To celebrate the launch of an updated Nissan GT-R at the 2016 New York auto show, the company dedicated its stage in the Big Apple to its one true supercar, with one model from every generation on display.
1969 C10 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R
The original GT-R branded Skyline sports car, the 2000GT-R featured bolt-on rear-wheel arch flares, and aggressive spoilers at the front and rear.
Under the bonnet there’s a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated straight-six developing 118kW at 7000rpm and 177Nm at 5600rpm. That was enough to enable the 1120kg rear-wheel drive coupe to cover the standing 400m in 16.1 seconds and hit a top speed of 200km/h.
1973 C110 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R
For the next-generation 2000GT-R, the coupe once again employed 2.0-litre straight-six S20 engine. Maximum power and torque outputs were unchanged, but the motor had to lug around an extra 20 kilograms of weight.
While it may have been a smidge slower, stopping power was improved by the use of disc brakes on all four wheels. The C110 is the rarest of all GT-R generations, as production was stopped after just 200 units because of stricter emissions regulations in Japan.
1989 R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R
After a 16 year hiatus, the GT-R badge was dusted off for the eighth-generation Skyline. Motivation came via a 2.6-litre twin-turbocharged straight-six engine with 353Nm of torque at 4400rpm. In accordance with a gentleman’s agreement amongst Japanese manufacturers, the GT-R is said to have only 206kW at 6800rpm.
To ensure that not a single Newton metre is wasted, the R32 GT-R featured an advanced electronically-controlled four-wheel drive system with front-to-rear active torque splitting capability, dubbed ATTESA E-TS.
Made for racing, the R32 Skyline GT-R holds the honour of never losing a race in the All Japan Championships. Oh, and it also won the 1991 and 1992 Bathurst 1000 races, much the chagrin of Ford and Holden fans who Jim Richards famously decried as a “pack of a&!holes”. The controversy surrounding its victory at Bathurst, and dominance of the Australian Touring Car Championship, lead to the GT-R being effectively frozen out via rule changes.
Australia was one of the few overseas markets to officially sell the R32 Skyline GT-R, with just 100 imported.
1995 R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R
The R33 Skyline was a markedly larger vehicle, and the GT-R’s weight jumped from 1430kg in the R32 to 1540kg in the R33. Despite that the 2.6-litre turbo straight-six featured supposedly unchanged power output. The porkier GT-R did have a fraction more torque — 368Nm — to play with.
There was an optional, even more advanced high-tech all-wheel drive system, known as ATTESTA E-TS Pro, which incorporated an active limited-slip differential for the rear wheels.
1999 R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R
Like corresponding Skyline, GT-R shrank a little bit for this generation. Although weight was up slightly to 1560kg, Nissan paid significant attention to the coupe’s body stiffness and aerodynamics.
The R34 was the last GT-R to be directly based on the Skyline and the last to feature the RB26DETT 2.6-litre twin-turbo straight-six. Power was still officially capped at 206kW, while torque was upped slightly to 392Nm at 4400rpm.
Finished in silica brass paint, the limited edition M-spec Nur model seen here features a retuned engine with gold head covers, as well as softer suspension with “ripple control” shock absorbers.
2017 R35 Nissan GT-R facelift
Launched in 2007, the new GT-R is the first to be made in left-hand drive and officially sold throughout most of the world. Although distantly related to the Skyline, it features a unique body, drivetrain and life cycle.
For the 2016 New York auto show, the GT-R received a lightly refreshed exterior look, a few extra spuds under the bonnet, suspension tweaks, and, most importantly, a redesigned and much higher quality interior. Read our full run-down of the 2017 Nissan GT-R facelift.
Click on the Photos tab for more images by Derek Fung.