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Review

R34 Nissan Skyline GTR

Interior

Featuring four seats and a decent trunk, the R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R is actually one of the few top-performers that are quite useful in everyday driving. The interior is simple, but tastefully styled, with all controls in easy reach. Even up to speeds in excess of 75 mph the cabin stays remarkably quiet and, apart from the bucket seats, could easily be mistaken for that of a luxury coupe. Even passive safety is paid tribute to with standard driver's and passenger's airbags, as well as optional side-airbags.

But this car is also prepared for sporty driving. The bucket-seats wrap the driver like a second skin and offer perfect lateral support even during tight cornering. In addition, they are no less comfortable for long-distance rides, as well. The sporty touch is underlined by aluminum applications in the center console. For the boy-racers among us, there even is a 5.8-inch dashboard display, substituting for the gauges of previous GT-R versions and providing all necessary (and unnecessary) information about the car which can even be downloaded after the ride.

Technology

Engine

Similar to earlier versions, the RB26DETT drives the GT-R forward with an official 280hp at 6,800rpm (restricted by the Japanese regulations). But as the UK GT-R Register found out, 328 hp at 6,400rpm seem to be the real output. Modified camshafts for improved valve timing and a new stainless steel exhaust system with reduced back pressure make the engine more flexible thanks to a better torque curve and higher peak-output of 289 lb-ft (397 Nm) at 4,400rpm. These changes have also make this RB26DETT smoother and quieter in comparison to earlier versions.

Additionally, turbo spool-up time is enhanced by the new smaller twin ceramic turbochargers which feature variable boost timing, work with a maximum pressure of 0.4bar and use twin ball-bearings to minimize friction. Even though, as known from most turbo engines, there is quite some lag until the blowers really start going about their job at about 3,500rpm. But since the redline is still at an impressive 8,000rpm, there remain plenty of revs to work with.

Transmission

The engine's sporty character is aided by a 6-speed Getrag gearbox, which is a great improvement over the R33's 5-speeder and convinces with short throws and well-defined gates. The new 6-speeder features close ratio gearing for the first five speeds, instead of the first four speeds as seen on the R33. Like in earlier GT-R's, power is delivered via the ATTESA-ETS (ATTESA-ETS Pro on the V-spec) AWD system to all four wheels, aided by a limited-slip differential, to ensure maximum traction in all situations.

Suspension

Handling over the predecessors is further improved by a 50% stiffer body-structure and a sport-tuned suspension with a multi-link setup at the rear and MacPherson struts with an additional link up front.

The V-Spec variant uses a stiffer setup than the standard GT-R, but common to both versions is the Super HICAS all-wheel-steering system and anti-roll bars front and rear.

Brakes

The R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R offers one of the world's most sophisticated brake systems. The Brembo brake system features race-ABS and consists of 11.8-in. ventilated discs with 4-piston calipers up front and 11.0-in. discs with 2-piston calipers in the rear.

Brake Cooling is improved by large ducts in the front spoiler to channel air to the front brake discs. Additionally, the front-undertray creates a low-pressure area outside the wheels, to draw the heated air away from the brakes, thus improving their cooling.

Aerodynamics

The R34 GT-R V-Spec's (and only the V-Spec's) aerodynamics are dominated by a front spoiler and a carbonfiber rear diffuser. These regulate the airflow along the car's underbody, thus creating downforce which pulls the car down on the road. This leads to improved handling and stability especially at speeds in excess of 50 mph, but also enhances stability during cornering and braking.

Aerodynamics on all GT-R's are further improved by a new rear wing. The R33's single-wing design has been dropped in favor of a dual-level type wing on the new version. The R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R's rear wing now features a stiff main-wing with a flap that can be adjusted in four angles.

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