Nissan Skyline GT-R Generation, The “Godzilla” or “R34”

2nd March 2023

When it comes to Japanese sports cars, few models are as iconic as the Nissan Skyline GT-R. Born in the late 1960s as a high-performance version of Nissan’s humble Skyline sedan, the GT-R quickly gained a reputation for its speed, handling, and technology. Over the years, the GT-R evolved through several generations, each one building on the strengths of its predecessor and pushing the boundaries of what a sports car could do.

The fifth generation of the GT-R, known as the R34, is the most famous. Produced from 1999 to 2002, the R34 GT-R took everything that was great about the previous models and elevated it to new heights. With advanced features like all-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, and a twin-turbocharged engine, the R34 GT-R quickly became a legend in the world of performance cars.

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34

But how did the R34 GT-R come to be? It all started in the early 1990s when Nissan introduced the R32 GT-R. This model proved to be a revelation, winning countless races and gaining a cult following around the world. The R32 was followed by the R33, which improved the formula even further.

So what is it about the R34 GT-R that makes it so special? In this article, we’ll explore 7 (and half) astonishing facts about this legendary car – from its advanced technology to its racing pedigree and beyond. Whether you’re a die-hard GT-R fan or just discovering this amazing machine for the first time, get ready to be amazed.

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34

1. The soul of Godzilla, the RB26DETT engine

The engine of the Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 is one of the most impressive aspects of the car. Known as the RB26DETT, it’s a twin-turbocharged 2.6-liter inline-six engine that produces around 280 horsepower in stock form. While that may not sound like a lot by today’s standards, it’s worth remembering that the R34 GT-R was designed and built in the late 1990s, when performance cars were not as powerful as they are today.

Despite its relatively modest power output, the RB26DETT is a marvel of engineering. It features a sophisticated DOHC (dual overhead camshaft) setup with four valves per cylinder, along with a forged crankshaft and pistons for added durability. The twin turbos are also a key feature, providing near-instant boost and helping the engine produce a broad, linear power band.

Another interesting aspect of the RB26DETT is its use of an air-to-air intercooler, which cools the compressed air from the turbos before it enters the engine. This helps increase the engine’s power output and efficiency, while also reducing the risk of detonation and other issues.

1/5. The Skyline R34 nearly was going to have a V-engine

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34

Kazutoshi Mizuno, the chief engineer, and designer Watanabe originally intended for the R34 to be equipped with a “V6 engine” placed behind the front axles, creating a front-mid-engined layout. Unfortunately, the plan was discarded due to “budget” constraints, as they lacked the funds to develop a V6 engine that would meet the high-performance standards of the GT-R badge.

As a result, the R34 was instead fitted with the trusty RB26DETT engine that had previously powered both the R32 and R33 models.

2. New generation of the all-wheel-drive system

The Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 features an advanced all-wheel-drive (AWD) system known as ATTESA E-TS (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All-Terrain with Electronic Torque Split).

The ATTESA E-TS system uses a combination of sensors, electronics, and hydraulics to control the amount of torque sent to each wheel, allowing the car to achieve maximum traction and stability in a wide range of driving conditions. The system constantly monitors inputs such as vehicle speed, throttle position, and steering angle, and adjusts torque distribution accordingly.

The R34’s AWD system also features a limited-slip rear differential, which helps to distribute torque between the rear wheels for improved traction and stability during cornering. The differential is electronically controlled, allowing it to adjust torque distribution on the fly to match driving conditions.

3. Exclusive Edition: Nissan Skyline GT-R r34 V-spec

Nissan Skyline GT-R r34 V-spec

The Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 V-Spec is a high-performance variant of the R34 GT-R, designed to be the ultimate expression of Nissan’s legendary sports car. The V-Spec (short for Victory Specification) features several upgrades over the standard R34 GT-R, including a stiffer suspension, larger brakes, and a number of aerodynamic enhancements such as a carbon fiber front splitter and rear spoiler. The V-Spec also features a special ATTESA E-TS AWD system with a unique torque split that favors the rear wheels, giving the car a more rear-biased driving feel.

Under the hood, the V-Spec is powered by the same RB26DETT twin-turbo inline-six engine as the standard R34 GT-R, producing up to 330 horsepower and 293 lb-ft of torque. However, the V-Spec features a number of enhancements to the engine and drivetrain, including a stronger six-speed transmission, larger intercoolers, and a titanium exhaust system, all designed to improve performance and durability.

Overall, the R34 GT-R V-Spec is considered one of the most desirable and collectible versions of the car, thanks to its combination of performance, exclusivity, and advanced technology. Only a limited number of V-Spec models were produced, making them highly sought-after by enthusiasts and collectors around the world.

4. Skyline R34: More power than advertised

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34

While Nissan advertised the R34 Skyline GT-R as having 276 horsepower, the reality was that the car’s RB26DETT engine was capable of producing far more power than that. In fact, some sources suggest that the R34 GT-R actually packed around 332 horsepower, despite the so-called “gentlemen’s agreement” among Japanese automakers to limit power to 276 horsepower.

This agreement, which lasted throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, was intended to promote safety and avoid a horsepower race among manufacturers. However, many JDM cars of the era, including the “Honda NSX Type R” and “MK4 Toyota Supra”, were known to produce significantly more power than advertised.

And Skyline GT-R R34 was Officially limited to 112 mph due to a voluntary agreement among Japanese automakers, but believed to be capable of exceeding 155 mph without the limiter.

5. GT-R R34: Technology ahead of its time

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34

The Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 was equipped with an advanced Multi-Function Display (MFD) system, which provided drivers with a range of real-time performance data and telemetry. The MFD was located in the center of the dashboard, and it could display a wide variety of information, including boost pressure, oil pressure, water temperature, speed, lap times, and more.

In addition to displaying performance data, the MFD also allowed drivers to adjust various settings and functions of the car, such as the suspension, differential, and traction control. The MFD also featured a built-in diagnostic system that could display error codes and troubleshooting information.

The MFD was a unique and innovative feature for its time, and it helped to establish the R34 GT-R as one of the most advanced and technologically sophisticated sports cars of its era. Today, the MFD remains a beloved and iconic feature among enthusiasts and collectors of the R34 GT-R, and many owners go to great lengths to maintain and preserve this advanced system.

6. You’ll be able to see the Skyline R34 in the streets of the USA!

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34

The Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 is not currently legal for import or registration in the United States, as it does not meet the safety and emissions standards required by the US government.

However, the 25-year rule refers to a regulation in the United States that allows the importation of certain foreign vehicles that are at least “25 years old”. Under this rule, cars that were not originally sold in the US and do not meet current US safety and emissions standards can be imported and registered in the US as “classic” or “antique” vehicles.

For the Nissan Skyline GT-R R34, which was produced from 1999 to 2002, the earliest models will become eligible for importation in the US in 2024, when the first R34 GT-Rs will be 25 years old. At that point, it will be possible to legally import and register these cars in the US, provided they meet other important requirements such as compliance with US customs and border protection regulations.

7. Price increasing, Fast as the car

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34

the price of an R34 GT-R can range from around $50,000 for a higher-mileage, less pristine example, to well over $100,000 or more for a low-mileage, well-maintained, or modified example. Some particularly rare or special editions of the R34 GT-R, such as the “Nismo Z-tune”, can fetch prices of $500,000 or more.

Overall, the Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 is a legendary car that has captured the hearts and imaginations of car enthusiasts around the world. Its advanced technology, powerful engine, and sleek design make it an icon of Japanese performance engineering. And with its enduring popularity, it’s likely that the R34 GT-R will continue to be celebrated and enjoyed for years to come.

Whether you first fell in love with the R34 GT-R through movies like “2 Fast 2 Furious,” or whether you’re simply drawn to its impressive performance and striking appearance, there’s no denying that this car has a special place in automotive history.