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Review

Nismo 400R

Review

In February 1996, the so far most potent Skyline version saw the light of day in a very limited number of only 99 pieces. The NISMO 400R was intended as a road-going version of Nissan's GT-Racing Skylines, to celebrate the race-track-success of the NISMO GT-R LM.

In contrast to the latter, the NISMO 400R does not have rear-wheel-drive, but builds up on a very improved chassis of the most sporty and powerful R33 version, the R33 GTR V-Spec.

A tuned version of the RB26DETT, the RBX-GT2 engine powers the NISMO 400R forward with 400 hp at 6,800 rpm. A larger stroke of 77.7 mm and bore of 87 mm make for a larger displacement of 2,771 cc. Additionally, special pistons and con-rods, a new crankshaft and a strengthened engine-block, in connection with a NISMO intercooler are responsible for the increase in power and also boost torque to a maximum of 346 lb-ft (478 Nm) at 4,400rpm. The power is still delivered to all wheels via the 5-speed gearbox, although a twin-plate clutch now handles the connection between axle and transmission.

Further improvements over the R33 GT-R V-Spec include a 1.2 inch (30 mm) lower suspension (in comparison to the already quite low V-Spec) with Bilstein gas shocks and 18-inch wheels with 275/35 tires. In correspondence with ATTESA-ETS and Super HICAS, these changes make for race-car like handling that hardly any other car can match.

But updated dynamics are not the only differences between the R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R and the NISMO 400R. The exterior appearance of the latter already hints at the potential under the hood. The front-spoiler has even bigger scoops than the donor car, and gives the 400R a threatening stance on the street. The 18-inch wheels fill the wheel-housings much better than the V-Spec's 17-inch items and the rear-wing produces even more grip than the standard one. On the passive side, NISMO brakes make sure all that acceleration-power is also decelerated effectively when necessary, while race-style seats with harnesses keep the driver in place even during the most courageous maneuvers.

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