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Review

R32 Nissan Skyline GTR

Interior

The interior convinces with excellent ergonomics, although the materials look cheaper than on newer models. The instruments on the other hand are comprehensive, with additional front-torque and oil-temperature gauges in the centre console, which are quite useful for track-use.

The sporty layout of the car is supported by well sculpted bucket seats, which are a bit short on lumbar support, though, and a leather steering-wheel without an airbag. But the R32 GT-R is not all track-specced. A digital climate control and the common powerpack make this car well useable as a daily commuter. If you plan to transport someone on the rear-seats, though, make sure they are children, because the R32 offers the least headroom of all GT-R's in the back. Still, even with its small trunk, Godzilla is quite practical for the dynamic car it is.

Technology

Engine

The R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R uses the newly introduced RB26DETT engine, a DOHC inline-6 with 24-valves and a six-throttle inlet manifold. A bore of 86mm in connection with a stroke of 73.7mm make for an overall displacement of 2,568 cc. A compression ratio of 8.5:1, twin T28 Garrett turbochargers, and a large front-mounted intercooler help the RB26DETT produce 280 hp at 6,800 rpm and 260 lb-ft (353Nm) of torque at 4,400rpm.

This engine was directly designed for use in Japanese Group A racing, and modified derivatives have proven to reliably run with over 550hp without needing any internal changes. Please have a look at the modified cars-section to really see what this engine is capable of.

Nomenclature:
RB  - Engine series
26  - Displacement (2.6-liter)
D - Valvetrain (DOHC)
E - Electronic Multiport Fuel Injection
TT - Twin Turbo

Transmission

The power is deployed to the wheels via a 5-speed gearbox which is coupled to the Skyline's all-wheel-drive system ATTESA-ETS (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All - Electronic Torque Split).

ATTESA-ETS

The GT-R uses an electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system (similar to the Porsche 959). A 16-bit microprocessor monitors the car's movements a 10 times per second (V-Spec II: 100 times per second), including wheel rotation and lateral as well as longitudinal acceleration. When slip is detected at a driving wheel, the system electronically distributes torque from this spinning wheel to one without slip.

In this setup the electronic AWD-system offers the advantage that actions are enacted much faster than by a viscous-coupling-system (we're speaking of hundredths of a second here). In standard setup, ATTESA-ETS distributes the torque to the rear-wheels, but when slip is detected on one of those rear-wheels, it can distribute up to 50% of the torque to the front wheels, i.e. it can adjust the front/rear torque-split from anything between 0:100 to 50:50. Among the rear-wheels, an active LSD can further distribute the torque from one wheel to the other if necessary. Due to this setup, the R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R can even drift, although it is an AWD car.

Suspension

The R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R uses a multi-link suspension front and rear. Road-holding and especially the steering is further improved by the Skyline's all-wheel-steering system Super HICAS.

Super HICAS

The Skyline's all-wheel-steering enables the rear-wheels to steer the car with a maximum of one degree. A very complex system compares the car's movements with the driver's input at the steering-wheel and adjusts the angle of the steering wheel according to the direction the driver intends to go. The result is a steering that makes the GT-R feel much more nimble than its size suggests.

V-Spec Version

The Victory Specification (V-Spec) version is the performance version of the Skyline GT-R lineup. It uses a stiffer suspension and a revised all-wheel-drive system. Additionally, its performance is improved by bigger 17-inch 225/50 tires and four-pot Brembo brakes with ventilated 12.8 in. (324 mm) discs up front and two pot 11.8 in. (300 mm) Brembo brakes in the back.

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