For more than 50 years, the Nissan Skyline GT-R has been a beloved car among Japanese car enthusiasts. Starting as a racing version of a popular JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) car, the Skyline GT-R evolved over the years to become the iconic R35 GT-R that we know today. Its captivating performance on the road and track, as well as its appearances in pop culture, have cemented its status as a fan favorite worldwide.
The history of the Nissan Skyline dates back to the late 1950s when the Prince Motor Company of Tokyo introduced luxury cars under the Skyline nameplate. The Skyline made successful forays into motorsport during the mid-1960s. In 1966, Prince and Nissan merged, leading to a new era for the Skyline. The third-generation C10 Skyline, introduced in 1968, served as the base for the first GT-R model.
In late 1968, Nissan unveiled the PGC10, a high-performance Skyline saloon that would later be known as the Skyline 2000 GT Racer, or GT-R for short. Powered by a 2.0-liter straight-six S20 engine derived from a racing prototype, the PGC10 produced 160 horsepower. It featured advanced suspension, disc brakes, and a limited-slip differential. The racing version of the GT-R started winning races even before full production began.
In 1971, Nissan introduced a coupe version of the GT-R called the KPGC10, commonly known as Hakosuka. However, the energy crises of the 1970s halted the production of high-performance cars, and Nissan ceased production of the GT-R models after only 197 KPGC110s were sold.
The Skyline continued to evolve in subsequent generations, but it wasn’t until 1989 that the GT-R made a comeback. The R32 Skyline GT-R brought significant advancements, including an all-wheel-drive system called ATTESA ET-S and a powerful 2.6-liter twin-turbo engine. The R32 laid the foundation for the GT-R’s reputation for power, grip, and performance.
Over the years, the GT-R lineup expanded with notable versions such as the Nismo homologation model, the V-Spec with upgraded features, and the N1 with stripped-out specs. Each version showcased the GT-R’s ability to excel both on the road and the racetrack.
In 1994, the R33 Skyline GT-R was introduced as the evolution of the iconic sports car. While similar to its predecessor, the R32, the R33 featured improvements in power, torque, technology, and grip. The R33 also gained popularity through its appearance in the video game Gran Turismo, which further boosted the GT-R’s reputation.
The Nissan Skyline GT-R has left an indelible mark on the automotive landscape. Its rich racing heritage, superb on-road performance, and cultural significance have made it a favorite among car enthusiasts worldwide. Even after more than 50 years, the GT-R continues to captivate fans with its performance and allure.