• 10 Things That Make The Nissan Skyline R34 Totally Worth Having At Any Cost

Here are 10 points to better understand the hype around the iconic Nissan R34 Skyline GT-R

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Let’s just skip over the obvious, shall we? It’s a well-established fact all over the world that the R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R is a technological masterpiece, and right now, it’s a better investment than villas around Sherman Oaks. The car is already a JDM legend and pop culture icon thanks to its long-lasting role in the Fast and Furious and popular racing games like Need for Speed and Gran Turismo. Unfortunately due to the 25-year import policy on foreign cars, it is not available in the U.S. just yet but it soon will be, so in this article let’s look at why investing a six-figure sum on a JDM icon is worth it.

Inline-six Fury

10 Things That Make The Nissan Skyline R34 Totally Worth Having At Any Cost
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Powering the fifth-generation Nissan Skyline GT-R is a 2.6-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six which was highly advanced for the time. At the time of launch, the engine made 276 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque according to Nissan literature. Later models such as the limited run Z-tune were available with a bored-out to 2.8 liters, but the entire range was only offered with a Getrag sourced six-speed manual transmission. The GT-R’s RB26DETT engine is known for its immense tuning capabilities, thanks to a well-built engine block, and its stock internals can take a lot more power be it through an ECU tune or using bigger turbos which makes this car a legend in the tuner and JDM community.

The Skyline Balance

10 Things That Make The Nissan Skyline R34 Totally Worth Having At Any Cost
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The Skyline is a balanced platform from the get-go, it appeared for the first time on the Nissan Prince in 1957 and the R34 was perhaps the most glorious iteration of the Skyline which, of course, became the basis for the brilliant R34 GT-R.
The 10th-gen Skyline, introduced in 1998, was based on a well-engineered car available in both two-door coupe and four-door sedan configurations. As for the cutting-edge innovation, the Skyline range was powered by a series of Inline-six engines that aren’t far from the full-fledged RB28DETT that powered the full-fat R34 GT-R.

Straight-six Swan Song

10 Things That Make The Nissan Skyline R34 Totally Worth Having At Any Cost
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Fun fact: the RB20DE NEO and coupled mated to the five-speed gearbox holds the title of the most efficient straight-six Skyline to date. But, the engine that we recommend is the RB25DET Neo, a turbocharged straight-six engine displacing nearly 2.5 liters with 280 horsepower from the factory that powered the range-topping regular Skylines like the 25GT-X (also known as the GT-T or 25GT Turbo) which should be your first choice if you want the R34 GT-R experience on a budget. Currently, these can be had for around $10,000 from your nearest importer and you can bolt most GT-R parts including body kits and turbos to the GT-T without much hassle.

Next-gen AWD system

10 Things That Make The Nissan Skyline R34 Totally Worth Having At Any Cost
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The R34 Skyline was available with an optional AWD system, but the one that underpins the R34 GT-R takes things up several notches. For starters, the R34 Skyline GT-R got Nissan’s ATTESA E-TS (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All-Terrain) four-wheel-drive system that worked in conjunction with an active LSD to put the power down with virtually no drama. Even the Super-HICAS four-wheel steer system added greatly to the GT-R’s performance credibility, a first-of-its-kind system that greatly improved the Nissan’s handling capabilities and high-speed stability which easily made it one of the most advanced AWD systems of the time and continues to impress us nearly 25 years later.

The PlayStation Experience

10 Things That Make The Nissan Skyline R34 Totally Worth Having At Any Cost
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The R34 GT-R was fitted with state-of-the-art telemetry including a 5.8-inch color LCD located and sits front and center of the dashboard, exactly where most modern infotainments are located. The display was capable of displaying seven key stats in real-time including turbocharger pressure (1.2 bar max), oil and water temperature, and more. Later V-spec models added more functionality in the form of intake and exhaust gas temperature readouts. And if this wasn’t enough, one could opt for the Nismo MFD, a paid option that added track-ready features like a lap timer, G-Force meter, and an increase in boost pressure measurement to 2 bar which is why people often compared this display to a PlayStation because it was the best way to describe how it was way ahead of other forms of in-car telemetry.

Practicality in Spades

10 Things That Make The Nissan Skyline R34 Totally Worth Having At Any Cost
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The Skyline GT-R is a two-door coupe on paper, but it offers space and practicality that can rival many four-door cars. For starters, this Skyline GT-R can accommodate four occupants and comes with practical cabin storage and seats that are soft yet supportive to suit the car’s dual personality. Speaking of dual-personality, the R34 GT-R is surprisingly quiet and sedate at city speeds and feels like any other Nissan when pottering around town. It’s also got a big boot that can easily accommodate more than a couple of medium-sized suitcases. All these factors come together to make the R34 Skyline GT-R an effortless daily driver.

The "V-spec" story

10 Things That Make The Nissan Skyline R34 Totally Worth Having At Any Cost
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The R34 GT-R V-spec (short for Victory Specification) was a more fine-tuned version of the regular GT-R that got some noteworthy additions like the ATTESA E-TS Pro AWD system and an Active LSD at the rear which was a significant improvement over the regular GT-R’s mechanical LSD based AWD system. V-spec cars also received a firmer suspension, a body kit with side splitters, as well as a rear carbon fiber air diffuser to help improve underbody airflow. Nissan also released a track-focused homologation special based on the V-spec called the GT-R V-spec N1 which featured extreme weight-saving measures by deleting equipment like air conditioning, audio equipment, rear wiper, or boot lining. Only 38 known R34 V·Spec N1 models were produced from the factory, which makes this perhaps the most valuable and sought-after R34 GT-R of the bunch.

Expected Price Surge

10 Things That Make The Nissan Skyline R34 Totally Worth Having At Any Cost
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A collector car market is a wild place today, thanks to the advent of the internet and bidding websites like Collecting Cars and Bring a trailer that ship cars to practically any part of the globe. The R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R badge is perhaps the most coveted since it was one of the most successful names in the Japanese performance car scene for well over three decades. Its impact on pop culture and JDM culture is undeniable which is why unmodified examples carry an average price of $119,000. But, don’t let these prices scare you because, in the next couple of years, these prices are only going to rise. Under the current import law which allows people to import cars older than 25 years, you can start importing early Skyline R34s from 2024. Some specialized importers offer options to purchase and store one until they turn 25 years old, so when the time comes, expect an unprecedented surge in R-34 GT-R prices.

More Power Than Advertised

10 Things That Make The Nissan Skyline R34 Totally Worth Having At Any Cost
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Back in the 90s, Japanese cars were pushing technological boundaries and competition was only getting fierce. The R34 Skyline GT-R had to go head-on against other JDM icons like the Mk.4 Supra, Lancer Evolution VII, and even Nissan’s own 300ZX. To keep things from getting out of hand, JDM automakers entered a ‘gentleman’s agreement to keep power outputs under the 300 horsepower mark, but lucky for us, they never stuck with it. This is why the standard 2.6-liter RB26DETT straight-six twin-turbo engine which was supposed to make 276 horsepower from the factory, actually tested at over 330 horsepower on the dyno.

How Far Can The R34 Prices Go?

10 Things That Make The Nissan Skyline R34 Totally Worth Having At Any Cost
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Well, if the aforementioned question is very important, especially to collectors and the exact answer to this question is $549,000. Hagerty recently reported the sale of a pristine R34 Skyline GT-R V-Spec II Nur with just 10 km on the odo and it fetched a whopping $549,000 including fees on Japan’s Bingo Auctions, making this the most expensive R34 GT-R of all time. Even though this car is practically new, even regular GT-Rs in stock condition can fetch a pretty penny and the average price for unmodified examples is estimated at $119,000.

FAQs:

Are Skyline R34 legal in the US?

No, the Nissan R34 Skyline GT-R is not sold in the United States but under the current import law which allows people to import cars older than 25 years, you can start importing early Skyline R34s from 2024.

How much does a Skyline R34 cost?

Back when it was launched in 1999, the Nissan GT-R carried a starting price of around $45,000. The average price for unmodified examples is around $119,000.

How many R34 GT-R are left?

Made between 1999 and 2002, a total of 11,578 R34 GT-Rs were produced, and given the car’s cult status, it is safe to assume that most of them have survived or been restored.

Can you still buy an R34 Skyline?

The only way to get your hands on an R34 GT-R is to buy one used and if you live in the U.S. or Canada, you will also have to deal with the additional import duty.

Why is R34 Skylines illegal?

Under the current U.S. import law which allows people to import cars older than 25 years, you can start importing early Skyline R34s from 2024, but before that, it’s illegal to drive an R-34 Skyline GT-R.

Bhavik Sreenath
Bhavik Sreenath
A keen automotive enthusiast with a love for anything with engines. He loves discovering the world of cars and technology to explore new boundaries in the field of modern-day journalism.  Read full bio
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