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The legend of the Nissan Skyline GT-R dates back to the mid-60s, when the S54 200 GT-B came second in its very first race in 1964. This was noticed as the start of this fantastic car's journey to success. Another key date was when the Prince automobile company merged with Nissan-Datsun in 1967. This set the legend of the GT-R Skyline in motion.  In 1969, the Nissan Skyline GT-R was put into production and we follow this journey through the five generations of the Nissan Skyline GT-R, through to the latest incarnation of Nissan GT-R.

First Generation: Nissan Skyline GT-R (KPGC10)

Released on 4th February 1969, the first Skyline GT-R was an exclusive car to the Japanese Nissan dealership network, at the Nissan Prince store. The Skyline GT-R was debuted at the Tokyo Motor show in October 1968, alongside the Nissan R380 race car to show the Skyline's racing heraldry. It was originally available as a four-door Sedan and was equipped with the 2.0-litre DOHC S20 I6, which produced 160 hp at 7000 rpm and 177 N/m of torque at 5600 rpm. This enormous power was delivered to the rear wheels by a 5-speed manual transmission. The first Skyline GT-R rode on a semi-trailing arm strut suspension. In March 1971, the Nissan Skyline GT-R was also made available in a coupe.

Second Generation: Nissan Skyline GT-R (KPGC110)

In 1972, the second generation of the Nissan Skyline GT-R was introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show. The release that followed in 1973, featured a 1989cc I6 S20 engine and delivered power to the rear wheels through a 5-speed manual gearbox, the same as the first generation. However, the second generation Nissan Skyline GT-R added both front and rear disc brakes.


Due to the petrol crisis hitting the motor industry, the second generation of the GT-R didn't have the best run, as the demand for high-performance cars seemed to dry out in the early 70's.

Third Generation: Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32)

Even through the hard times in the 70's, Nissan didn't let this stop them from evolving this amazing performance car, as they launched the third generation of Skyline GT-R in 1989. This car seemed to really raise expectations of any other four-wheel coupe when it was launched, due to its amazing performance. It was that outstanding pace that enabled it to achieve the fastest lap time with Hiroyoshi Katoh in the driving seat. This staggering lap time was a result of the sophisticated four-wheel-drive system, which made use of all of the engine's 320bhp.


The R32 GT-R was produced in 1988 close behind the first six NISMO GT-R's in 1989. This was followed by 554 NISMO GT-R's in 1990 and were all Gunmetal Grey in colour. The GT-R had a significantly larger intercooler, larger brakes and aluminium used on the front guards and bonnet. This generation of the GT-R has many accolades, winning 29 races from 29 starts at the Japanese Touring Car Championship, taking the series title from 1989 to 1993.

Fourth Generation: Nissan Skyline GT-R (R33)

The R33 was developed in 1995 as a successor to the R32 model. The engine in the R33 was nearly identical to the R32, due to the success of its predecessor already being a fantastic performer. Small revisions were made, like the syncros were made stronger. There was also a release of a V-Spec model which featured a new all-wheel drive system, with an Active Limited Slip differential. It also features an independent all-wheel drive ABS system.


The Nissan Skyline GT-R was released with several limited editions, produced by NISMO. The LM edition, was the first of the fourth generation, which was released to celebrate Nissan partaking in the 24-hours of Le Mans event in 1996. This limited edition car was in Champion Blue and the car had a hood-splitter lip to direct air to the upper front aperture, and a carbon-fibre rear wing with a Gurney flap. There were only 98 of the LM GT-R released in the Japanese market with only 14 based on V-Spec.


As well as the LM, a special racing edition was released in 1997, called the 400R. The engine was updated, featuring a 77.7mm stroke crankshaft, forged 87mm pistons and upgraded rods. It also was given an upgraded exhaust, twin-plate clutch, and an intercooler system. The aerodynamics were also updated, adding wider wheel guards, side skirts a new rear bumper, to keep the car as swift as possible. The car could hit a top speed of over 186mph and could accelerate from 0-60mph in only 4.0-seconds. There were only 44 units produced of the R33 400R, when production ended in 1988.

Fifth Generation: Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34)

In January, 1999, the fifth generation of the Nissan Skyline GT-R was released. This was made shorter, from front to rear, and the front overhang was reduced to make the GT-R feel more compact and modern. The interior was also updated, with a new LCD multifunction display in the centre of the dashboard, showing seven different readings of stats, including turbocharger pressure, oil and water temperature and many other handy stats. The GT-R V-Spec model added two extra features, which were intake and exhaust gas temperatures. They also had additional displays, including a lap timer and G-force metre.


A special M-Spec model of the R34 GT-R was produced, which has special "Ripple control" dampers, revised suspension set-up and a leather interior with heated front seats. The M stands for Mizuno, who is the chief engineer at Nissan. As well, the V-Spec model was imported to the UK with a number of modifications, including three additional oil coolers, revised ECU map and fully leather interior.


In February 2002, the final production models of the R34 GT-R were released and named the Skyline GT-R V-Spec II Nür and the Skyline GT-R M-Spec Nür. The Nür was named after the well-known German Nürburgring racetrack, where the Skyline was developed and tested. There were a total of 1000 made and 750 were V-Spec, with the other 250 being M-Spec. The Nür model had an improved engine, based on the N1 racing engine and the standard turbochargers were upgraded to larger versions to increase boost. The car was advertised as having 276hp, but it actually had over 330hp when it left the factory.


A special M-Spec model of the R34 GT-R was produced, which has special "Ripple control" dampers, revised suspension set-up and a leather interior with heated front seats. The M stands for Mizuno, who is the chief engineer of Nissan. As well, the V-Spec model was imported to the UK with a number of modifications, including three additional oil coolers, revised ECU map and fully leather interior.


In February 2002, the final production models of the R34 GT-R were released and named the Skyline GT-R V-Spec II Nür and the Skyline GT-R M-Spec Nür. The Nür was named after the well-known German Nürburgring racetrack, where the Skyline was developed. There were a total of 1000 made and 750 were V-Spec, with the other 250 being M-Spec. The Nür model had an improved engine, based on the N1 racing engine and the standard turbochargers were upgraded to larger versions to increase boost. The car was advertised as having 276hp, but it actually had over 330hp when it left the factory.

Sixth Generation: Nissan GT-R (R35)

The production version of the Nissan GT-R was debuted at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, launching in Japan on December 6th, 2007 and in the USA on July 7th, 2008. Prior to this the concept was unveiled at the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show as a preview of what a 21st-century GT-R would look like and then was redesigned for the same show in 2005, which stated 80% of the production model features would follow the concept.


As the only model currently built on Nissan's Premium Midship platform - which was an evolution of the architecture introduced in the 2001 Skyline - it's been tested to have the best balance and responsiveness. The platform is a hybrid uni-body assembled on ultra-low-tolerance jigs, making it similar to those used in race car construction. Mainly built from aluminium and stiffened carbon-composite, the GT-R keeps rigidity, whilst being as light as possible. The multi-function display was designed by Polyphony Digital (creators of Gran Turismo series) and the Nissan GT-R is fitted with high intensity discharge headlights, automatic on/off headlights, LED daytime running lights, taillights and brake lights. There was also a limited Track Edition GT-R release in 2014, which removes the rear seats and adds a more aggressive suspension, carbon fibre air inlets, improved brake cooling, all with a unique front spoiler and new black and grey leather Recaro seats.

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