The R33 series was very similar to its predecessor, the R32 series. The GT-R was continued, as was the optional all-wheel-drive layout of the sedans and coupes. The car was still very sporty, although it had grown a little in size and weight and had thus become less agile. However, the weight disadvantage was compensated in the engine department by the new normally aspirated RB25, a 2.5l inline-6 with 190 hp for the GTS4 and GTS25 versions, and the far more powerful RB25DET, a 2.5l inline-6 turbo with an output of 245 hp, which worked in the GTS25t. Base GTS models were powered by the RB20E with 130 hp.
R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R
A heavy burden lay upon the R33 GT-R's back when it was introduced on the 1993 Tokyo Auto Show. Considering its predecessor success as an almost unbeatable race car and an excellent road car, hardly anybody could imagine the new GT-R could possibly improve on the R32’s performance. However, the 1995 R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R could soon prove that it was better than the old version in almost any way, although it too had gained some weight.
The R33 GT-R retained its predecessor's RB26DETT engine with an officially unchanged 280hp, but had a broader torque band which made the engine more flexible. Also standard were improved versions of ATTESA-ETS and Super-HICAS.
Nissan took the R33 GT-R to racing, as it did with the R32 GT-R. However, in the beginning the R33 was not as successful as its predecessor. In 1995 and 1996, Nissan Motorsport division NISMO took the NISMO GT-R LM to the 24 hour race of Le Mans. In 1995, the No.22 car og H. Fukuyama and S. Kasuya finished 10th overall and 5th in its class. It was modified to rear-wheel-drive and was powered by a Group N specification engine with 400hp. The following year, the No. 23 car of Hoshino, Hasemi and T.Suzuki finished 15th overall and 10th in the class with a 2.8-liter version of the RB26DETT producing 600 hp.
However, at the dawn of its life-cycle, the R33 in Pennzoil livery could secure the driver's title in the 1998 All Japan GT Championship, driven by Eric Comas and Masami Kageyama.
NISMO 400R and Nissan Skyline GT-R LM Road Car
Since engine power for production cars was restricted to 280 hp in Japan, having a car built by a tuning division was the only way to get over such a regulation. And this is exactly what Nissan did with the 400R in February 1996, a car that was produced in a very limited number of only 99 pieces.
After contending with the GT-R LM race-cars in Le Mans, the GT-R LM Road Car and the NISMO 400R were intended as road-going versions of these race cars. Both got derivatives of the Le Mans engine, the GT-R LM Road Car with 305 hp and the 400R with 400hp. Unfortunately only one GT-R LM Road Car was built to homologate the car for racing, which is confined to a museum today.
The NISMO 400R was powered by an enlarged version of the RB26DETT, the 2.8-liter RBX-GT2, a twin-turbo with an astonishing 400 hp. However, whereas the GT-R LM Road Car only got RWD (like the race-cars), the 400R got further improved GT-R technology, like ATTESA-ETS etc.
Naturally, both car’s inner potency was resembled in their designs as well. Each one of them featured bigger wheels, wider spoilers and wheel-arches and lower suspension, to give them a look even more dramatic than the already not too inconspicuous standard GT-R.
Autech Skyline GT-R 4-door
Autech is a subsidiary of Nissan specialized in modifying cars. The Autech Skyline GT-R was a four-door version of the R33 GT-R, which was introduced as a limited edition for the 40th birthday of the Nissan Skyline. The Autech version got all of the GT-R’s standard technology, as well as the most vital parts of its interior like bucket seats etc. So it really was a GT-R in terms of performance - just a lot more practical.
NISMO also produced a tuned version of the Autech GT-R, which featured the spoilers of the NISMO 400R and a 380hp engine. It is not difficult to imagine that this car was THE attraction on its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show.