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Was The Nissan R33 Skyline GT-R Really A Failure?

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TEXT: 佐藤 圭(SATO Kei)  PHOTO: AMW

  • Nissan BCNR33 Skyline GT-R debuted in 1995
  • Nissan BCNR33 Skyline GT-R debuted in 1995
  • Nissan BCNR33 Skyline GT-R debuted in 1995
  • Nissan BCNR33 Skyline GT-R debuted in 1995
  • Nissan BCNR33 Skyline GT-R debuted in 1995
  • Nissan BCNR33 Skyline GT-R debuted in 1995
  • Nissan BCNR33 Skyline GT-R debuted in 1995
  • Nissan BCNR33 Skyline GT-R debuted in 1995

The 2nd generation of GT-R is still highly acclaimed

The second generation Nissan Skyline GT-R has been highly acclaimed not only in Japan but also internationally and used cars continue to soar in price. The R32, which made an impressive debut in the Group A category in Japan, was said to be “the only enemy of GT-R would be GT-R”. Between the R32 and R34, equipped last and matured RB26DETT engine, the R33 was evaluated as unfavorable even by the fun sometimes.

Maximum output remains at 280ps but many of the refinement and brash up

We would like to examine here again why the four-wheel-drive system and engine were ridiculed as a failure or bad product at the time of its debut, even though it was a right way evolution of the four-wheel-drive system and engine and whether these evolutions were quite correct.

The reason why for “no” is the bigger body. Compared with BNR32, BCNR33 has grown up the all dimensions, wheelbase, overall length, width, and height.

Despite the increase in total weight, power remains at 280ps, which was just the level of voluntary regulation at that time. The power-to-weight ratio alone was a bit lower, but the torque has been slightly increased from 36kg-m to 37.5kg-m. In addition to that, the 8-bit ECU has evolved to a 16-bit ECU and every variant was equipped with Brembo brake calipers, in contrast with the BNR32 brake system, it was equipped only higher variant. That means there was no way to say, poor that predecessor.

The larger body had merit, but no one noticed it

Most Japanese sports cars at that time were followed the same way in terms of body size. The market found out that the downsizing of the BNR34 just followed the image of the “failure of the large body” of predecessors, That brought the image the larger body is not for the future.

But there are many advantages of a larger body, especially by the longer wheelbase of BCNR33, which was plus 105mm, making room for a fuel tank under the rear seat replacing from under the boot rid. It was better weight balance than before.

The longer wheelbase also greatly improved high-speed stability, contributing to the racing on the international circuit. It would be different on the winding road like a mountain pass, but additional room for the rear passenger. The direction evolution of the next generation was nothing wrong.

From a turning or custom point of view, a longer wheelbase and wider tread would have a positive effect. The stability at the scene of drag or max speed is an important factor. I personally remember that there were only a few negative reactions to the large body.

* * *

The largest body among the second generation GT-Rs may indeed be unique and those who prefer a more dynamic and responsive driving experience may be dissatisfied with it. However, if the size of the body is considered an advantage not found in the R32 and R34, the R33’s unique possibilities and running directions can be seen.

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