The R33 Skyline was introduced in August 1993. Slightly heavier than the R32, and available as a 2 and 4 door, all models now used a 6-cylinder engine. Nissan took the unusual step of down grading the GTS model to have only the RB20E, while the twin-cam of the R32 GTS was discontinued along with the 2.0 L turbo RB20DET. As with the R32, all auto transmissions on the 2.5 liter non turbo models were 5 speed, all 2 liter and turbo 2.5 liter automatic models were equipped with a 4 speed auto transmission.
Some models came equipped with a new version of the HICAS 4-wheel steering system called Super HICAS. This computer controlled system was first used on the R32 GTR. Super HICAS used electric actuators to steer the rear, as opposed to the hydraulic HICAS.
As an option, an active limited slip differential was available instead of the standard viscous LSD. This new unit locked the rear differential if it detected that traction was lost by one of the wheels. A light on the dash also lit up if the LSD engaged. Active LSD came standard on all V-spec R33 GT-R Skylines.
The RB25DE and RB25DET engines also became equipped with NVCS (variable inlet cam phasing). NVCS equipped RBs have a bulge on the front of the cam cover. To celebrate their 40th anniversary, Nissan introduced a very rare 4 door GT-R. Two versions of the 4-door GT-R were available from Nissan’s subsidiaries: the first was produced by Autech, and the second was a joint Autech/Nismo project.
Skyline R33 Rear
A R33 based wagon was released in September 1996, called the Stagea. It had a different body style than the R33 and R34 and (with the exception of the RS FOUR & Autech variants) was only available with an automatic transmission. A common modification on the Stagea is to fit it with an R34 skyline front, in effect making a 4 door R34 wagon. The Stagea is the only four wheel drive manual transmission Nissan on the R33 platform with the RB25DET engine. Presumably, a 5 speed 4WD Skyline equipped with an RB25DET would have been too close in performance to the much more expensive GT-R. There was also an Autech Stagea, the 260RS released with full GT-R running gear, the RB26DETT engine, body kit, 17" BBS style alloys, GT-R instrumentation, and manual transmission.
The R33 Skyline (Series 2) continued the concepts introduced in the R32. Driver’s airbags became standard in 1996 as they had been only an option up until this time, passenger side airbags remained an option. The ignition system was also changed, with the ignition module no longer located on the cam covers and was instead replaced by improved ignition coils and ECU. The turbo was also given a nylon compressor wheel. Throughout the time the R33 was produced there were quite a number of different styled lights and bodykits fitted, the actual body/chassis underwent no changes. Among the cosmetic changes in the series 2 were, the headlights which tapered down more towards the grill and were fitted with improved reflectors, the grill (which was longer on the Series 1), the bonnet which had a re-shaped leading edge to fit the new lights and front bumper changing shape in the smallest amount to match the lower edge of the new headlights. The R33 ceased production in March 1998 with the 40th Anniversary R33 SII.
Skyline R33 Interior
The BCNR33 GT-R version also had the same RB26DETT engine that the BNR32 was equipped with, although torque had been improved, due to changes in the turbo compressor aerodynamics, turbo dump pipe, and intercooler. The turbo core changed from a sleeve bearing to a ball bearing, but the turbine itself remained ceramic, except on N1 turbos (steel turbine, sleeve bearing). From the R33 onward, all GT-Rs received Brembo brakes. 1995 saw the GT-R get an improved version of the RB26DETT, the ATTESA-ETS all wheel drive system, and Super HICAS all-wheel steering. A limited edition model was created in 1996, called the NISMO 400R, that produced 400 hp (298 kW). The R33 GT-R set the production car lap record for the Nordschleife with an official time of 8’01"86, and several sub eight minute unofficial times. Other manufacturers had caught up since the R32 was released, and the R33 never dominated motorsport to the extent of the R32.
BCNR33 GT-R - 2.6 L RB26DETT DOHC twin-turbo I6, 305 PS (224 kW) (advertised as 280 PS) 4WD
In May 1998 the HR/ER/ENR34 addressed many of the concerns over the change from the R32 to the R33, with more emphasis on spottiness. The RB20E engine was discontinued in the R34 base model (GT) and the RB20DE reintroduced after last being used in the R32 Skyline. The R34 GT powered by the RB20DE and 5 speed gearbox became the most fuel efficient straight six Skyline to date of any shape. The 5 speed automatic transmission available on some models in the previous 2 shapes was discontinued. In its place Nissan produced a 4 speed tip-tronic transmission for all of the automatic versions.
R34GT - 2.0 L RB20DE I6, 140 hp (103 kW)
25GT-V - 2.5 L RB25DE I6, 193 hp (142 kW)
25GT/25GT-X - 2.5 L RB25DE I6, 193 hp (142 kW)
25GT-t - 2.5 L RB25DET turbo I6, 280 hp (206 kW)
The GT-R reappeared in 1999, with a revised chassis and other updates. The stronger block from the R33 N1 GT-R was used on all R34 GT-Rs. The standard R34 GT-R turbos changed to a steel turbine. The R34 N1 turbos received a ball bearing core. Both had a higher compressor A/R ratio. A heavier stronger six speed Getrag gearbox was used. The head casting and the camshafts were significantly revised, and incompatible with earlier RB26DETTs. The dump pipe and intercooler were also improved. The BNR34 GT-R may well have been the last high performance Nissan to wear the Skyline badge.
GT-R - 2.6 L RB26DETT twin-turbo I6, 332 PS (244 kW) (advertised as 280 PS)