New 2019 Nissan GT

After many years on the forbidden fruit list, the Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R is fair game in America. In 1999, the Skyline GT-R R34 weighed in, available through only one authorised Nissan dealer, Middlehurst Nissan in St. Helens. Mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, and running with Nissan's ATTESA E-TS All-Wheel Drive, the 2018 GT-R is still built and meant to perform.

Let's hope that this doesn't mean that existing models are parked in garages and never driven, because driving is exactly what Nissan intended this GT-R to do. The V-Spec II (the V” stands for victory,” by the way) comes with all of the goodies that the original V-Spec had, but it's even harder-edged thanks to increased stiffness and lighter weight (primarily due to a special carbon fiber hood, spotted at a distance by the small NACA duct).

The 2018 Nissan GT-R has distinctive tuner-world style; it's almost restrained, by exotic-car standards. However, the Z-Tune GT-Rs were built in 2005, years after the R34 model had already ceased production. Twenty-seven years later, we can look back at the birth of a legend and marvel at how the E-BNR32 chassis Skyline GT-R tore a hole for itself in history, the right car at the right time.

The GT-R was designed to crush the opposition in the most ruthless way imaginable, and the racing cars were fearsome, flame-spitting, howling beasts that chewed up and spat Nissan Skyline GT-R out the erstwhile Sierra Cosworths and M3s like a monster regurgitating the skeletons of its victims.

In common with pretty much every performance Japanese car, the list of special variants could fill a book on its own, and different versions like the Nismo, N1 and V-Spec received extra vents, lip spoilers and wheel sizes, mostly in the name of homologating parts for use on the circuit.

Get in a Porsche 911 or Audi R8 and there's nothing necessarily easy about a track day, yet they are both far more enjoyable to drive, even if your lap times are a few seconds behind the GT-R's. According to THE-LOWDOWN, this specific Z-Tune Silver” R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R Nismo Z-Tune build #001 has already received offers exceeding $750,000 AUD, or $575,000 USD.

The GT-R has been around for a while now, but has been constantly developed throughout its time on sale to keep it on par with the world's most capable sports cars. It's the smallest and lightest here, yet the R32's interior is reasonably spacious, if basic, with that now-retro mouse-fur trim Nissan once loved.

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