Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R


Nissan_Skyline_R33_GT-R_4thgen

Give me a V-Spec II of these and I’ll be a happy bunny.

R33
The R33 Skyline was introduced in August 1993. Slightly heavier than the R32, it is available in coupe and sedan bodystyles. All models now used a 6-cylinder engine. Nissan took the unusual step of down-grading the GTS model to have only the RB20E, while the twin-cam of the R32 GTS was discontinued along with the 2.0 L turbo RB20DET.

Some models came equipped with a new version of the HICAS 4-wheel steering system called Super HICAS. This computer controlled system was first used on the R32 GT-R. Super HICAS used electric actuators to steer the rear, as opposed to the hydraulic HICAS. This generation was no longer considered a “compact” under Japanese legislation that determined the amount of tax liability based on exterior dimensions.

As an option, an active limited slip differential was available instead of the standard viscous LSD. This new unit locked the rear differential if it detected that traction was lost by one of the wheels. A light on the dash also lit up if the LSD engaged. Active LSD came standard on all V-Spec R33 GT-R Skylines and was also available on some ECR33 GTS-25t models; these can be identified by the A-LSD and SLIP lights on the tachometer.

The RB25DE and RB25DET engines also became equipped with NVCS (variable inlet cam phasing). NVCS equipped RB’s have a bulge on the front of the cam cover. To celebrate their 40th anniversary, Nissan introduced a very rare 4 door GT-R. Two versions of the 4-door GT-R were available from Nissan’s subsidiaries: the first was produced by Autech, and the second was a joint Autech/Nismo project.

An R33 based wagon was released in September 1996, called the Stagea. It had a different body style than the R33 and R34 and (with the exception of the RS FOUR & Autech variants) was only available with an automatic transmission. A common modification on the Stagea is to fit it with an R34 skyline front, in effect making a 4 door R34 wagon. The Stagea is the only four wheel drive manual transmission Nissan on the R33 platform with the RB25DET engine. Presumably, a 5-speed 4WD Skyline equipped with an RB25DET would have been too close in performance to the much more expensive GT-R. There was also an Autech Stagea, the 260RS released with full GT-R running gear, the RB26DETT engine, body kit, 17″ BBS style alloys, GT-R instrumentation, and manual transmission.

GT-R
The BCNR33 GT-R version also had the same RB26DETT engine that the BNR32 was equipped with, although torque had been improved, due to changes in the turbo compressor aerodynamics, turbo dump pipe, and intercooler. The turbo core changed from a sleeve bearing to a ball bearing, but the turbine itself remained ceramic, except on N1 turbos (steel turbine, sleeve bearing). From the R33 onward, all GT-Rs received Brembo brakes. In 1995 the GT-R received an improved version of the RB26DETT, the ATTESA-ETS four wheel drive system, and Super HICAS 4-wheel steering.

A limited edition model was created in 1996, called the NISMO 400R, that produced 400 hp (298 kW) from a road-tuned version of Nissan’s Le Mans engine. A stronger six-speed Getrag gearbox was used.

An R33 GT-R driven by Dirk Schoysman lapped the Nordschleife in less than 8 minutes. Though it was often said to be the first production car to break 8 minutes, the limited run Jaguar XJ220 had already achieved a 7’46″ lap. Other manufacturers had caught up since the R32 was released, and the R33 never dominated motorsport to the extent of the R32.

Michael Begley with the Gaijin R33 GT-R currently holds the European four wheel drive 1/4 mile record with a time of 8.06 @ 173 mph. This record was set at Santa Pod raceway in England. Gaijin (“the outsider”) is tuned by TR Racing in Harlow Essex UK. This R33 GT-R is said to have had in the region of 1400 bhp. The owner Mick Begley lives in the UK and is reportedly chasing a 7 second pass. The four wheel drive 1/4 mile world record was set by Reece McGregor from New Zealand in the Heat Treatments R32 GT-R, setting a best time of 7:54 @ 197 mph, overtaking the haloed HKS R33 GT-R.

In August 2010, Elitetech Automotive (based near Silverstone, UK) launched a low volume production run of the R33 GT-R but in LHD (left hand drive) format. First deliveries will be made in early 2011, with vehicles being sold to Europe and further afield. All standard equipment remains on the specification list of the zero compromise LHD version.

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