Most people will have seen the R33 at one place or another. Whether that be at the gas station, boy racing hang outs or in the iconic film series, Fast & Furious. It’s a car that is popular in youth and pop culture but for more reasons than one might think because this is actually a very good car! Especially when considered that the general price point was very affordable for a car of this credibility and performance.
Nissan might have not known what they were in for when they first introduced this series all the way back in the 80’s believe it or not. What they had produced was a very formidable car that has stood the test of time and created a connection to numerous generations. Enter the Nissan G-TR Skyline R33.
The R33 was nicknamed ‘Godzilla’ for its beastly track performance. It became famous for its style, handling and acceleration amongst the younger street racing enthusiasts who took to the affordable race car. It quickly garnered an affable reputation with street racing culture and subsequently helped spawn the origins of Drag Racing. This in turn influenced blockbuster movies such Fast & Furious and console games like Need for Speed.
“Like many of it’s drivers, the R33 has a youthful spirit.”
The R33 feels similar to it’s predecessors in the overall drive even with it’s mechanical and aesthetic tweaks, yet it still has its identity which the Japanese manufacturer are known for. The car is far heavier than previous models but with it’s added power you can feel the torque in all it’s effortless glory. That’s the appeal to these cars, you can literally feel the enthusiasm it was built with, much to the boy racing delight and dream. Like many of it’s drivers, the R33 has a youthful spirit.
From 1989 to 2002, the Skyline series morphed and evolved in it’s looks and performance. The R33, unlike it’s predecessor was longer, bigger and heavier which designed with the purpose of looking more aggressive. Nissan added a rear spoiler, side skirts and more size to the body with a bigger 2.6 litre straight six-cylinder twin-turbo engine generating an impressive 276 horse power. This resulted in a more powerful and race ready looking machine. The interior also got bigger when they also added more space in the rear seating to give it more comfort and room.
The five-speed gearbox, four wheel drive gave this car excellent handling for tight corners. Built with a drive train providing power to an electronically controlled four wheel drive system.The rear drive was designed to take most of the grunt of the drive but the front wheels kicked in when needed thanks to it clever computer system.
The ABS disc (Brembo) brakes which were connected to the same computer system gave the car extremely effect stopping power and gave the R33 it’s cornering efficiency. The car also had a steering system that activated when speeds exceeded 80 km/h to aid the rear wheels, giving them obedience to the front wheels and the ability to turn on a rail when needed.
For a car of this type, it needed this attention to detail which is what helped promote the car to it’s top end performance. The R33 additions resulted in a quick but fair 0-60mph in 5.6 seconds, top speed of 251 km/h. Not bad for a entry level race car that could be picked up for less than $10,000. Just keep the receipt as this car is prone for wear and tear, including it’s tyres which could have been made to be more tough since it was designed for drag racing. Then again, not everyone is using this car for that purpose. Nevertheless, the Skyline is a fun entry level car and is very beloved by its followers.