Nissan Skyline (R34) review


What is?

The Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R (1999 – 2002). Fifth and last of the Skyline GT-R (the R35 has had the “Skyline” part of the name removed), the poster child for a generation weaned from the likes of grand tourer, Fast and Furious and a host of other digital dreams. An angry-looking four-seater coupe, so full of Japanese technical brilliance that at the time it could set a lap time that belied its apparent lack of power.

A lack that was rushed through by a host of tuners who, primed for ’32 and ’33, knew the GT-R’s base package was fertile ground for boost and trickery. And over the years, as with every generation of GT-Rs, there have been some special monsters: 400hp with a wave reprogram, 5-600 with relatively minor internals, 800-1000hp if you go all out and you start to forge things and fight. with simple fans of monsters.

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The base car is still an impressive piece of kit, mind. Le légendaire moteur bi-turbo six cylindres en ligne RB26DETT de 2.6 liters (2.8 dans certaines variants) a apparemment sorti un “accord de gentleman” de 276 ch de l’usine – bien qu’ils l’aient rarely fait actually. Most were tested in the 330hp range, although no one officially admitted anything, so perhaps the horses were just breeding on the ship from Japan.

Lots of cool acronyms, including Super-HICAS with four-wheel steering, ATTESA E-TS (Advanced All-Terrain All-Terrain Engineering System) four-wheel drive, and a limited-slip differential at each end, being the most active rear on V-Specific cars. It’s a six-speed manual, now relatively small compared to the modern transmission, packed with attitude.

It’s also a car that carries a weight of expectation, largely due to rave reviews from the contemporary motoring press, a technological marvel that could outperform supercars for a third of the price in the late ’90s and early ’90s. 2000.

It was also one of the first cars to truly adopt the “special edition” marketing model adopted by many supercar manufacturers since then, spawning a host of Nismo (Nissan Motorsport), V (Victory) and M-Spec (Mizuno, the chief engineer), Z-Tune, Nür (Nürburgring) and others, including a host of market-specific cars. It also has a long and proud history in motorsports, from touring cars to Pikes Peak, drag to drift. He is a bit of a hero.

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Our choice of the range.

2.6 twin-turbocharged 2-door

What’s the verdict?

As a classic of its time, the GT-R still stands today. One of the best cars we have driven in a long time.

They say you should never meet your heroes or revisit past glories. But in the case of the R34, there is no problem either. It’s strange how different the car feels now than it did 20 years ago, put into context by modern fast cars.

It’s visceral, fun, engaging on a level a Golf R can only dream of, even though the VW has more power, more traction, more torque, more of everything you think you want apart from character. Prices are going up, and for good reason.

Finding a standard example is hard, and the temptation to mod when they agree to play with such grace is difficult in the extreme, but as a classic of its time, the GT-R holds its own even in 2019. One of the best cars we’ve driven for years. a long time, even almost two decades away.

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