Nissan Skyline R32:

In May 1989 a new Skyline GT-R was unveiled, created from the outset as a road-going racer designed for competition, and once again it won every race. Highlights included a pole to finish win at the Macao Grand Prix in November 1990 and total dominance of the 1990 All Japan Touring Car Championships; outgunning all competition in the Group A class. Because it raced in Group A (a production class) Nissan had to make a full production version for the road .. the R32. A genuine race car for the road.

Technical innovation in the R32

ATTESA E-TS, a 4 wheel drive system consisting of a variable electronic torque-split transfer mechanism. It directs torque to the forward drivetrain through a multiplate clutch. The clamping force on the clutch varies between 0-50% dependant on wheel speed sensors that measure slip and a lateral G-force sensor. HICAS, a four wheel steering system which delivers small counter-steer movements to the rear wheels the degree of which, and whether the rear wheels turn opposite for a split second, depends on the rate at which you turn the steering wheel. Multilink front and rear suspension. All round disk brakes with ABS and four piston brake callipers at the front.

The RB26 DETT engine is a twin turbo 2.6 litre straight 6, which has a 24 valve twin-cam aluminium head and Garrett ceramic turbos.

The R32 V-Spec

The Victory Spec was released on the 3rd of February 1993 to commemorate 3-years of straight Gr.A wins.

Four-pot Brembos with ventilated 324 mm discs front and two pot Brembos with ventilated 300mm discs rear.
Retuned ATTESA E-TS 4 wheel drive system.
Bigger 17″ x 8″ BBS aluminium alloy wheels with 225/50 ZR 17 tyres.
0 – 100km/h: 5.10 seconds.
Standing 400m: 12.58 seconds.

The R32 V-Spec II

The Victory Spec II was released on the 14th of February 1994 to commemorate 4-years of straight Gr.A wins.

Tyre size revised to 245/45 ZR17 due to N1 endurance (Gr.N) race regulations.

Nissan Skyline R33:

The R33 GT-R was introduced in 1995 and mostly kept the good traits of its predecessor or tried to better them.

R33 Differences

Various body mods gives a better Cd figure of 0.35; though the car does have a larger frontal area than the R32.
A four way adjustable rear spoiler for differing downforce (Rear wheel lift coefficient =-0.03 @ 0o to -0.14 @ 18o of wing) but overall Cd is 0.39 with 18o of wing! (0.37 at 12o and 0.36 at 6o).
More torque (+1.5 kgm) due to better intercooler; higher peak boost and different computer control parameters. Updated two-arm construction to the upper front multilink suspension; rear suspension travel is increased and stiffer anchor points all round. Yaw rate feedback added to the Super HICAS system. Brembo brakes as standard and revised ABS control parameters.
Bigger 17x9JJ five spoke wheels shod with Potenza RE0 10 245/45ZR tyres.
Various structural changes to increase the overall stiffness of the body and chassis: A strut tower bar and cross bar at the front and a strut tower bar and strut tower panel in the rear; a panel behind the rear seats; a floor cross bar and triple cross bars. In addition, the side members have been integrated, an outrigger construction has been adopted that connects the side sills and side members, the cross sectional shape of the centre pillars has been enlarged and the thickness of the floor panel has been increased.
Some improvements to weight distribution have been made such as moving the battery to the boot.
For the timid, there’s also a driver’s air bag and in later cars, a passenger air bag.
The R33 V-Spec

ATTESA E-TS PRO can redirect up to 50% of the torque to the front wheels within 1/1000th of a second.
Active LSD system splits the torque between the rear wheels.
Even harder, and 10mm lower, suspension.
Expedia S-07 tyres. Bridgestone Potenza tyres are fitted to UK spec cars.
Cost: ¥5,290,000 and £50,000 in the UK spec. More than the standard car but seems worth it!

The Nismo 400R

Yikes this thing costs ¥12,000,000 or £65,000!
RBX-GT2 bored out engine varient redlines at 10,000.
Nismo brakes and intercooler.
10J x18″ wheels with 275/35 tyres, Bilstein gas shocks and 40mm lower suspension than the R33!
Front, back, left & right Torque split controller.
Special Nismo aero body kit and spoiler.

Nissan Skyline R34:

The R34 GT-R was introduced in January 1999 and bettered its predecessor’s performance in almost every department. Basically, the new car is built upon the improved technology of its predecessors.


the R34 GT-R is 4.6m long. Its body kit adding just 20mm over its R34 family members. This is a welcome 75mm shorter than the R33 GT-R, as anyone who has tried to park one will attest to.

The wide rear wheel arches make the R34 GT-R just 5mm wider than the R33 GT-R.

The wheelbase of the R34 is now 2,665mm (55mm down on the R33). This makes it more responsive than the R33, though the R34 wheelbase is still 50mm more than the classic R32.
Curb Weight

What a shame, the R34 GT-R V.spec (at 1,560kg) is 20kg heavier than the R33 V.spec. Probably made up from the extra stiffening active LSD and the underbody ground effect stuff.
We were hoping for weight to be below the 1,500kg of the R32… still there is always the after market!
Engineers tried to reduce weight through using light materials and forged metal. The bonnet and front side panels are made of aluminium. On the V.spec, the front flat bottom tray is made of fiberglass and the rear one, which has to withstand the high temperature from the exhaust pipes, is made of carbon fiber.
Forged metal parts include suspension arms (each piece is 2.5kg lighter) and the 18in wheels (each 4kg lighter than the old 17in).
Turning Radius

Well at 5.6m it’s a bit of an improvement over the R33, which is good news as handling is improved. But why isn’t it 5.2m to match the R34 GT-Four, which basically shares the 4WD system? Maybe the numbers are messed up.

Massive 245/40 ZR18 Bridgestone Potenza RE40s were developed specially for the R34 and adorn similarly new, one piece forged 18in alloys, which overall save 16Kg over the old 17x9j rims.

The engine is still the familiar RB26DETT twin-turbo 24 valve inline six, only with an enlarged intercooler (witness the huge air intake) and improved turbos. The R33 already had ceramic turbines but the R34 adds twin ball-bearings to the turbines as a means to minimize friction.
Furthermore, larger exhaust pipes reduce back pressure.

Looking at the R43 26DETT engine, Nissan’s own power graph (in blue) shows torque peaking at 40.0 kgm @ 4,400rpm while delivering 245 PS.
At the peak power of 280 PS, the graph shows 29.5 kgm torque at @ 6,800 rpm.
Now, as PS = torque x rpm / 716, the official power and torque numbers all square up.
But we know this isn’t correct, because of a Japanese industry understanding, so I put my standard R34 on Power Engineering’s 4WD dyno, which showed peak power (in red) of 328 PS at 6,420 rpm! and peak torque (in yellow) of 39 kgm.
Notice how flat the torque curve is from 3,500 to 5,500 rpm. This all fits the rumours we’ve heard about peak power.

Sadly, the RB26DETT did not get the NEO-VVL system, but nevertheless, thanks to new cams and ECU tweaks, it delivers 40.0 kgm of peak torque at 4,400 rpm. A jump of 2.5 kgm or 18 ft-lb/s of torque! The max power rating is quoted as 280 PS, but as you can see from above, it’s actually 328 PS.

Other R34 GT-R features:

The body shell of the R34 is much stiffer, bending stiffness is up 56% and tortional rigidity has doubled! Add beefed up rear crossmember and mounts, to encourage tracking fidelity from the rear wheels, and an adjustable split rear wing on all models and we’re talking a seriously more agile car with less bulk, a more rigid shell and superior aerodynamics/downforce.
On the V.spec there are ground effect underbody diffesers front and rear to suck it to the ground F355 style.

Another obvious improvement is the use of a 6-speed Getrag ‘box instead of 5-speed. This improves shift quality and performance.

Monoform Sport Seats
3-spoke sports-type steering wheel
2.5 turns lock to lock
Optional Nismo Sports oil cooler
Front brake air ducting
Revised ATTESA E-TS (and pro on the V.spec)
V-TCS (viscous helical LSD traction control system)
Front strut tower bar
ABS Brake assist system
Front aluminium lower arms
Engine management colour LCD display system with peak readings for 8 functions plus 30 second goldfish memory and an RS232 link!
Airbags everywhere