Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34)
Host: GT2 & GT5
GT2 Prices: $44,980 (GT-R), 55,980 (GT-R Vspec)
53,156 (GT-R Vspec)
Construction: unit steel,
aluminum, carbon fiber
GT5 Mileage: 6,305.0 (Vspec)
Length: 181.1" // Width: 70.3" // Height: 53.5"
Overhang: 6 feet, 4.5 inches
Track: 58.25" [F], 58.66"
Grnd Clr: 5.11"
3,395 (GT-R) 3,439 (GT-R Vspec)
Wgt Dist: 57 / 43
Steering: hydraulic-powered rack & pinion
Layout: front engine / all-wheel drive
Tires: 245/40ZR-18 (all models)
Suspension: multilink, coils, shox, anti-roll bars
Brakes: vented discs
* All GT5 specs &
Testing results have been calculated with no oil change or engine rebuild, since engine makes way more HP than dealer quotes
Engine: 2.6 liter DOHC inline 6
Fuel Syst: ECCS
Valves / Cyl:
Bore x Stroke: 3.38 x 2.90"
GT2 Horsepower: NA (for some reason I never wrote this down...
NA ..for the GT-R or Vspec)
Horsepower: 323 @ 7,500 rpm
GT5 Torque: 331
Credits per HP: 167.56
Pounds per HP: 10.64
Pnds per Torq: 10.39
pr Liter: 124.9
Idle: 1,000 // Redline: 8,000 // RPM
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Differentials: open front, viscous center, limited-slip rear
Track testing below only for GT2 models. I don't have the ability to track-test GT5 yet
0-60 mph: 4.834 4.834
0-100 mph: 12.369 12.369
400 M: 13.426 @ 104 13.432 @ 103
1 Kilom: 24.642 @ 134 24.340 @ 134
Test Track: 1:38.346 N/A
GT-R Top Speed at Redline
1st: 44 mph
6th: 178.91 mph @ 6,500
@ 6,600 rpm
------------EXTERIOR / HISTORY-------------------
I'm sure we're all familiar with Barney,
the purple dinosaur. He sings, he jumps around, he is almost indefeatable when it comes to entertaining 3-year olds; but many
of us adults also knows underneath that lumpy purple suit, something else lurks. Something corporate. Something evil!
I thought I was the only one who felt this premonition, but over the years I've met a surprisingly
varied amount of other adults (and even some children) who share my opinion. There is just one exception: I have
a friend who completely disagrees with me on this topic--he thinks Barney is just an innocent kids show. But he also is one
of those ‘kid-at-heart’ types...we can't use him as an example.
Barney IS evil. Barney has a DARKER PURPOSE simmering under the spandex, trust me. We won't know for sure
till the ‘Barney Generation’ is hitting PPA (Prime Political Age) and they'll be running both the legislative
and executive right-wing branches of our government while those who grew up on ‘Teletubbies’ will have a firm
grasp as members of the left-wing. Think Cheney is the spawn of Satan? You aint seen nothing yet.
What does all this have to do with the R34 generation Nissan Skyline GT-R? Absolutely nothing. The Skyline
GTR doesn't pretend to be friendly and hugable, it has no interest in singing faggy songs about love....the Skyline is simply
evil and tempting. It wears its evil-ness with pride, matter of fact, carrying its trunk-mounted wing like a
cutlass. Unlike Barney, the GT-R is one of the bad boys. It will never star in its own children's show, unless
that show happens to include bombs and half-naked anime geishas (pretty unlikely for a kiddy show..but then, I've never NOT
been surprised at some of the content I've seen from Japanese television outtakes on various shock-websites!).
The Skyline is nothing new in racing videogames. It first appeared in "Zero 4 Champ R", a Super Famicom
game, and has subsequently made the cut in a staggering number of other games including: Forza Motorsport, Enthusia Professional
Racing, the Need for Speed series, Tokyo Extreme Racer, the Project Gotham series, and many more.
If you've just come from a race, your knuckles whitened and your dual-shock this close to being smashed
into a wall because you lost and couldn't get your Evo to stop understeering, the R34 Nissan Skyline understands
your plight. It wants you to sit right down, pay attention, and like the proverbial Devil at the crossroads, it wants to strike
a deal with you. It is here..... to help you crush. To help you demolish. For the GT-R wants to win just as much as you
do. And all you need is anywhere from $50,000 to $60,000 (in any game, apparently. Even in GT5) to start. Once that is
paid, let the winning begin.
Over many years, one of
the major complaints we've all heard is how all Skylines are the same, and how Polyphony Digital seems to be wasting disc
space including so many different versions of them. While this point may be valid, in other words: PD includes too many
versions, I find it to be untrue that they're "all the same". Even comparing an R32-era GT-R to an R34, I was amazed
to find that there are some significant differences. And I will try to outline them during the rest of this article.
Firstly, here are some differences which are most obvious: looks. I've always complained that the
R32 just doesn't bring anything to the table, when it comes to its appearance. It's a rather bland-looking car, considering
all it can do. It's the most boring-looking version of Skyline, with its carefully-rounded fenders, and general lack
of threat. The R34 has got a bit of 'threat', here. It's got a face which looks slightly pissed-off, a large chin of a front
spoiler, plenty of nooks and crannies. A dark grille, rather than a series of horizontal slots. The R34's wing also looks
more prominent, and its wheels more sporting. All of this is opinion, of course, but hey, this is not all about looks.
Different versions of the Skyline got different equipment, too.
Back in the R32's day (early 90s), the Vspec and Vspec II were exalted versions of the Skyline,
performance-wise. They had lower-profile (sometimes wider) tires, better brakes, and some suspension tweaks, but
not much difference other than this. By 1999, things had changed, and Nissan wanted to make sure
customers got what they paid for. The V-spec, after all, costs roughly 9,000 more credits than a regular GT-R.
1999 was the first year of the R34 generation of Skylines, and there
were two GT-Rs offered initially: the base car and the V-spec. Both cars now have the same tire size, and same braking. The
main difference now is the V-spec has an 'active' limited-slip rear, while the GT-R features a mechanical LSD back there,
but is the Vspec's active (computer-controlled) system really better? The regular GT-R has ATTESA ET-S, while
the Vspec gets ATTESA ET-S Pro, and the difference between these two systems will be outlined later. Again, the question comes
up: which system is better than the other? More computers does not necessarily mean 'better.' Comparing
R32 to R34 further, we can see that the Vspec still has a stiffer suspension, some extra body-enhancements (spoilers,
skirts, etc.) and is lower than the base GT-R.
I was pleasantly surprised to let the Nissan
Skyline GT-R/R34 pleasantly surprise me, in both games I've driven it so far. It lives up to all the hype in my
opinion, despite weighing close to 3,400 pounds!
Though the original text in this article was written back 2006 or 7, and I (apparently) never raced an R34 in
GT3 or 4, some of the same words still apply from GT2 to 5.
-----------------ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN-------------------
Okay everyone, fasten your harnesses! Let's get down to the business at hand: WINNING!!!!!
In just a few seconds we're gonna drop that clutch at four grand and be pushed back into our seats with
speed that feels downright Star-Trekish. The R34 Skyline GT-R is reeeeeal comfortable with speed. Unlike some other cars,
it rarely gets nervous, and often challenges us to peel out of those corners faster than the last lap, so it can
get back to FLYING again.
As I said, i heard tons of hype on the Skylines. Now that I'm finally driving one, the hype sounds
hollow in comparison to some of the emotions I experienced while deep-frying some AI competition in my red GT-R. But
enough of my gloating. In real life, the Skyline has plenty to back up what we experience in the game. Over 200 wins
and 5 consecutive Japanese Touring Car championships.
A lot of why it won so much has to do with what's under that hood. Just 2.6 liters, which doesn't seem much, yet
this RB25DET-coded powerplant has certainly proven its worth. Rev it all up, and it sounds more like some high-voltage transformer.
Deep down, it's possible to hear this one is a straight 6, but there is so much grumbling and growling going on, this engine
actually sounds more electrical than it does physical.
a shame I can't test this one in GT5; the results from the GT2 cars (a base GT-R and a V-spec) will have to do. And the results
are staggering, in the sense that the low-down acceleration either vehicle puts down rivals that of those with (sometimes)
a hundred horsepower more than the 320-ish hp 2.6. Zero to sixty is reached below 5 seconds, and just under 13 and a half
to get to 400 meters, and the quarter-mile. Muscle car + high-credit sports car territory, right there, easily. I have a feeling
the cars of later games might not make these numbers quite as quick, but there have been plenty of tests in which PD stays
consistent from game to game with acceleration results.
And the GT-Rs keep pulling from there. Despite not being ultra-sleek with their body shapes, the GT-R climbed all
the way to 178 miles per hour, while the Vspec was slightly slower at 174. It's possible the Vspec (with its extra spoiler
+ wing mass) could be slower because it's got more drag than the base car, but we can see that either machine simply smokes.
Now, for some power results! And these are from GT5....
Tuned: 432 @ 7,400 427 @ 8,100
Stg 1: 447 @ 7,500 440 @ 8,200
2: 467 @ 6,900 468 @ 8,300
Stg 3: 483 @ 6,900 488
Trb 1: 685 @ 7,500
668 @ 5,900
Trb 2: 659 @ 6,500 693 @ 5,900
Trb 3: 770 @ 8,500 787 @ 8,400
There ya go. Still not making the numbers we saw from one of the GT-Rs in Gran Turismo 1 (which was up near,
or past 900 hp) but I have a feeling that 770 to 787 is more than we'll ever need in this game.
None of this engine power is spikey, by the way, until we get to the very
top turbos. Even then, the RB25DET is more of a wide-torque engine. When this car is factory-stock, for instance, it's obvious
that these engines are configured to dole out horsepower over a very wide range of revs, instead of all at once in a narrow
band, and during races we can often use some of those low to middle RPMs to get this one moving out of many turns. Second
or third gear can often be swapped out of the same turns, depending which gear feels like it'll do more of a hurtin'.
By the year 1999, a lot of makes & models had swapped out their 5-speed
for sixes, and the GT-R's got this too. Gearing is pretty tall, which doesn't make any difference, as we can see above. I
was able to use the stock gearbox in my 569 horsepower, 'Celeste'-colored GT-R at the Supercar race of Daytona,
no problem. Closer gears do come in handy at more technical courses than that silly American oval, of course, so eventually
the stock box will need to sit on a pallet, somewhere.
about Godzilla is: he's never been all about speed, he's got some other tricks to pull. Many other tricks.
CHASSIS / HANDLING
Godzilla, or actually, the Son of the Son of Godzilla. ;) There's a reason why the mighty Skyline got its
nickname: the Skyline simply crushes. Nissan's 4-wheel drive is paired with 4-wheel steering (HICAS), as well as a torque-sensing
device called ATTESA. When driven normally, the Skyline GT-R and its derivatives is basically given a mostly rear-wheel drive
bias, but this can change at any moment...if there's snow on the ground, if the driver got a bit careless on a wet road, and
also (ahem) during racing situations when the thrill of the chase has forced one to take an odd angle thru a corner.
Simply put, the Skyline GT-R (or any later-model Skyline) is one of the best, most maneuverable machines
ever created in videogames or in real life. This is why it gets so much praise (and rightly so) from gamers, most of who never
even heard of a Skyline before Gran Turismo made it a household name! This is why even retard drivers can win when driving
one, yet will never get the hang of driving a Viper, a Lotus, or even a Corolla / Trueno.
The Skyline makes winning EASY. That's a good way to put it. Its main testimonial towards modern racing
scenarios is that it is such an easy car to drive. 1000 years from now when Generation X³ is travelling from one place to
another with the help of portable microchips in their brains, hopefully the Skyline will live on as a legend. (It probably
won't) Hopefully it will be placed on some sort of pedestal right alongside the original 1883 Benz.
Really, it's just a matter of getting it all down. Nissan apparently got it ALL down by the time the R34
generation was in existence. They dealt with and fixed the understeer previous generations were famous for. Nissan also changed
the dimensions and wheelbase of the R34, all for the sake of making it the best coupe ever.
Drive a GT-R, and you may get bored. Drive it hard, and it becomes more and more apparent that
it wants to go even FASTER. Drive it REALLY hard....it is downright rare to find it not behaving just as you want it to. It
cuts into corners with tight precision and minimal push! Jump on the gas, and there might be just .134 seconds worth of tire-smoke
if your GT-R has a stock LSD, but after this, the 4-wheel drive/steering/torque-sensing/Godzilla-ness kicks in. You are on
your way to beating the pack. No understeeer. No jack-knifes. No complaints. The Skyline is your friggin servant! If it could,
it would bring coffee and donuts automatically to your pit crew, it seems. But it can't do this. All it can do is win.
Firstly, I would like to apologize for some of the above text. I don't know what the heck I was smoking
that day. It's entertaining to read, and I can't bring myself to ctrl + delete it, because within all of that rambling text
is a sort of joke to all the 'skyline rulez' fans this car has generated.
Anyways, ready for a more serious read?
I chose the R34 in this game to compete in one of my favorite series of races in GT5: the
Supercar Festival. These three races (High Speed Ring, Daytona Speedway, and Nürburgring GP/F)
have become a literal testing ground for many cars in this game, and now the Skyline gets its chance.
But before all that, I did what my editor (ha ha) usually wants me to do: drive a factory stock version
around any particular track I'd like, to get some impressions. So I chose Deep Forest. And since I didn't have an ordinary
GT-R in my garage, I chose an N1 version first. Got its oil changed, which brought power up to 323 horsies at 6,800 rpm,
with 336 foot-pounds at 4,400.
Turn one: the U-shaped bobby pin. I did a lot of things wrong in this turn, but also learned a lot. First
thing I did was brake just before the first indicator, meaning I started at about 120 meters, and this (as it turns out)
might be okay in the majority of 4-wheeled vehicles out there, but in an R34 it is way too early. At the point,
the N1 was travelling at roughly 127 miles per hour. Since the car was braking too early, this meant I had to force an awkward
bit of fuel way before Turn One's apex. Gotta try earlier next time. Definitely 100 meters. Damn this thing's got some confident
And on Lap 2, I did try 100 meters into Turn 1, which felt perfect. But the thing is, as the car's braking
this late, let's take note of the fact that it is doing this entire 'brake while entering' while it's also steering in.
In other words, the GT-R trail-brakes almost the entire turn, as it's entering, but this is the way it wants to do this. Most
cars, of course, would require at least some straight-line braking first.
The next 'mistake': as the N1 began its exit, I cranked its steering a little too hard, and gave a little
too much gas. Actually, this wasn't a mistake. But here, at this very moment, we can see the awesome difference between an
R32 and an R34.
I made note of the fact that the R32 might get an 'on-rails' sort of feeling, with maybe some slight push
up front, but not much going on in the rear. The R32 simply gets on its rails, and pretty much stays on. If you're
lucky, the car might throttlesteer slightly.
None of this. No more. The R34's rear did this weird, gyroscopic sort of 'dance' thing, almost as though
its rear was pulling outward, while the front began tucking inwards, yet also pushing just slightly. It's hard to explain
on paper what just happened, to be honest, sort of like what I tried to describe during my GT2 days. The car lets
you get into all sort of fun exit angles, especially as we are in second gear, but we can also experience this sort of behavior
in higher gears, assuming the turn's wide enough.
What I think just happened was some very extreme (yet safe) steering from the rear. The entire
rear of the Skyline N1 wiggled its ass, getting into a line it thought I might be most comfortable with. And yes, I was
very comfortable with this line! .. even though technically what the car just did would actually add slight amounts of time
out of Turn 1 (which is bad) I realized I had just experienced a whole lot of FUN at this moment.
Exactly halfway between a rear drive and an all-wheel drive, THAT'S what this car is all about. It's
the reason why the R34 (as we shall see) is my very favorite GT-R of all. The R35? It's a little too cold, a little
too efficient, a little too confident. It does everything really well, but does not offer many surprises. The R34, on
the other hand, is full of surprises, especially once we start adding some frickin' power.
The rest of Deep Forest was pretty much me pushing this amazing feat of technology as far as I could, on
its hard sport tires. Assuming I managed to stay on pavement (been awhile since I've driven this hard, at this track),
the N1 merely worked with me most of the time. It's very controllable, but also sometimes very violent, and vibrant.
There truly is nothing else, no other car on the planet, like the R34. It feels more beastly than the R35, that's for sure.
There is one criticism, actually, and I bet we can all guess what it will be. :) Oh yeah. Understeer.
It happens on occasion. Very often it can be dealt with, though; this car's got the damage control policy of a well-funded
politician, who can slink and slip his way out of almost any situation. But there are those rare moments when understeer happens,
and there's nothing we can do about this. It's easy to push and push this car until it happens, just like
in any other car.
So keep some sort of mental awareness of the fact you're still on Planet Earth, still driving an automobile,
not an X-wing fighter craft, and you'll be fine.
After driving the N1, I finally found an ordinary GT-R, and decided to take this beat-up silver car all
the way. Got a baby-blue paint job, a wing, and some rims. Then we got to know each other around an empty GP/F. Comparing
the GT-R to the Vspec (mechanical versus active LSD), it feels like the regular car is a bit looser, especially with body
sway, and while leaving turns. It's like a trapeze artist who can swing back and forth, one who never lets go of his rope.
It's similar to the way the regular Honda S2000 feels more gymnastic than a Type V, the car with less electronic gizmos
is the one which is a bit more sporting.
Of course, not everybody will delight in this while they're driving the Skyline GT-R, or the Vspec, or N1;
they're all pretty loose, for AWDs. Matter of fact, here is finally an all-wheel drive car which in some situations might
benefit from some limited-slip or central-differential tuning, especially once some higher power is at our command.
But still, the thing about these cars, the reason they dominate so easily, is because of
how adaptable they are--adaptable on the spot. Especially when it comes to moments full of drama: the R34
is deep in some turn, its front-end is at its very limits with understeer. It seems like there's simply nothing we can do
at such a moment, yet we often CAN do something. Sometimes, we can actually throw a big wallop of gas to the floor. In most
other cars, this would be death, this would be understeer-galore, this would be a guaranteed trip off-track, or into a wall.
Not in the R34, not 100%, anyways. Most of the time (I'll say over 50% of the time) giving a shot of fuel at the right moment
will cause this car to pivot with expert precision, giving it an exit line which was not there a tenth of a second
ago. And then, we can usually just go for it, get a safe (but exciting) launch, and kiss that turn goodbye.
Another trick we can pull is to simply hunt for better racing lines, assuming some doofus driver is blocking
our path. The R34 is one of these machines which can often search for racing lines on the inside, or the outside. We
can try out-in-out, out-in-in, out-out-out, and so on. The very reason that the Son of the Son of Godzilla is so successful
is not just because of his power, but because of his adaptability, his ability to figure solutions to
most any problems he is faced with, and do something about them.
For the Supercar Festival race at High Speed Ring, I made sure to look for some of the
harder grids available. Wound up with one which placed a Jaguar XJ220 on pole, a C6-generation Corvette on second, and a Pagani
Zonda C2S with a 7.3 liter monster starting on 5th. Predictably, the Skyline simply walked past every car in its path except
the two leaders, which got way ahead of everyone else by drafting down straight areas. But it was all for naught. This
was one of the most exciting GT5 races ever, with my baby blue Skyline sneaking up on the 'Vette and
the Jag, efficiently diving into turns, and then throttling perfectly out of them.
The end result? A Skyline GT-R win by 0.022 of a second! All three competitors
just mentioned wound up clambering around and behind the Skyline, which made its final passes during Turn 1 and
Turn 5 (Corvette and Jag, respectively) during the final lap. The Pagani had caught up to us during that very last banked
turn, which resulted in a 4-way duel, with only one winner (me). That's what we want, right?
Even at Daytona, a track which usually does not get much mention during the 'Handling'
section, it's possible to feel the way this car's ATTESA-ETS and HICAS systems do their things, especially as a somewhat-tighter
exit line is often needed as we get back on this track's straight areas. There's a 'see-saw' sort of feeling going on, as
the front and the rear attempt to balance the exact power distribution & angles we need.
Nürburgring GP/F is a track which is not really all that fun, is it? This is
not Cape Ring or Laguna Seca, instead, GP/F is more about the challenge, and the ability to survive. It's easy to screw up
at this track.
Well in an R34, some of that 'fun' starts to come back, because the Skyline simply eats this particular
track alive. It feels genuinely confident with cornering here, whether or not tuning is involved. For the Supercar
race, I did tune underneath with a height-adjustable sports suspension, just to get the best fit going, but this car did just
fine when I drove it with stock power, and on stock parts. The R34 dives into turns, grabs hold of them, and then scuttles
out of them. In many cases, it still offers plenty of options for tightened lines on-the-fly, ATTESA-style positioning, and
even some smoke & nonsense.
The main thing to watch for, of course, is (say it with me folks). Yeah, that's right, the 'U' word. Braking
is still the best way to combat this, and we can still perform some magic here and there to make 'the U word' go away, but
if you want to have some fun at this track like I did, it's best to make sure Mr. U doesn't show up at all. Sometimes (during
the heat of the battle) it's impossible to avoid him altogether, but this is a car which makes sure we can try to do so.
Now, some words from our sponsor. Kill Barney.
PROS- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1). It's a Skyline GT-R, so just about everything, including....
2). Price is right.
3). More aggressively-styled than previous Skyline sports coupes.
4). Bucketloads of power, and notice that even while stock, Nissan slyly broke the 280 ps 'Gentleman's Agreement'
of '90s-era Japanese sports cars.
5). The handling we want, when we want it. It seems there's always some new trick, some new cornering line,
some new possibility we can attempt (and often succeed at) while driving and racing an R34-era GT-R.
6). Nissan and Nismo (and maybe even Prince, buried deep below) may have put dozens of computer sensors
& activators in these cars, yet R34s don't feel like over-computerized machines, which are often too perfect
at their jobs, creating a boring drive after awhile. No, the R34 likes to surprise us. It likes when we experiment, too.
7). It's debatable whether the different versions of GT-R (base car, V-spec, N1, M-spec, Nismo GT-Rs, etc.)
all make some sort of difference to various drivers. Are there "too many" R34 Skylines? My opinion is no, although some
may see this as a Con, rather than a Pro.
8). Tall gearing, yet it still allows the acceleration found in cars with much bigger engines.
9). GT5: Decent in-car visibility. Center and driver's-side mirror are both on-screen, allowing us some
10). The sort of braking that makes you glad you've opted for a racing harness, rather than standard seat
CONS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1). "Yet another Skyline." Pro #7 is Con #1 for many, who feel that even the mighty R34 has too many
versions available to us.
2). As exciting as these vehicles are, they don't always feel like they're packing as much power as they
do. It's sometimes hard to simulate reality, you see.
3). At times, these are too loose, and too adaptable. Some limited-slip tuning might be
needed to solve this.
4). Yet another 'cheater' car, not just with available power, but also with unfair computerized technology,
which does some of the driving for us.
5). Understeer. It happens sometimes. Also, there are times the GT-R overthinks itself, and winds up doing
something we didn't want it to do. There are rare times this car feels too stiff, as well, just like any other AWD.
6). Some may feel the R34 is too ugly, with all its scoops and niches, and may prefer the simpler lines
of earlier versions.
7). Not entirely aerodynamically-sound. Eventually this becomes a problem, as we're reaching for 200 miles
per hour in a car which can only manage 195 without drafting.
8). GT5: Can't attach any body parts, other than the usual rear wing, and this piece doesn't provide
as much downforce as it did in earlier games, and also when compared to others in GT5.
Originally Published: some time in 2007 or 2008
GT5 Content Added: February of 2015