Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Test: Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R – a ride in Godzilla

Most people who grew up with game consoles have been behind the wheel of a Nissan Skyline GT-R – at least in digital form. We take a tour of the real thing.

With my eyes fixed on the hood of the white Nissan Skyline GT-R, I let my left hand leave the steering wheel to go for third gear. The shift goes painlessly, although it does require some effort, and I can return to keeping my focus on the road,Bil Magasinet writes. It all feels a little more difficult today, because I'm sitting on the "wrong" side of the car, since a Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R was never imported to Europe. For the same reason, this car began its life in Japan, where cars are right-hand drive. READ ALSO: The government is raising car taxes – cars are going to be so expensive in a little while! A left-hand turn approaches, and even though I shift gears with the wrong hand, I still feel at home enough in the Japanese coupe for a mid-throttle attempt on the way down to second gear. The left hand doesn't work as quickly as my right usually does, but the pedals are positioned as they usually are, and sit so close that the wiggle of the foot, so that the heel swings over from the brake to a quick kick on the accelerator, happens without drama. The first meters in the R32 I let go of the clutch and am once again impressed by how precise, tight and mechanically smooth this Skyline R32 GT-R actually feels. However, I don't have long to dwell on that kind of luxury, because driving a right-hand drive car on roads intended for left-hand drive cars requires a tongue that is held straight in the mouth. The first time the world heard the name Nissan Skyline GT-R was in 1964, when the Japanese car giant presented a new and slightly different model. Because this was a mid-sized, normal street car that was short like a sports car, and it was something completely new. Test: Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R - en tur i Godzilla Remember that in 1964 the world had not heard of cars like the BMW M3 and the Porsche 911 had only just been introduced. Fast forward 30 years, the white GT-R with the model code R32 you see in the pictures before you leaves the factory in Murayama, which is located in the northern part of Japan. At about the same time, something is happening at one of the other giant companies in Japan. The electronics company Sony sends its first game console to the market, which will be called the PlayStation. And exactly that will play a huge role for the Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R. The legendary engine The white Nissan, which I had the opportunity to test today in North Zealand, has from the cradle a rather impressive mechanical baptismal gift with it. Under the long hood is a 2.6-liter in-line engine with six cylinders. Two turbos are mounted on it, which pushes the power up to 280 hp. Because the forces are sent to the asphalt, they travel through a 5-speed manual gearbox down to a four-wheel drive. And to make it all even more complicated, the car is also equipped with four-wheel steering. The hard-pumped mechanical solutions and specs weren't just a shor, Japanese engineer's wet dream of a street car. No, because the GT-R was a homologation car so that Nissan could participate in the prestigious standard car series. The Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 in Group A trim could produce between 500-650 hp depending on demand and conditions. Short also in Denmark In Denmark, it was also possible to see Nissan's GT-R in motorsport, where it, among other things, could be experienced in the not quite so hard-boiled Group N class. From 1990 to 1994, Nissan grabbed the Japanese championship title for standard cars with just one Skyline R32 GT-R. It is also no coincidence that the Danish owner of the car deliberately went for a white variant – white is Japan's racing colour. Only just completed 7,000 kilometers Behind the wheel on the narrow country roads, I can feel that this Nissan has its roots in motorsport. The cabin isn't scratchy, but it borders on that, and there's nothing superfluous. The seats are upholstered in a fabric material that is very typical of the time. The instrument panel is wrapped in dark plastic, and the clocks behind the steering wheel are also very spartan. Only a few messy details at the needle and the high revolutions break the grey-black shades. A large GT-R logo is embossed in the steering wheel hub, but otherwise it is also without the big details. Focused is the most apt word I can say about the cabin design. Test: Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R - en tur i Godzilla The car I'm out in has only covered just over 7,000 km in its 21-year life, so let's not waste time behind the wheel. When I first heard the low mileage, I thought that there was a danger that the car had settled a little in the whole thing, because a car should preferably be exercised. Fortunately, my concerns are quickly put to shame as soon as someone turns. Like soldiers in tight formation, the engine sound is a regular straight-six sound with the well-known harmonic gait culture. As the revs rise, so does a slight hiss from the two turbos; a sound that has an unmistakable mechanical bite that is rarely heard on modern cars. The gears in the 5-speed gearbox are lined up like soldiers in a tight formation. Overall, the handling of the Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R is much easier and also more enjoyable than I expected. If you start to massage the accelerator a bit and time your gear changes correctly in relation to the revolutions, it is pure joy in the form of mechanical precision at an almost unimaginably high level. The test car was produced in May 1994, and after exactly 20 years, in 2014 it got Danish soil under its wheels. A Playstation game with a steering wheel and pedals While the Japanese sports car lived a quiet life with a few short kilometers in its home country, I sat in my boy's room with a PlayStation controller in hand. One of the games that rotated most often in my newly purchased and very gray Sony PlayStation was the racing game Gran Turismo. In this virtual universe, street and racing cars were the focal point. It didn't take long, because I learned which cars were good – especially if they had to be tuned or driven hard. They wanted a turbo, as it made it easier to increase the engine's power with e.g. a different engine management or larger turbocharger. Next, four-wheel drive was a must, because when the power passed the 400-500 hp, rear-wheel drive was very difficult to control. Since Gran Turismo was developed in Japan, there was a predominance of car models from brands such as Honda, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota. Among the clear stars was the Nissan Skyline GT-R R32, which just met all the requirements to be able to deliver incredible power that could still be controlled thanks to the four-wheel drive. The engine – the heart of the car for generations In the real world, I'm now glad that the Skyline I'm sitting in doesn't have 800 hp and whatever else I could have found to pour on the car in my PlayStation game. The 280 hp feels fine enough, especially now that I don't know the car that well and use most of my comprehension and coordination to steer in a right-hand drive car. Test: Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R - en tur i Godzilla The engine is a story unto itself, but without going into too much detail, it has several appetizing aspects that I can't get past. The engine is called the RB26DETT and is the cornerstone of the GT-R R32, but it doesn't stop there, because the same engine block was also under the bonnet of both the R33 and R34 variants of the GT-R. This means that this engine in its basic form was in production from 1989 right up until 2002. Only when the latest GT-R from 2008 hit the streets was the power plant replaced with a new one. The in-line engine was replaced with a new engine which was instead a V6. The block itself on the RB26DETT is made of cast iron, while the cylinder head is made of aluminium. Must rev to perform Despite turbo pressure, the GT-R needs revs to perform at its best. The 280 hp is delivered at 6,800 revs, while the torque of 392 Nm is available at slightly lower revs – 4,400 rpm, which is still high for a turbocharged engine. Test: Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R - en tur i Godzilla I know from my Playstation days that the motor can easily perform well over twice that power. And indeed, computer games are not next to reality in this particular case. Nissan was also aware that the engine could deliver much more power, but a very special agreement kept it at 280 hp. A so-called gentleman's agreement between Japanese car manufacturers stipulated that 280 hp was not exceeded in the street cars. A similar unwritten rule also exists in Germany. Here it is just not a matter of limiting horse power, but instead of top speed to a maximum of 250 km/h. Nissan and 'the official numbers' With these rules and limits agreed between the manufacturers, they wanted to avoid provocation and signal that the industry itself could regulate the speed festival, thereby avoiding legal intervention. But just as several German cars can actually go a little over 250 km/h despite their speed limit, the 280 hp from the Nissan's engine was also "only" the official figure. In many cases, however, there could well be extra hp in the pool. Test: Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R - en tur i Godzilla I'm left with a fantastic feeling about the car as I take the last right turn of the route. The car is incredibly light and straightforward. It is easy to control and I don't feel nervous or cautious in its company. At the same time, there is an aura around the car of incredible quality and advanced mechanical joy. A hero car for an entire generation When you're just lying around fooling around, the car doesn't make a difference. The balance between accessibility and choral enjoyment is better than I could have ever imagined. But wasn't that also what made the Skyline GT-R a hero in the PlayStation game? Yes, it was. An incredibly competent piece of mechanics wrapped in a nice package, which is not nearly as difficult to access as the data sheet might otherwise suggest. The GT-R was a hero car for me in my boyhood years, and after a trip on North Zealand's country roads in the real thing many years after my first acquaintance, I'm not the least bit disappointed – it's really fun, and I'm going home and have vacuumed the old PlayStation and played Gran Turismo all night.

Nissan Skyline GT-R R32

Engine : R6, 2,569 cm3, 24V, biturbo Performance : 280 hp at 6,800 rpm 392 Nm at 4,400 rpm Top speed : 245 km/h 0-100 km/h : 5.4 sec. EU mix : approx. 7.4 km/l Test: Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R - en tur i Godzilla

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