1995→1998 Nissan Skyline GT-R

January 1995 signalled the arrival of the eagerly awaited next generation Skyline, the R33 GT-R. It didn’t disappoint. Although Japanese law prevented the peak power from its twin-turbo 2.6-litre straight-six from exceeding the 280PS of its predecessor, the R33 GT-R improved upon everything else that had made the R32 so well loved and respected.

The Skyline continued to astound on the world’s racetracks, scooping up trophies wherever it went. By this stage Group A had been replaced with the GT series and the N1 Endurance series, and in the latter the GT-R soon racked up another legendary 50 wins. In Australia the race car earned the nickname Godzilla, so crushing was its superiority. It was inevitable that motorsport”s governing bodies would soon find ways to legislate the formidable GT-R out of contention.

Another moment of history was captured by the R33 GT-R when it took the production car lap record at Germany’s daunting and demanding Nurbürgring in October. A near-showroom spec R33 blasted around the 13-miles and 172 corners of the Nordschleif circuit in 7 minutes 59 seconds. Anyone who has ever been to the circuit will more fully understand the scale of that achievement.

The R33 GT-R spawned both a large and unofficial tuning industry, and an official one in the form of Nissan’s own NISMO (NISsan MOtorsport) division. Despite the artificial 280PS ceiling for production cars imposed by the Japanese authorities, Nissan’s engineers had designed the GT-R’s engine to cope with significantly more power than that for motorsport use. NISMOs ultimate R33 GT-R was the 400R, so named because that was the amount of horsepower it produced, and race-trim Skylines proved reliable with 608PS.

In Detail

type Series Production Car
production years 1995 – 1998
built at Japan
production 9872
engine Water Cooled RB26DETT Inline-6
displacement 2568 cc / 156.7 in³
bore 86 mm / 3.39 in
stroke 73.3 mm / 2.89 in
compression 8.5:1
power 208.8 kw / 280.0 bhp @ 6800 rpm
specific output 109.03 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 183.01 bhp per tonne
driven wheels Full Time 4WD w/ATTESA E-TS PRO
front tires Potenza RE0 10 245/45ZR tyres
rear tires Potenza RE0 10 245/45ZR tyres
front brakes Vented Discs w/4-Pot Calipers
rear brakes Vented Discs w/2-Pot Calipers
front wheels F 43.2 x 22.9 cm / 17.0 x 9.0 in
rear wheels R 43.2 x 22.9 cm / 17.0 x 9.0 in
steering Rack & PInion w/Power Assist
f suspension Multi Link
r suspension Multi Link
curb weight 1530 kg / 3373 lbs
wheelbase 2720 mm / 107.1 in
front track 1480 mm / 58.3 in
rear track 1490 mm / 58.7 in
length 4675 mm / 184.1 in
width 1780 mm / 70.1 in
height 1360 mm / 53.5 in
transmission 5-Speed Manual w/Overdrive
drag 0.35 Cd