to a time when stick shifts were preferred to dual-clutch, computerized gearboxes with paddle shifters, GPS navigation was still a somewhat pricey option, and LED DRLs weren’t commonplace. The R34 is at a turning point because it doesn’t have all of these contemporary amenities but still has onboard computers to enhance your driving experience.
Imagine if this vehicle had been offered alongside the NSX, RX-7, and Supra at the time they were first released; it is safe to say that this would have sparked heated competition amongst them and made Skylines today, and the R34 in particular, more accessible.
Why are Nissan Skylines so popular?
The Skyline’s vast range of specs and styles is one of the characteristics that contributes to its popularity as an import. Although the GT-R receives the most attention and is the most popular R32 import, single-turbo, 2.0-liter, and 2.5-liter models with rear-wheel drive and four-door variations are also often imported.
Are Nissan Skylines uncommon?
The Z-tune, R400, and, of course, Brian O’Conner’s electric blue R34 from 2 Fast 2 Furious are a few particularly uncommon Nissan Skylines. But there is only one Godzilla that is genuinely as uncommon as a unicorn: the magnificent R33 LM.
The silhouette of this squat, wide-arched R33 may be recognizable to Gran Turismo players from the opening movie of the first game. Since then, every episode of the racing franchise has featured a similar vehicle. But unlike the fantasy realm of pixels where several copies can coexist, there is only one hard copy in existence.
It is kept at Nissan’s magnificent Zama DNA garage. A carefully crafted toy box stuffed to the gills with the Japanese manufacturer’s back catalog. We also met the LM there for a brief one-on-one conversation.
We begged and begged to be allowed to drive it, but that was not possible. Even Carlos Ghosn, the biggest of all Nissan bigwigs and chairman, president, and CEO, has never been permitted to operate a vehicle.
Even still, we continued to plead, threaten, and even consider stealing it in order to experience driving without a PlayStation controller.
Nissan Skylines are they quick?
However, even if it were street-legal, it most likely wouldn’t be that fast outside of the drag strip. That’s because drag strip surfaces are specifically prepared for increased grip and stickiness, as explained by Autoweek. The Drive claims that they are so powerful that individuals can become hooked to them.
For instance, while having more power than the Camaro ZL1 1LE, the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye is slower in a drag race. The tires of the former simply cannot find enough traction without the tacky surface. And even if the Metro R32 had AWD, the situation would be similar.
However, Maatouks Racing did break a new record with the “King32,” an additional R32 Skyline GT-R. This specific Nissan Skyline features a full interior, the original body panels, and is street-legal. At 209 mph, it completed the quarter-mile in 6.84 seconds. Even if it is slower than Metro, the Nissan Skyline GT-R is still the fastest street-legal car in the world.
What makes skylines so pricey?
To sum up, there are numerous important causes for the skyrocketing cost of Skyline:
- When they were first purchased, the cars were not especially affordable (read our guides here to the R33 GT-R cost new and the R34 GT-R cost new for more information).
- Because the Skyline “fleet” is getting older, demand is declining.
- Across the board, classic car prices are growing.
- Global liquidity excess has caused asset prices to surge.
- Skylines are quickly gaining the ability to be driven on American roads, increasing their appeal to one of the world’s major markets. For additional details on this subject, be sure to read Why Nissan Skylines Are Illegal in the United States.
As a result, if you want a Skyline, you’d better be ready to spend a lot of money! Due to how sought-after these cars are, it is doubtful that Skyline prices will decline significantly regardless of whether the vintage car bubble persists or bursts.
Because of this, if you’re thinking about purchasing a Skyline, it’s imperative that you acquire a decent one. For more information on how to purchase a top-notch Skyline without getting scammed, read our buyer’s tips.
The R35 is not a Skyline, why?
One of the most renowned Japanese performance cars of all time is the Nissan Skyline GT-R.
The “Godzilla” (see here why the Skyline GT-R is called as Godzilla) has come to represent strength and performance throughout the course of several different generations.
The Nissan Skyline GT-R has become one of the most coveted names in Japanese performance driving despite being illegal in the United States at the time (see our article on why Nissan Skylines are illegal in the United States).
You probably already know that Nissan stopped producing the R34 Skyline generation in 2002 (for more information, see our buying guide for the R34 GT-R).
The skyline actually kept going after that and is still going today, but it is now what is known as the “New Generation Skyline,” which is very different from the past skylines. The new Skyline is more well-known in America as a line of Infiniti vehicles, including the Infiniti G35:
This New Generation Skyline was mainly focused on giving a premium touring car experience and never included a GT-R variant.
Due to the overwhelming demand from auto enthusiasts, the R35 GT-R was debuted in 2007 and is still in production today.
Indeed, the R34 GT-R was the Nissan Skyline GT-R R34, to give an example.
What makes the Nissan GT-R of today the Nissan Skyline GT-R R35? After all, any car sporting those distinctive taillights must be a Skyline!
The reason the R35 GT-R is not a Skyline is rather straightforward, in case you’re wondering.
Earlier GT-Rs (such as the R32, R33, and R34) were built on the Skyline platform of that generation.
Consider the R32 GT-R, which was offered in a variety of trim levels and engine/gearbox combinations, including as a sedan.
Nissan used that generation’s Skyline base to build the R32 GT-R (the original “Godzilla”), turning everything up to 11.
There is no platform overlap with the existing Skyline (known in America as the Infiniti Q50). The R35 GT-R is a “standalone” vehicle, as opposed to the previous generations of GT-Rs, which were all the pinnacle of the applicable Skyline platform.
Although the R35 GT-R is essentially the spiritual successor to previous Skyline GT-Rs, Nissan opted not to utilize the Skyline brand due to the distinctive platform.
All Skylines equipped with turbos?
While the majority of us associate the Nissan Skyline with the GT-R (mainly because it is the “renowned” car from movies, video games, etc.), there were numerous less flashy models that used naturally aspirated engines.
Many of them were created especially for the Japanese domestic market, although used imports of them can now be obtained in other nations.
For instance, in New Zealand, you used to see a lot of NA Skylines in simpler trims (such the GTS, which is the non-turbo counterpart of the GTS-T) driving about.
These cars are now much less common to see where we live due to time, aging, and frequently inadequate maintenance and care. However, these vehicles exist and were much more prevalent than the GT-Rs that we are all familiar with.
Consider the Skyline R32 generation. The available engine choices for this generation are as follows:
- 1.8 L CA18i I4
- 2.0 L RB20E I6
- RB20DE DOHC I6 2.0 L
- I6 2.0 L RB20DET DOHC
- RB25DE DOHC I6 2.5 L
- RB25DE DOHC I6 2.6 L
- Twin-turbo 2.6 L RB26DETT DOHC I6
As you can see, there were numerous engine options (depending on the specific model or trim), but only a small number of them were turbocharged. However, it so happens that turbocharged engines, in particular the RB26DETT, are what propelled the Skyline to legendary status as one of the greatest JDM heroes of all time.