Although Japan has a multitude of epic roads and tracks, when Nissan decided to revive the Skyline’s high-performance range back in the late 1980s, the team in charge of the project chose to showcase the potential of the car on the legendary track. In 1989, they partnered with the Japanese Best Motoring TV show and conducted a test with a production version of the R32 Skyline GT-R. Driven by Motoharu Kurosawa, the Godzilla completed a lap in 8:22.38 minutes, making it the fastest production vehicle around the circuit at that time.
In 1995, the R32 was succeeded by the R33. During its development, the team returned to the Nürburgring for testing and fine-tuning. It all culminated with another epic lap with the same driver at the helm. This time, Gan-san was even faster, setting a lap time of 7:59.887 minutes. This made the R33 the first production vehicle to lap the Nordschleife in under eight minutes.
Four years later, Nissan unveiled the R34, a model that reportedly spent more time shredding the Green Hell during development than any of its predecessors. Powered by the same 2.6-liter, twin-turbocharged RB26DETT inline-six, the car was thoroughly improved which, according to Nissan, translated into an unofficial lap time of 7:52 minutes.
Due to stringier emission restrictions being implemented at the start of the 2003 model year, the Japanese manufacturer was forced to discontinue the R34 in 2002. However, it wanted to give it a proper send-off, so in February, Nissan introduced the last two factory-built limited editions, both dubbed Nür as an homage to the iconic circuit.
Available in either V -Spec II or M-Spec guises, the Nür editions were conceived as the ultimate GT-R-badged street machines.
They shared an exclusive version of the famed six-cylinder engine that was based on the Nismo-developed RB26DETT N1 found in the V-Spec N1 and V-Spec II N1 homologation Specials. That meant that the Nür RB26 came with the thicker block, pistons, upgraded oil, and water pumps, higher-flow exhaust manifold, or steel turbocharger blades from the race-bred N1. All these upgrades were topped off with a gold-painted rocker cover that made the Nür engine easily distinguishable from all other versions of the RB26.
While the powertrains were identical for both limited editions, several features set them apart.
Like the standard V-Spec II, the V-Spec II Nür came with several performance upgrades over the stock GT-R.
Its chassis featured the ATTESA E-TS Pro all-wheel-drive system with an active limited-slip diff, a stiffer suspension system, and larger brake rotors behind the rear wheels.
For the exterior, these included front and side splitters, as well as a rear carbon fiber diffuser that improved downforce. The model was also fitted with a lighter, carbon fiber hood with a built-in NACA duct that aided engine cooling.
The M-Spec Nür was conceived as a blend between high-performance and comfort. It offered the same upgrades as the V-Spec II except for the carbon-fiber hood that was replaced with a standard aluminum variant. In addition, it had a revised suspension setup with Special Ripple control dampers that made for a more comfortable ride.
These limited editions were sold during the 2002 model year, with production totaling 1,003 units (285 M-Spec Nür and 718 V-Spec II Nür).
Today, all editions of R34 Skyline GT-R are prized collector’s items, but these two are some of the most sought-after. On the rare occasions when one of them comes under the hammer, it demands well over $400,000.
You can take a virtual tour of one of these legendary machines in the video below posted on YouTube by JDM EXPO Co., Ltd.