For many fans of Japanese Domestic Import sports cars, the Nissan Skyline is the holy grail of purchases. With its stunning combination of looks, personality, and full-throated power, the Skyline perfectly encapsulates the continual appeal of Japanese automotive workmanship and is considered by many to be the perfect JDM car.
While it has gone through many iterations over the decades, here at JDM Sport Classics we believe the pinnacle of the series is the R32 GTR. So today we ask the question: Is the R32 GTR Nissan Skyline the Perfect JDM car?
History of the Nissan Skyline R32 GTR
While the Nissan Skyline started production in 1957 (under the name Prince Skyline, before Prince merged with Nissan-Datsun in 1966), the GTR version debuted in 1969. It soon proved a hit with drivers and racing aficionados alike, and received a second production run in 1973. However, this second run coincided with a gas crisis and only 197 cars were built. For the next decade and a half, the GTR went into hibernation.
In 1989, Nissan resurrected the GTR, with this new model named the E-BNR32 or R32 for short. This 2.6 litre twin-turbocharged, all-wheel drive monster was an instant success, with a production run of nearly 45,000 between 1989 and 1994.
The R32 GTR had a stellar racing record, with four consecutive championship wins in the Japanese Touring Car Championships as well as over 200 individual race wins. This domination of the track earned the R32 GTR the nickname “Godzilla”—a reference to its “monster” performance and country of origin.
The production model, while understandably more mellow than its racing sibling, still laid down the gauntlet for Japanese sports cars at the time. The advanced 2.6-liter inline-six cylinder engine was rated at 276hp and 260lb ft of torque, giving a claimed top speed of 156mph and a 0-62mph time of 5.6 seconds. On its release, the R32 GTR broke the record for production cars at the Nurburgring, completing a lap in 8 minutes 20 seconds and beating the previous holder, the Porsche 944, by a full 25 seconds.
Almost Mythical Status
Within the JDM world, the Nissan Skyline R32 GTR has taken on almost mythical status. When they first became available in the United States in 2014 (the 25 year rule coming into play once more) the demand outstripped supply to the point where their asking price rocketed. Over the past five years their value has evened out somewhat, but they continue to be one of the most sought-after JDM imports around.
A combination of looks, power, and all-round fun means that the Nissan Skyline R32 GTR remains one of our most popular imports. It is the dream car of many kids who grew up playing Gran Turismo on the PlayStation (GTR stands for Gran Turismo Racer, after all). Those kids are now grown up, looking to relive their childhood and experience the thrill of driving their favorite car in the real world.
The Perfect JDM Car?
The Skyline R32 GTR, then, can be viewed as a perfect JDM car. Of course, tastes differ and change over time, but the R32 GTR has stayed consistently popular since it was first eligible for import in 2014. The nostalgia factor, so essential to the JDM import world, remains strong with the R32 GTR, making it ever more desirable as the years go by.
An AWD monster with racing pedigree, stripped down feel-the-burn driving style and a 90s Japanese charm that is unmatched by the competition, means the Nissan Skyline R32 GTR will continue to be prized by JDM enthusiasts across the country.
Check out our growing selection of Nissan Skylines, with more arriving every day. If you have any questions or special requests, feel free to get in touch or come visit our showroom in Three Rivers, Michigan, today!