The E-BNR32 (abbreviated as R32) generation marked the return of the GT-R nameplate which was previously used by the 1973 2000GT-R 16 years ago. The R32 was designed to compete within the Group A motorsport class but also took inspiration from the Porsche 959, as evident by a twin turbo engine and an all-wheel drive system.
In 1993, a special V-Spec (Victory Specification) named model was introduced to celebrate the R32's racing success. The R32 was replaced in 1995 by the R33.
The 1993 Skyline GT-R signaled the return of the “GT-R” badge after more than a decade. While high-performance Skylines had existed in the interim, the introduction of a host of new go-fast goodies allowed Nissan to resurrect the more extreme badge for use on the new car. The big story was all-wheel drive, known to Nissan as ATTESA E-TS (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All-Terrain with Electronic Torque Split). As the system’s lengthy name suggest, it is a complex and competent system that provides tons of grip. That’s good, because the Skyline has a lot of motor that needs to be translated into forward momentum, and all-wheel drive is a great way to do that. That motor is the famous RB26DETT, introduced in this generation Skyline in 1989, and packing a four-valve head and parallel twin-turbochargers to produce well over the advertised 276 horsepower (to comply with the famous Gentleman’s Agreement limiting horsepower between Japanese manufacturers). The V-Spec (for “victory”) package includes lightened components and larger brakes, among other improvements.
The R32 is fitted with multilink suspension and ventilated disc brakes on all corners. With a weight of 3307 lb (1500 kg) it is the lightest of all 1990s era Skyline GT-R models, although it also is relatively nose-heavy due to a front weight distribution of 58%. Power is transmitted to a five-speed manual gearbox and then sent to all wheels through an electronically controlled AWD system that splits its torque output through an electro-hydraulic clutch.
The R32 is powered by a 2.6 litre RB26DETT codenamed inline-six engine with two ceramic turbochargers working in a parallel twin turbo configuration to offer optimal power unfolding. The R32 reintroduces a 24 valve DOHC design now put inside an aluminum cylinder head and uses individual throttle bodies to improve engine response. Due to a gentlemen's agreement by Japanese carmakers in 1989, the R32 has a downrated stock power rating of 276 hp (280 PS; 206 kW) and produces 261 ft·lb (354 Nm) of torque.
The R32 GT-R is still up to par with modern sports cars as it can go from 0 to 60 mph in about five seconds and 0 to 100 mph in 12.9 seconds. Its all-wheel drive system provides plenty of grip for taking off quickly and handling corners, which is enhanced by the R32's light steering. However, as the car is somewhat nose-heavy, it also has a high tendency of understeer on high speeds corners.
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