To Japanese car nuts, the letters GTR carry the same gravity as, say, the letters “COPO” or “CJ” or “SRT” do to domestic gearheads.
Nissan first applied the famous GT-R badge back in 1969, to denote a performance variant of its Skyline passenger car.
Note: Don’t confuse the Nissan Skyline with the Ford Skyliner—they’re totally different cars.
In anticipation of the oil crisis, Nissan discontinued the Skyline GT-R in 1973.
Almost two decades later in 1989, it came back in a big way—bringing a new 300+ horsepower 2.6L twin-turbo inline six with it.
The new Nissan Skyline GT-R became a fierce competitor in FIA Group A racing, where it earned the ominous nickname “Godzilla.”
From there, the GT-R gained fame both on the race track and in pop culture—appearing in dozens of movies and video games throughout the last two decades.
These Skyline GT-Rs are often referred to as their respective generations, R32 (1989-94), R33 (1995-98), and R34 (1999-2002).
After another brief hiatus, the GT-R broke away as a trim level on the Skyline in 2009 to become its own marque. Now officially just called “GTR,” the new supercar bested performance benchmarks from names like Porsche, Corvette, and Ferrari.
A 2013 GTR Nismo N-Attack is currently the 8th-fastest production car to tackle the famed Nürburgring circuit.
Under the hood is a 3.8L twin-turbo V6 making (depending on the year/tune) anywhere from 480-550 horsepower. Power is sent through a dual-clutch automatic transmission, on its way to all four wheels.
With help from its all-wheel-drive configuration, various publications are having no problem ripping off sub-12-second quarter mile ETs in stock dress.
But perhaps the biggest news about the re-christened 2009 Nissan GTR was that it is finally being sold in the United States.
Previously, Skylines weren’t available in the states, which meant that to get a Skyline GT-R here, you needed to endure a complicated and lengthy bureaucratic process. Even then, the chances for getting a Skyline on American roads were slim.
Note: That is gradually changing thanks to relaxed laws concerning imports more than 25 years old, meaning that foreign-market cars from the early 1990s are starting to trickle in.
We’re pretty sure this is a 2015 version, here’s why:
- It’s got the headlights from the 2014 refresh
- It’s wearing the stock 2014 and 2015 wheels
- It looks like the taillights are the whole-circle LED rings from 2015+
But…we’re far from experts at Japanese supercars, so correct us if we’re wrong in the comments below.