The Nissan GT-R is by all means a bona fide super car and , however for anyone who is too old to have used a Playstation has been left in the dark about the cars that made those three letters so significant over the past two decades. That is because the most contact most people in the U.S. had with a Nissan Skyline GT-R was when playing Gran Turismo, or at an auto extravaganza like SEMA, and there were two fine examples on display this year in the Las Vegas Convetion Center. These were ultra exotic all wheel drive sports cars powered by a revolutionary low displacement high revving twin turbocharged straight six that pushed the Japanese Government’s limits with a reasonably priced package that was able to trump quite a few super cars of its day. Adding to the lore of the old Skyline GT-R ; the ones that did make it to America with a DOT approval all came from the same import company, and they were found out to be crooked.
In 1989 the Japanese automaker revived the GT-R nameplate from the 1970s with the R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R. At the time the GT-R was a two door version of Nissan’s popular Skyline luxury sedan, something we were introduced to in America as the Infiniti G35 some years later. Back in the ’90s Nissan had to advertise their budget super car at 280 PS (275 HP) but Godzilla has been dyno’d to reveal closer to 350 HP coming from the RB26DETT under the hood. What was even better is that these car’s could easily be boosted to produce closer to 500 HP and there are even a few recorded 1000 HP runs by tuners who never had to crack the head gasket. In the U.S. the baddest car you could buy and then modify was a Toyota Supra, there are even models that can race against a Suzuki Hyabusa and win at 150 MPH, in Japan they said that when you got over your Supra you bought a GT-R.
This year’s SEMA Show featured two of the latter examples, one white on gold R33, a model that was made from 1995-1998 and got more curves and a bigger turbo. The other jaw dropping piece of high performance machinery was the highly coveted six speed R34, although Nissan ended production of the car in 2001 they came back with a rare proposition for 2004. Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of Nissan Motorsport International, the manufacturer offered to buy back 20 low mileage models which were stripped down and rebuilt to be Z tune GT-Rs. Making 600 PS from a race engine and shod with a set of beautiful black GT500 style Volk racing TE-37s, simply exquisite. Although the late model Rotora car is wearing a different set of wheels, it does have the Z tune style fenders with the vents at the top. It’s tuners cars like these that gave the GT-R its super car credibility; so now you know, and knowing is half the battle.