Compared to its predecessor, the fifth-gen Skyline GT-R is gifted with a shortened wheelbase and a shortened rear overhang. Nissan had also made it slightly wider, but height was unchanged at 1,360 millimeters (53.5 inches). These changes may not seem like much at first glance, but on the other hand, bear in mind that body stiffness increased by 56 percent whereas torsional rigidity doubled to improve handling. Lateral stiffness improved as well (30 percent), and camber stiffness was also enhanced (25 percent).
When it comes to chassis and suspension componentry, engineers have refined the multi-link setup in many areas. They also employed aluminum to save a few kilograms here and there. Aluminum is also used for the Brembo-supplied brake calipers that squeeze 324- and 300-millimeter ventilated rotors. The four- and two-piston brakes are complemented by R34-specific tires, namely Bridgestone Potenza RE040 rubber that measures 245/40 by 18 inches. The original equipment wheels, meanwhile, are one-piece alloys.
Just like the R33, the R34 is rocking four-wheel steering. Nissan calls this piece of kit Super HICAS. The biggest difference over the hydraulically-operated HICAS in the R32 is the switch to an electric actuator. Just like HICAS, the electronically-controlled system turns the rear wheels opposite to the front wheels at low speeds. Of course, the High Capacity Actively Controlled Steering does the opposite at high speeds, improving stability.
The force-fed sixer is equipped with twin ball bearing ceramic turbos, individual throttle bodies, and it’s connected to a six-speed manual rather than the five-speed box of the R33. From a compression ratio of 8.5:1 and a displacement of 2,568 cubic centimeters, the six-cylinder lump was advertised with 276 horsepower and 289 pound-feet (392 Nm) of torque.
But in truth, it made a little bit more. As a brief refresher, Japanese automakers made a gentleman’s agreement in 1988, restraining their cars to 276 ponies for safety reasons. Honda was the first to break this pact with the Legend, a.k.a. Acura RL in the United States, which produced 296 hp.
Tipping the scales at 1,540 kilograms (3,395 pounds), the R34 Skyline GT-R needs 5.4 seconds to reach 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) from a standstill. Keep your foot planted on the loud pedal, and you’ll soon hit an electronically limited 251 kilometers per hour (156 miles per hour).
Available from the start of production, the Victory Specification is cosmetically different from the standard model. Aside from the performance-oriented aesthetic upgrades, Nissan had also lowered and firmed up the suspension at the expense of daily-driving ride quality. Circa 20 kilograms (44 pounds) heavier, the V Spec can also show intake and exhaust gas temperatures on the 5.8-inch color multi-function display.
The V Spec for other markets came in a higher specification. The pièce de resistance is the N1 engine, followed by NISMO-branded oil coolers, a more aggressive map for the engine control unit, and Connolly upholstery.
Nissan operated a few updates in October 2000 to create the R34 Skyline GT-R Series 2, which also gave us the V Spec II. Nissan sweetened the deal with the M Spec in May 2001, which is rightfully described as a better-handling V Spec II thanks to a stiffer anti-roll bar out back and Ripple Control shock absorbers. The subsequent V Spec II Nurburgring and M Spec Nurburgring introduced in February 2002 exceeded 330 horsepower at the crank.