It’s been 50 years since the introduction of the legendary Nissan GT-R badge, so we’ve put together a gallery of some of the most iconic cars Nissan has ever built to celebrate.
Check out the gallery above for more pictures and highlights on Nissan's GT-R heritage
1969 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R (PGC10)
In 1969, after more than a decade of the Skyline being produced under Nissan and Prince (which merged with Nissan in 1966), the first GT-R was produced during the third generation Skyline’s run.
Nicknamed ‘Hakosuka’ (‘hako’ for ‘box’, suka for ‘skyline’), the ‘PGC10’ Skyline GT-R marked the beginning of the GT-R legend with a 2.0-litre inline six-pot producing 118kW and 177Nm.
With only 1120kg to haul, the first GT-R stacked up in terms of performance for its day.
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1973 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R (KPGC110)
Fewer than 200 of the second generation Skyline 2000GT-R were built, according to Nissan, due to tightening emissions laws in the 1970s. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
With the same engine as its predecessor, and the same outputs, the slightly heavier (1445kg) KPGC110 was sometimes called ‘Kenmeri’ after an advertising slogan called this ‘Skyline for Ken and Mary’.
1989 Nissan R32 Skyline GT-R
Skipping a few generations of Skyline, the R32 quickly became a formidable opponent in the world of motorsport, and was even officially voted the best Nissan race car by Nissan fans.
With a claimed (but often thought to be conservative) 206kW and 353Nm from the venerable RB26DETT, a twin-turbo 2.6-litre straight-six, the AWD coupe earned the nickname ‘Godzilla’ from Wheels Magazine, a nickname which stuck and entered worldwide usage.
Legend Series: Skyline R32 GT-R
1995 Nissan R33 Skyline GT-R
The R33 tends to get the short end of the stick these days, as people seem to think it’s the least classically attractive of the Skylines. Just search ‘R33 boat meme’ and you’ll see.
However, a marginally higher kerb weight, same official power output of 206kW, and with some mechanical upgrades, the R33 has been given a bit of an unfair rap.
Towards the end of its life, the R33 spawned the Skyline GT-R 400R, a 300kW version of the GT-R with a 2.8-litre version of the RB engine. It could hit 100km/h in about 4 seconds, but only a few dozen were built.
1999 Nissan R34 Skyline GT-R
The last of the Skyline GT-Rs took styling to an edgier place, and its torque figure to almost 400Nm. At 206kW and 392Nm (Nissan still wouldn’t say whether the R34 had more power than its predecessors), the R34 Skyline GT-R’s outputs were needed to haul 1560kg.
And haul it did. Its lap time at the Nürburgring, unofficially during testing, was 7:52 – seven seconds quicker than the R33.
Upon its demise in 2002, it took half a decade for Nissan to find a new home for the GT-R badge, but it wasn’t on a Skyline, strictly speaking.
MOTOR news: Nismo to reproduce R33 and R34 GT-R parts
2007 Nissan R35 GT-R
Still with us today, most recently updated for 2020, the Nissan ‘R35’ GT-R follows the same principle as the Skylines of the 1990s, but with a lot more power.
Rather than modest figures like 206kW, the R35 wasn’t shy to admit to its 357kW and 588Nm, thanks to a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6.
classic MOTOR: R32 v R33 v R34 v R35 comparison
As a proper supercar, The GT-R was put up against the Porsche 911 GT2 of the day back in 2009 for a MOTOR comparison.
It didn’t win, but it did come damn close. It also cost less than half the price.