The car that helped turn Gran Turismo into a household racing game returns in all its Midnight Purple glory

Before today’s Nissan GT-R turned into Godzilla, its predecessor, the Nissan Skyline was considered one of the finest performance cars to come out of Japan. No more was that evident than with the Skyline GT-R Nismo 400R, the car that spawned a legion of gamers to devote the rest of their gaming lives to the Gran Turismo video game franchise. Yes, if you’re old enough to remember the original Gran Turismo game, the yellow Skyline GT-R Nismo 400R was the poster car for that game.

These days, finding a 400R on public roads is a rare occurrence. Nissan only built 44 units of the car and most of them are probably sitting in someone’s collection or lost to memory entirely. Fortunately, EVO’s Jethro Bovingdon was able to get his hands on a beautiful Midnight Purple Skyline GT-R Nismo 400R and take it out for a quick joy ride on some mountain road in England. It’s not the most well-suited place to be driving the road racer, but it certainly brought back a lot of memories of Gran Turismo’s Trial Mountain circuit.

As a brief refresher, the Skyline GT-R Nismo 400R was launched in November 1997 and was inspired by the Skyline GT-R LM that competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995 and 1996. It was also mostly based on the R33 GT-R, but for the most part, it was pretty much a ground-up overhaul of the said model. The most important of these changes was the 2.8-liter straight-six engine, otherwise known as the RB-X GT2 engine, found under the hood of the 400R. Since most Skylines of that time used Nissan’s RB26DETT engine, the 400R was given a Le Mans-proven powertrain to give it that extra punch on the road. That decision paid off in kind as the 400R was capable of churning out 395 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque.

But, enough of the history lesson. Check out the video and let me see if you suddenly develop the urge to dust up your old Playstations (if they still work) to have one last go around Trial Mountain in that yellow 400R.

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