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The Skyline GT-R is also a highline car model from Nissan, available only in Japan. While the US now has the Maxima as the fastest car Nissan puts out (the 300ZX being discontinued), Japan has the Skyline, which is nothing short of a powerhouse on four wheels.

Skyline Stats (R34)

Dimensions (borrowed from http://www.skylinegtr.com):
                 GT-R          GT-R Vspec 
Weight           3388 lbs      3432 lbs 
Length           181.1 in      181.1 in 
Width            70.3 in       70.3 in 
Height           53.5 in       53.5 in 
Wheelbase        104.9 in      104.9 in 
Turning Radius   5.6 m         5.6 m 
Fuel Capacity    18.0 gallons  18.0 gallons 

Engine Stats:
Engine:          Turbocharged 2.6L 6-cylinder in-line DOHC at 2568cc of displacement

Power: 276bhp at 6800 RPM (redline: 8000 RPM)
Torque: 271lb-ft
Top Speed: 180 km/hr (112 mph), Governor limited
0-60 mph: 4.6s
Quarter Mile: 14.0s at 104 mph

A sports car made by Japanese car company Nissan, the Skyline is one of the most popular Japanese sports imports (also known as rice rockets) besides the Toyota Supra.

History:

Production of the Skyline started all the way back in 1955 with the Nissan Skyline ALSI-1, which was built by the Prince Motor Company. The R3X series (the modern Skylines people recognise today) started with the R30 which was first released in 5 variants in 1981. After that, the Skyline started becoming less sporty in order to cater to the then-more popular luxury market.

After declining sales, Nissan went back to basics in May 1986 with the two-door R31 GTS (as well as the GTS-X and race-designed GTS-R) that was the first to feature Nissan's HICAS (HIgh-Capacity Active Steering) all-wheel steering system. The R32 followed in 1989, of which the GT-R is regarded by enthusiasts as the best Skyline ever with ATTESA-ETS (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All) and Super-HICAS to further improve its handling. This was followed by the R33 in 1995, which carried improvements to the engine such as a broader torque band and improvements to ATTESA-ETS and Super-HICAS.

The current model Skyline (R34) is available in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive and in five variants - the 140hp R34GT, the 193hp R34 GT-V, the R34 25GT and 25GT-X which came with optional all-wheel drive (AWD) and finally the flagship 280hp GT-R.

The Skyline is also very mod-able with many companies producing sports mods for it. Autech, for example, produce a four-door model of the R33 Skyline GT-R called the Autech GT-R. Nissan's motorsports division, Nissan Motorsports or NISMO, also modified the Autech GT-R to produce a 380hp version. Another company is Tommykaira, who produce a powerful modification called the Tommykaira Rz which is the most powerful car available in Japan. The Skyline has appeared in modified form in The Fast And The Furious as the car driven by Vince (Matt Schulze).

1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R R34

Specifications:

Cost: US$89,500 (base price)
Engine: Water-cooled RB26DETT 2568cc inline-6
Power: 205.8kW (276bhp) @ 6800rpm
Torque: 293nm (216.1ft-lbs) @ 4400rpm
Drive: AWD1
Transmission: Getrag 6-speed manual
Body: 2-door sedan
Size (LWH): 4600/1785/1360mm (181.1/70.3/53.5in)
Curb Weight: 1666kg (3676lbs)

Performance:

Acceleration: 0-60mph in 5.2s, 0-100mph in 13s
1/4 Mile: 13.7s
Top Speed: 294.4kph (155mph)

Sources:
nissanskyline.info - http://www.nissanskyline.info
Google
Supercars.net - http://www.supercars.net

1. Originally, I had "Full Time AWD" written under "Drive", but the Skyline is not actually full-time AWD. AWD in the Skyline is provided by the ATTESA-ETS system, which does not provide AWD all the time and hence doesn't qualify as "Full-Time". Thanks, SailorDR.

I have to say that the Nissan Skyline GTR R34 is one of the best cars ever made for under $100k. It's sleek body, lovely rims, aggressive twin turbo, advanced ATTESA E-TS Pro 4wheel drive, and that little GT-R badge all add to its glory. I was truly saddened when I heard the R34 was coming to an end and even more saddened by the 1999 and 2000 concepts for the R35. However, the legacy of the R34, track, drag, or street, will live on.

Of course, I always hear "What? only 276 hp? thats so lame-ass! My Cheverolet Camaro has 315hp and costed 50k less!" and of course "It's impossible to get one in America, so it doesn't matter. It'll cost too much to ship."

Well first off, It's true 276hp is lame-ass for a car this pricey. But even stock, that's not the real potential of the R34. With a $0.00 dollar modification, about 350hp can be easily attained. How? Replace the ECU with one from a 96 300ZX TT, which you can find in a junkyard.

But what if I dont want to mod my car?

Well, the R34 was practically designed with versitility in mind; basically, it's the ultimate mod vehicle for the more common person (as in, modding McLaren F1s is a little out of most of our leagues). Japanese cars are just amazing at how they can mod to your likings (unfortunately, usually most kids rice out their cars =( ). But the Skyline, yea, now there is a vehicle that has endless possibilities. More simple upgrades and we are in the 400hp+ range. Even more, (like Blitz or something), and with much much less than many other exotic sports cars, approx. 800+HP can be had! 0-60 est. 3.x seconds! Legal too! The illegal, yet extremely fast ones I hear get upto 1400-1800+hp, but that doesn't really count.

It's much like building your own computer. It's the satisfaciton of knowing you did it, put your effort into it, (not just pay big bucks snobbishly) and you have your finished product, able to contest with the top PC's out there, but for half or even a third of the cost. So what if you don't have the name like Ferrari tacked onto your car, just like you dont have Dell on your computer. If you wanted to pay for the Ferrari, you would have done so for different reasons.

Now, as for avaliability, I believe the number of R34 GTR's was about 16,000. About 3500 were sent to the UK and 7 made it inside the US. Atleast those are the numbers since I've last updated this node

But my Dodge Viper is only $150,000 and goes 0-60 in 2.4 with slicks! Your Nissan Skyline is far inferior!

Hmm. A few things. First, the price of a Skyline in the US verses the price of a Viper in Japan. Just think about it for a second. Secondly, I'm sure that with upgrades, the Nissan Skyline in the US can be an incredibly close contestor with the 800TT. Sure, buy a used GTR, ship it for about 25k, buy about 60-70k worth of upgrades, and there we have it. Track would be no contest. Hands down the Skyline. Don't even compare the Viper to the Skyline (or McLaren F1) on the track, that's just disrespectful. (Comparing a souped Skyline to a McLaren is another debate...) So the point is, Japan is still in the supercar running.

Moment of silence for the Honda/Acura NSX ..... Oh how we knew thee, back in 1991; your spirit was wild, the VTEC was roaring, and such a reliable partner....

Anyways, back to the Skyline... "well, I just think all Japanese cars suck."

Well that's good for you. Even though you have been practically and thoroughly disproved, you still attempt your final attack with shallow disses and sometimes swearing. If you are ignorant enough just to say that, you should move onto another node cause I hate wasting my time trying to convince people like you. I will admit, I'm not a big fan of American cars, but there are some I respect. C5 Corvette, HUGE respect. '03 Viper, I respect, but nothing before that. cough, deathmobiles, cough. The old GT40, (yes, a Ford) and even the Mustang Cobra R. And of course, other cars, like German cars I like, expecially the BMW M3 YUMM!

Wrapping up now; no need to fight against the Skyline. It has it's ups and its few lows, but it's such a fine vehicle. I would love to hear other arguments for the best vehicle under $100k. I would pick the Z06 and the BMW M3, any others?

To all those Skyline owners out there and members of the Skyline enthusiasts clubs, I envy you. Keep on driving, feel the heart of the car.

UPDATE: This summer, 07/2004, I talked with some connections and was offered a Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R, right hand drive and everything, shipped to the US for only $20,000. See, it's not too hard to get them, you just gotta know people, hehe. Of course, all R33s have like 150k miles and a rebuilt engine, but it's the nostalgia that counts. Now getting an R34 here for that cheap is another matter....

The Nissan Skyline is one of the most famous sports cars in Japan, with a long history dating all the way back to the 1950s when it was manufactured by a small, independent automaker named in honor of Crown Prince Hirohita. Naturally, it is one of this noder's favorite automobiles of all time, and so I took it upon myself to node a history of the Nissan Skyline (what you're reading right now). For convenience's sake, I have split the history into seven digestable chapters, and also included some pertinent links for those who wish to learn more about my favorite car. Enjoy!

  1. Prince Skyline (1957-1968).
  2. Nissan Skyline C-series (1968-1981).
  3. Nissan Skyline R30 & R31 (1981-1991).
  4. Nissan Skyline R32 (1989-1994).
  5. Nissan Skyline R33 (1993-1999).
  6. Nissan Skyline R34 (1998-2002).
  7. Nissan Skyline V35 (2001-present).
And those related links I promised. Sources: history.jbskyline.net, personal knowledge

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