The performance potential of the Nissan Skyline, especially the GT-R derivatives, must be brought up in any discussion of the model’s appeal.
For instance, the R32 GT-R was so excellent that it was essentially prohibited from racing in Australian motorsport (or so the popular legend goes … the truth is somewhat more complex).
The Toyota Supra MK4, Mazda RX-7, Mitsubishi 3000GT, and other JDM hero cars from the 1990s and early 2000s are all excellent performers, but the Skyline GT-R can potentially be considered the “best of the best” – you can read more about JDM’s definition and history here. It was unquestionably the most focused in terms of what it sought out to accomplish—being capable of the best performance on the racing track—with probably the exception of the RX-7.
Although vehicles like the Nissan 300ZX and 3000GT weren’t far behind the Skyline GT-R in terms of straight-line speed, it was their superior handling abilities that really set them apart (the 3000GT, for example, was really more of a grand tourer designed for high speed cruising and real-world bends, as opposed to the racetrack).
The Skyline has become so coveted and well-liked thanks in part to this outstanding performance. Even by today’s standards, the Skyline is still incredibly speedy even if modern vehicles have past it. It was groundbreaking and absolutely on the cutting edge of what was possible in terms of automotive performance at the time.
Although it’s debatable, there is a case to be made for the Nissan Skyline GT-R as the absolute apex of Japanese performance driving in the 1990s, and as such, it enjoys the popularity to match!
The Nissan Skyline is one of the most well-known Japanese performance vehicles of all time because it was the best of its age, similar to how Muhammad Ali is the most well-known boxer of all time because he was the best (or so he liked to boast).
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.
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.
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.
Why is the Nissan Skyline well-known?
The Nissan Skyline’s propensity to eat supercars and rule the racetracks earned it the moniker “Godzilla.” The Nissan Skyline GT-R is arguably the most recognizable automobile to have ever been produced in Japan. It has been produced for a while, and it’s easy to understand why.
How come the Nissan Skyline is so expensive?
4 The Acting Is Legendary. The R34 is one of the most exhilarating vehicles of its age, and that is ultimately the real reason it is so pricey. The classic 2.6-liter GT500 RB26DETT engine had a factory output of 276 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque, enabling a 0-60 mph pace of 4.6 seconds.
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.
A Nissan Skyline is swift.
A sports automobile built on the Nissan Skyline platform is known as the Nissan Skyline GT-R (Japanese: Ri Chan sukairainGT-R, Hepburn: Nissan Sukairain GT-R). The first “Skyline GT-R” vehicles, with the model code KPGC10, were made between 1969 and 1972. They were successful in Japanese touring car racing competitions. In 1973, a limited number of second-generation vehicles bearing the model number KPGC110 were produced in its place.
The GT-R moniker was brought back in 1989 as the BNR32 (“R32”) Skyline GT-R following a 16-year absence. The R32 GT-R was utilized to win the Japanese Touring Car Championship four years in a row in Group A standard versions. Prior to a regulation change that banned the R32 GT-R in 1993, the R32 GT-R enjoyed success in the Australian Touring Car Championship, where Jim Richards and Mark Skaife both used it to win the championship in 1991 and 1992, respectively. The Australian auto magazine Wheels gave the R32 GT-R the moniker “Godzilla” in its July 1989 issue due to the vehicle’s technological advancements and performance. Following that, Wheels continued to use the moniker for every subsequent Skyline GT-R generations, most notably the R34 GT-R, which they dubbed “Godzilla Returns” and hailed as “the best handling car we have ever driven.” In tests conducted by automotive journals, the R34 GT-R accelerated from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 4.4 seconds and completed a quarter-mile (402 meters) in 12.2 seconds from a standing start time. At the time, it was one of the production cars with the fastest acceleration.
The ATTESA E-TSAll-wheel drive system and the Super-HICAS four-wheel steering were just two of the cutting-edge technology on display in the Skyline GT-R, which quickly rose to the position of Nissan’s performance flagship. The automobile is still in demand today for import drag racing, circuit racing, time trials, and competitions sponsored by tuning publications. The Skyline GT-production R’s ceased in August 2002. The GT-R (R35), a brand-new car built on an improved version of the Skyline V36 platform, took the place of the previous model. Despite their obvious differences, the two cars were made at the same factory and have identical design elements.
The only Skyline GT-R export markets were Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand in 1991, and the UK (in 1997, thanks to the Single Vehicle Approval process) as used Japanese imports. The Skyline GT-R was never produced outside of Japan.
Despite this, the automobile has gained notoriety as a Grey import sports car, especially in Western countries (mainly the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, Canada, and the United States). The Fast and the Furious, Initial D, Shakotan Boogie, Wangan Midnight, Need for Speed, Forza, Driving Emotion Type-S, Test Drive, and Gran Turismo are just a few examples of popular culture works that have made it well-known. Nismo declared that it would restart manufacturing replacement body panels and engines for all Skyline GT-R models in 2019.
The vehicle was recognized as one of the top automobiles in the world and as the sole authentic Japanese supercar at the time by BBC’s Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson.
What caused the end of Skyline?
However, Nissan has had to redesign its organizational structure and refocus its resources on SUVs, EVs, and other growth categories. This has required choosing to abandon the 1957 Skyline, which was produced by Fuji Precision Machinery, afterwards known as Prince Motor Company.
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.