Brief history of the Nissan Skyline GT-R

Back in the eighties, Japanese car manufacturers were experimenting with innovative concepts, astonishing performance, and numerous incursions in motorsports.

One of the finest examples of this automotive creativeness buzz was the Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R. The R32 Skyline was conceived as a replacement for the bland and outdated R31 generation, with a racing model planned from the beginning.

The GT-R badge was considered a benchmark for performance, especially because of the 1969 to 1972 Skyline GT-R commonly known as the Hakosuka.

The R31 was a traditional rear wheel drive setup, with a straight six at the front, outputting around 210 horsepower in its top tier trim.

But the R32 Skyline GT-R was a completely different machine, with a 2.6 straight six engine, sporting twin turbochargers,named the RB26DETT.

Per the famous gentlemen’s agreement in Japan, the R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R was rated at a mere 276 horsepower, while in reality, the bone stock car made around 320. The racing version had around 600 horses under the bonnet.

To provide dosification for such power, the back then state of the art ATTESSA E-TS all wheel drive system was developed by Nissan, using an electro-hydraulic clutch to divide power between front and rear. Nissan’s system actually sent all the power to the rear wheels until they started to break traction; this was done to conserve the most front tire grip possible.

“It’s this turn-in agility followed by the ability to put all its power down on the way out of corners that made the GT-R such a formidable weapon”  said Richard Meaden once in an EVO article.

As the R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R excelled in racing, it was given the nickname of “Godzilla” thanks to its victories at the Bathurst 1000 in 1991 and 1992

But the story of the mighty Skyline GTR did not end with the R32 generation, the Skyline evolved further, into the subsequent R33 and R34 iterations.

The documentary below portrays the spirit not only of the cars, but also the drivers and tuners dedicated to them, exploring every aspect of the Nissan Skyline GT-R culture.