“Why isn’t it a GT-R? [モビー]

The BNR32 Skyline GT-R That Was So Great… Too Great

More than 30 years after its debut, the BNR32 still looks like a first-class domestic sports car.

There is no question that Nissan’s Skyline GT-R is a great car, which boasts a remarkable name value among domestic sports cars.

In particular, the 2nd generation Skyline GT-R equipped with the famous RB26DETT, which was sold until the BNR32 appeared in 1989 and the 3rd generation BNR34 was discontinued in 2002, is one of the famous cars that symbolize the golden age of Japanese cars. As such, it should be handed down for a long time.

However, when it comes to the Skyline, Nissan, the automobile manufacturer, users, and society, it could be said that it was “too great.”

This time, let’s consider its merits and demerits, focusing on the BNR32, the first Skyline GT-R of the second generation.

Skyline GT-R eagerly awaited “return to racing”

Based on the 5-number R32 Skyline, the blister fender overhangs are even more powerful than BCNR33.

“GT-R” which was not allowed to name even R31’s Group A homologation car

In the 1980s, the heavy and dark 1970s, such as exhaust gas regulations and measures to improve fuel efficiency, were overcame, and around the time when spectacular racing scenes began to be seen on the circuit again, the 6th generation R30 silhouette formula appeared bravely on the skyline.

As a matter of course, it participated in the Group A race, the All Japan Touring Car Championship (JTC), which started in 1985, and although both the 6th generation R30 Skyline RS and the 7th generation R31 Skyline GTS are active in their own way, domestic rivals are also strong. It’s a bad fight against overseas forces.

Therefore, in 1988, there was a plan to develop a Group A homologation machine and call it the “Skyline GT-R”, but in the end it was just an evolution model based on the existing GTS, including the RB20DET-R. , Debuted as “Skyline GTS-R”.

The first generation PGC10/KPGC10 was a great “winning contractor”

In the first place, the Skyline GT-R was developed as a successor to the second-generation S54 Skyline GT, which lost its fighting power against the Toyota 1600GT because the “GR7B dash” engine modified to cross flow could not be used due to the revision of the regulations. .

The S54 Skyline GT itself suffered a crushing defeat at the 1st Japan Grand Prix due to Prince’s inability to understand the impact of the race results on sales. It is a machine loaded with the G7 engine.

The successor to the 3rd generation C10 Skyline, which underwent a model change in 1968, was not free, and was developed by Prince, a racing car developed by Prince before it was merged with Nissan. , with the market name “S20”.

Both the early 4-door sedan version PGC10 and the 2-door hardtop version KPGC10, which was shortened in length and wheelbase to increase competitiveness, were very active in the race, and in 1971 Mazda rotary cars such as Capella and Savanna We are proud of our invincibility until the forces stand in our way.

No matter how great it is, the sadness of having to prioritize the “main business” of the base car

However, despite the greatness of the first generation Skyline GT-R, Skyline’s main business is “an upper middle class sedan sold by Nissan at the Prince store”, and the 3rd generation C10 series Skyline will be remodeled to the 4th generation C110 series, which is large and heavy. Things can’t be stopped.

Although the 4th generation base KPGC110 Skyline GT-R was made for the time being, it was limited to a small number of production, which was said to be a relationship before the exhaust gas regulation, or even “S20 engine stock disposal”, and of course it ran a race where competitive power could not be expected. It didn’t even happen.

Since then, it seems that it was decided that “the name of the great Skyline GT-R should be used first here to put Nissan’s prestige on the line,” and even the R31 Skyline GTS-R was not allowed to use that name.

Behind the set-up R31GTS-R struggle, development progresses “trump card”

The GTS-R, which entered the JTC from 1988, put up a good fight, and in the following year Masahiro Hasemi won the Drivers’ Title. Although it was able to win back its biggest rival, the Ford Sierra RS500, it was unable to win the Makes’ Title and exceeded its limits. requires a more powerful base car than the GTS.

However, when the GTS-R was struggling, Aguri Suzuki, who was participating in a Nissan test, got off the GTS-R and suddenly said, “What happened to this car?!” I’m talking about traction performance.

I drove it without telling them anything, so I was told that it was a great tire, but in fact, this, along with the famous RB26DETT engine, was the epoch-making torque split 4WD that became the secret to the strength of the 2nd generation Skyline GT-R. System, prototype of “Atesa E-TS”.

The fetal movement of the strongest machine on which Nissan’s prestige was at stake had begun.

“The strongest domestic sports” finally appeared

The front mask with a large opening is different from the original R32 Skyline, and the expanded tread gives it a wide and low feel.

BNR32 was not a supercar, but was similar to Celsior

In May 1989, the 8th generation R32 Skyline was born.

At the same time, the R32’s right round tail with the ‘GTR’ badge and a simple front-page advertisement announcing that ‘the GT-R is finally back’ adorned the newspapers.

The fans, who had been skeptical that the GT-R would be out in the race, danced and said, “It’s not like the R.” I’m happy and sad about the rumor that the public road test car seems to have passed the Porsche.

In August of the same year, the BNR32 “Skyline GT-R”, which was finally released, was priced at 4.45 million yen, which seems to be “cheap” in the sense of 2023, but the hot model of the FR car, the coupe GTS-t type M is 5MT car and it is 2,385,000 yen.

The cheapest A specification of the first generation Toyota Celsior released in the same year was 4.55 million yen, and the Honda NSX (5MT car) released the following year was 8.003 million yen, so it is said that it is as expensive as a luxury sedan, if not a supercar. It was a sports model.

Very popular as soon as it was released, unbeatable in both Group A and N1 endurance!

Even though it’s expensive, it’s in the midst of a bubble economy, so there’s no reason it won’t sell, and tuners who get it immediately realize that it’s a car with endless potential, even if it’s just a boost up or a muffler replacement that unlocks its potential.

Moreover, the Atesa E-TS has excellent running stability in the ultra-high speed range, agile cornering performance, and the VG30DETT engine of the Z32 Fairlady Z, along with the 280 horsepower that became the standard for self-regulation for some time after that, is left on the road surface. Demonstrates traction performance that conveys without

Not only was it fast, but it was a wonderful car that drove so fast without fear that the driver was under the illusion that he had become a better driver.

From the moment it debuted in 1990, the highly anticipated Group A race made its rival, the Sierra RS500, obsolete. Complete victory.

Since 1994, the JGTC (now SUPER GT) has been held in earnest, boasting overwhelming strength until it encounters strong overseas powers such as Porsche and Ferrari F40. It was fascinated by the legendary success that revisions were made.

“Skyline” sacrificed for racing

The BNR32 was the best Skyline GT-R, but was there any meaning in winning at the expense of Skyline sedan sales?

The base car needed to win the Group A race, not suitable for “business”

“Group A”, where the BNR32 Skyline GT-R is determined to win the race, is a category in which modified cars with a considerably limited range of modifications are based on mass-produced commercial cars in the specified number.

Therefore, in order to reduce the parts that require “modification”, we will develop an evolution model with considerably improved potential at the production car stage and distribute it as a production car.

The BNR32 also has a blister fender that can accommodate wide tires compared to the normal R32 Skyline 2-door coupe, a 2.6-liter straight 6 twin turbo RB26DETT that is almost different from the normal RB series, and a bonnet, bumper, and front grill to widen the opening. Exclusively.

If that’s all it is, it’s a manufacturer-tuned machine that tends to be a group A rally machine, but in the BNR32, it’s a 2-2.5 liter class 4-door sedan / 2-door coupe for the masses, which is the base Skyline’s “core business”. Developed with victory as the top priority.

As a result, the “BNR32 Skyline GT-R” was certainly the best finish, and as a benefit, the Skyline Coupe has received high praise as an excellent FR sports coupe.

The problem is that the Skyline sedan, which should be the mainstay of the Prince store and should compete with Toyota’s Mark II 3 brothers in fierce sales competition, is a skyline sedan. The number of units sold did not increase, and it was unpopular with sales sites.

If I could sell Laurel and Cefiro at the Prince store

At that time, Nissan had a multiple sales channel system, and the upper middle class sedan was “Cefiro” and Bluebird 6-cylinder version “Maxima” at Nissan stores, “Cefiro” at Nissan Sunny stores, “Laurel” at Nissan Motor stores, and Nissan Prince. The store and Nissan Cherry store are “Skyline”.

Of these, the Laurel was the safest 4-door sedan for the conservative class, followed by the Cefiro, which received a certain amount of praise even though it was a bit eccentric, but the Skyline was widely used by the general public, aside from being a sports sedan. A little bit, I’m told.

In addition, the GT-R was so great that the normal Skyline became a “downgraded” and “not a GT-R” skyline.

Originally, the race should not only be the prestige of the manufacturer, but also the sales promotion of the base car if there is one. Far from being a facilitator, it can even be said to have been a hindrance.

As a result, when the rival Mark II3 brothers were riding the wave of the bubble and recording the highest sales ever, even if they saw a skyline sedan, people other than fans would be disappointed, saying, “Why isn’t it a GT-R?” , was an unpopular car.

If the Prince store sold Laurel or Cefiro, the Skyline GT-R would have raised the stock of the Skyline GT as a younger brother, and the Prince store would have sold sedans as usual, which might have contributed greatly to Laurel and Cefiro sales. .

The unstoppable Skyline GT-R and the Skyline tragedy

The meaning and influence of the “Great Skyline GT-R” should not be captured by only the superficial splendor, but should be the subject of deeper research.

Or, did the “Bitter memories of losing sales in the 1st Japanese Grand Prix during the Prince era before the merger with Nissan” become a curse and continue to cling to the Skyline?

The 2nd generation Skyline GT-R, which had lost its role after the Group A race was over, and was supposed to be the last in Nissan with the BNR32, continued to be built up to BCNR33 and BNR34, and the base car was still the Skyline. It was left.

Even though it wasn’t necessary for the race, the skyline was built on the premise of making a GT-R, and the 9th generation R33 series shared the platform with the Laurel in order to cut costs.

The 2-door coupe, which is the base of the GT-R, was supposed to be a short body like the KPGC10, taking advantage of the lessons learned from the R32. put away.

The long wheelbase was later reassessed for its improved stability during high-speed driving and drifting, but when it first went on sale, it was said that even the GT-R looked like an old man because of the large and heavy Skyline. rice field.

As for the next 10th generation R34, even if it appeals with a fresh start with downsizing and strengthening of body rigidity, it seems that other than the GT-R, it will not be looked at.

After the 11th generation V35, the Skyline succeeded in breaking away from the GT-R, which became an independent R35 in 2007. /Q60 Coupe), it was just a Japanese domestic specification.

Even if the decline is inevitable, the name “Skyline GT-R” and the “Civic Type R” that followed the same fate as a turning point that accelerated the decline are not only good memories but also reflections. I think that it is a car that should not be forgotten even in meaning.

* The author information of the images used in this article is as of the publication date.

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