Todays column is going to take a slightly different approach. Today we are going to look at the stars of The Crew, no not that cookie cutter protagonist, the cars themselves. Each one of these columns will take a look at a different vehicle in the game and analyse it in 3 separate areas. History, the reason the car came into being. Motorsports Pedigree, in a racing game the cars should have a motorsports background. Finally we will talk a bit about the cars in game version, how it handles and what specs it has.
This week we are going to look at one of the most popular vehicles in the game. The Nissan Skyline R34 GTR.
Some people believe that the Nissan Skyline originated with the 1989s R32 Skyline, however the mark has been around an awful lot longer than that. The first Skyline rolled off the production line in April 1957 by the Prince Motor Company of Japan. Marketed as a luxury car for the upper classes of Japan’s society it sported a 1.5 litre, 60 horsepower engine.
The success of this Skyline was the birth of an icon and it spawned generation upon generation of Skyline until 1969 when 3 iconic letters were added after the name. G-T-R.
The first Skyline GTR came as part of the C10, third generation Skyline and was produced with a 2 litre inline 6 engine pushing out 160 horsepower. These cars were stripped to the bone, removing all unnecessary weight in order to make the most from its 160 Japanese horses under the bonnet.
The GTR was present in the forth generation of Skyline as well, the C110 series and was again powered by the 160 horsepower inline 6 of its previous generation. However, due to a worsening oil crisis the idea of owning a high powered sports coupé was falling out of fashion and the GTR only lasted 7 months before it was discontinued and Nissan pulled out of motor sport. The 197 C110 GTR’s were the end of an era, and the GTR badge lay dormant for a further 16 years.
The Skyline brand however continued unabated and in 1977 they launched the C210 and with it came a new top of the line performance model, the Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-EX. While this may not be a GTR it followed the same principals as the GTR and came packing a brand new 2 litre turbocharged inline 6 with 130 horsepower. This was also the last generation of Skyline to feature twin carburettors before sixth generation launched in 1981.
1981 marked the move towards fuel injection and not only that but it is where we can start to see the evolution of the Skyline that we know today. The R30 Skyline was built of of Nissan’s Laurel platform and this generations top of the line model was the RS. The first of the RS line came with a naturally aspirated 2 litre inline 6 engine which pushed out 148 horsepower. This, coupled with the stripped down nature of the car made it fairly swift, but in 1983 Nissan wanted more.
February 1983 marked the launch of the Nissan Skyline 2000 RS-Turbo. With a 2 litre turbocharged inline 6 engine the 200 RS-Turbo put out 188 horsepower and claimed the crown as the most powerful Japanese production engine.
1986 marked the next upgrade to Nissan’s powerhouse with the R31, the seventh generation of the mark and with this came the first of the new RB, red top engines that would power many of Nissan’s most iconic vehicles for the next 2 decades. The top of the line this time was the homologation special the Skyline GTS-R. 800 of these 210 horsepower monsters were unleashed into the marketplace in 1987 to allow for entry into group A touring car events in which they were wildly successful both at home and in Australia.
This brings us to 1989 and the launch of the R32. Bringing with it a raft of new technology including Nissan’s HICAS 4 wheel steering system and a limited slip differential across all turbocharged models, Nissan was about to change the game.
1989 was the year Nissan unveiled Godzilla. The R32 Skyline GTR. After a 16 year hiatus the GTR name was back and it came with all the roaring power and unrivalled technology you would expect from a car so far ahead of its time it was eventually banned from Australian touring car championship. With a quoted 276 horsepower due to a gentleman’s agreement in place in Japan at the time the GTR would sprint from 0-60 in 4.7 seconds and run a standing ¼ mile in 12.8 seconds.
August 1993 was next in line as we approach the launch of our current, in game Skyline. The R33 Skyline. A design revision and some additional weight came along with its launch and the R33 GTR followed soon after. With the same RB26DETT twin turbocharged inline 6 as the R32 and still with its advertised 276 horsepower it became the first production car to break the 8 minute mark around the famous Nordschleife.
Finally in May 1998 we come to the launch day for our own Skyline. The R34 was launched with its base models in 1998 and the GTR followed in 1999. Again coming with an advertised 276 horsepower the R34 brought with it a raft of technological and mechanical advances. Ball bearing turbos, formed metal outlet pipes, and a LCD display on the dashboard showing the driver critical information such as oil and water temperatures along with cornering G forces. Alas the Skylines association with power and competition ended with the R34. In 2001 it was replaced by the V35 which saw the name Skyline and GTR part company and the name Skyline became associated with luxury and not power.
While the R32 was the undisputed king of Skyline motorsport the R34 GTR was no slouch. It won took the Japanese GTC series in its first year by 5 points including a victory at the Mine circuit. 3 wins out of the 7 races the following year were split between multiple teams meaning the overall title was lost to Honda’s NSX. Only 1 win in the 2001 season left the Skyline 4th overall and was followed up by a fruitless 2002. 2003 sparked a resurgence for the GTR as it claimed the JGTC title with Motoyama and Krumm piloting the R34 to victory in 4 out of the 8 rounds. This was to be the final year of JGTC for the Skyline as Nissans factory teams started running the Fairlady Z from 2004.
In game the R34 GTR can be purchased from the car dealer in New York. It is available in Street, Dirt and Perf specs where it can claim to be a top contender for best in class in all three.
In street spec the Skyline is considered by many to be the only car capable of challenging the Mini Cooper for dominance of the street racing lobbies. There are almost no down sides to the GTR in street spec. It is one of the 2 best street cars in the game.
In dirt spec the GTR uses its four wheel drive to its advantage as it is highly controllable around the slippy dirt tracks. It is almost always a number 1 choice for dirt racing. It is however a touch slow off the mark but some early boost will sort that out.
In perf spec there is a lot more competition but the Skyline is more than capable of holding its own against the Lambos and Mercs of the perf lobbies. Its lack of speed will hold you back compared to the big guns, and its handling is only on par with the 4 wheel drive supercars, so it is a tougher proposition but certainly still possible.
Lets take a look at some of the lap times the Skyline lays down around the tracks of The Crew.
Full Stock – 2:11:44
Street (1299) – 1:47:47
Perf (1299) – 1:39:40
Route 66 Drag Strip
Full Stock – 13:55
Street (1299) – 9:09
Perf (1299) – 8:13
Little Eagle Speed Drome
Full Stock – 1:22:97
Street (1299) – 1:01:62
Perf (1299) – 0:55:40
Dirt (1299) – 1:15.60
So that’s the story behind the Nissan Skyline R34 GTR, remember that next time you get done by one in a street race.
I hope you enjoyed this column, let me know on the forums, Reddit or in the comments below what you would like to see next time.
If you want to get in touch you can check out my blog at: bellatrixblogs.wordpress.com
My twitter at: Twitter.com/bella_mctrix
My Youtube channel at: youtube.com/misterbellatrix