Is the 2020 Nissan Maxima Really Quicker Than a 1990 R32 GT-R?

1990 Nissan GT-R R32 vs. 2020 Nissan Maxima 7 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot
1990 Nissan GT-R R32 vs. 2020 Nissan Maxima1990 Nissan GT-R R32 vs. 2020 Nissan Maxima1990 Nissan GT-R R32 vs. 2020 Nissan Maxima1990 Nissan GT-R R32 vs. 2020 Nissan Maxima1990 Nissan GT-R R32 vs. 2020 Nissan Maxima1990 Nissan GT-R R32 vs. 2020 Nissan Maxima
A lot could be said about the R32 GT-R model, but very little of it hasn't been said before and isn't already common knowledge to almost anyone who has the slightest interest in cars.
The Skyline is up there with the Toyota Supra and Subaru Impreza STI in terms of notorious Japanese performance cars from the '80s and '90s. But no matter how good the R32 looks, it doesn't really own its fame to its design. No, what rose it to its legendary status was the RB engine.

Just like Toyota's JZ family of engines, Nissan's RBs were also straight-sixes with various displacements over the years. The one in question here is an RB26, with those two numbers hinting at its capacity of 2.6-liters. It had a 24-valve, twin-cam setup as well as a twin-turbo system to maximize its power potential.

As the guys in the video suggest, the actual power output of the RB26 remains debatable, and that's because Japanese manufacturers had a "gentlemen's agreement" at that time that not to advertise horsepower levels greater than 280 hp. Some say it could be as high as 320 hp, but some also say Elvis Presley is alive, so you never can know who to believe.

Whatever it is, it should be interesting to see if it's enough to beat a modern-day 2020 Nissan Maxima. The family sedan is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 300 horsepower that is funneled toward the front axle through a CVT Xtronic transmission. This is clearly the Achilles' heel for the Maxima, even though the five-speed manual in the GT-R isn't exactly built for the quick shifts that a drag race requires.

The R32 has the advantage of an all-wheel-drive system that should give it the edge off the line. However, its aging gearbox cancels that as the owner fears that any attempt of launching the GT-R would result in a catastrophic failure of the transmission.

So, have we come so far in just 30 years that a family-oriented car with front-wheel-drive, cooled front seats, and a CVT can take on and even beat a legendary sports car like the R32 GT-R? If the answer is yes, we'll probably be happy and sad at the same time. Happy because it proves the industry's progress beyond any doubt. Sad because... well, it's a Skyline, and you don't want to see them lose, let alone to a boring car like the Maxima. Watch the clip below to see what happens.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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