For most of us, when we think of a Nissan Skyline, the likes of a the R32, R33 and the R34 come to mind. The angry car that put nissan on the map for sports cars, off course, it wasn’t the Skyline per say that made Nissan a true sports car maker, it was mostly the GT-R series of Skylines that literally destroyed all other cars in every category imaginable (except perhaps, comfort and interior styling – but who wants that in a twin turbo AWD Godzilla?). They were so good infact that after being involved in motor racing with Ford and Holden, both ‘aussie’ companies complained so much that Nissan was dropped as a competitor – because they were just too good!
So the R35 Skyline, as I like to call it, is out in Japan, The 12th Generation skyline has lost a lot of its glamour and road presence. Based on the Nissan 350z, the Skyline has become a tamed beast with little hint of its boy-racer heritage. Infact I am almost willing to say I am disappointed in the look. The car looks far to feminine to be wearing a Skyline badge. But don’t worry, the Nissan Skyline GT-R coming out in Japan next year looks very little like this sportscar.
Nissan had promised a while ago that the Skyline will share nothing with the GT-R, although I think that was a massive overstatement, I am happy that Nissan are taking the GT-R to a new level, the supercar level, where it really belongs. Anyway before I get carried away talking about the GT-R, lets get back to the Skyline.
Nissan has redesigned the vehicle with an all all-new exterior and interior designs, the car is based on the FR-L (Front Engine/Rear Drive/Large car) platform and is powered by newly developed VQ35HR V6 engine. Nissan hopes that the new Skyline will attract some new buyers to the brand, perhaps, almost, the wrong crowd if you ask me! Unlike other Japanese manufacturers such Toyota, Nissan engineers are not willing to compromise and so the Skyline keeps its rear-wheel drive system whilst getting what Nissan describes as “the world’s first four-wheel active steering system, which adjusts the steering angles of the front and rear wheels in accordance with driving speeds and steering operation“.
Offcourse a feature like that would have been origianlly invisioned for the GT-R so yes, the GT-R is also getting it.
Comparing the new Skyline to the R34 Skyline the new model comes stock a good 20mm lower overall, while the overall width is 20mm wider Nissan explains that the next generation FR-L platform has been engineered to deliver a fun and exhilarating driving experience without having to compromise on a smooth and comfortable ride – offcourse you have to drive it before you can judge, but given that the same platform will be used for the GT-R I guess its cant be that bad.
So enough talk of all this new features, lets get to the real point of a Skyline; power. Unlike the old GTS-Ts of old and the not so old R34 GTS, the new engines are unforgivably naturally aspirated. This will be a huge dissapointment to the majority of true Skyline fans, but nonetheless, the powerfigures aren’t too bad. There are two choices.
Nissan claims that the 3.5-litre V6 is capable of revving up to 7500rpm. Well there is no turbo but at least it comes with a nice gearbox right? Nope, both engines are mated to 5-speed automatic transmissions – there is no manual confirmed as of yet. However, the auto box will feature adaptive shift control, allowing the driver to be in full control of the power generated by the new engine – still no manual.
The new dumbed down Skyline comes equipped with 18-inch (sports models) and 17-inch (standard models) aluminium wheels – nevertheless, I suspect that a great deal of the Skyline wheels will get replaced within the first few days of purchased – Given that stock, the car somes with 18-inch wheels, I can only imagine how many Skylines will be riding on 20-inch wheels soon! Though the sport model is equipped with different sized front (225/50R) and rear (245/45R) tyres.
The new Skyline has been launched in Japan and retails there from ¥2,793,000 which is about $31,000 AUD. Nissan hopes to sell 1,000 Skylines a month in Japan.