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Skyline GT-R Nismo
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Country of origin:Japan
Produced in:1990
Numbers built:560
Internal name:R32
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:January 25, 2016
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Click here to download printer friendly versionNissan reintroduced the GT-R for the high performance version of the new-for-1989 R32 generation of the Skyline for the first time in nearly two decades. The last GT-R was a delicate coupe powered by a high-revving, two-litre six-cylinder engine. Literally, a different beast altogether, the R32 GT-R was a relatively heavy and very sophisticated machine. For a variety of reasons, it achieved cult status and is today considered one of the all-time great Japanese cars.

The impetus for Nissan to create the R32 GT-R was to homologate a high-performance version of the Skyline for Group A racing. As such, it replaced the GTS-R version of the R31 Skyline. The new GT-R's engine was loosely based on the turbocharged, two-litre straight six used in the GTS-R. It was bored and stroked to raise the displacement to just under 2.6 litre, and fitted with a pair of ceramic turbochargers. The new RB26DETT unit was officially rated at 276 bhp to comply with an agreement between the Japanese manufacturers to avoid a horsepower war.

Mated to a five-speed gearbox, the straight six engine was fitted in a high-tech chassis. All four wheels were driven through the 'ATTESA E-TS' electronically controlled system, which vectored the torque to the axle with the most grip. Additionally, the R32 GT-R was equipped with an equally sophisticated four-wheel steering system, known as 'Super HICAS'. These systems added to the bulk of the large two-door coupe but also ensured it was as nimble as much lighter machines. Outwardly, the GT-R could be recognised by subtle badges and a modest wing on the rear deck.

Production of the GT-R commenced early in 1989 and it did not take long until the required 500 examples were sold and built to homologate the car for Group A racing. The car was so well received by the press that the sales figures far exceeded Nissan's hopes and needs. Between 1989 and 1994 a staggering 40,000 examples were produced. While officially rated at 276 bhp, the actual figure was closer to 300 bhp in standard form. Designed for racing, the RB26DETT had a lot of room to spare and could relatively easily be tuned to produce as much as 1,000 bhp.

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  Article Specifications