Not content to launch just a Z NISMO, Nissan has also released a Skyline NISMO in Japan. Nissan Motorsports hasn’t touched a new Skyline since the GT-R was split off into its own model, and this marks the first time the Skyline has seen an official NISMO Skyline since the R34 Z-Tune. The model was created in part to honor 60 years since the first hotted up Skyline – the Prince S54A-1, predecessor to the Nissan Skyline GT-R — stepped onto the scene. Appropriately, the launch event held in Japan had the legendary sports sedan on stage.
The Skyline NISMO is based on the V37 chassis, which we know in the US as the Infiniti Q60. One of the first things Skyline aficionados will notice is the presence of an Omori Red and white “GT” badge on the fenders. Ever since Shinichiro Sakurai shoehorned two extra cylinders into a humble Prince Skyline sedan and sent it racing at the Japan Grand Prix, the emblem has denoted the top performance spec of the Skyline.
To drive the point home, Nissan debuted the Skyline NISMO with a Prince Skyline GT S54A on stage. Not only that, but they also brought out Nissan Works legend Kazuyoshi Hoshino on stage to talk about his life-long relationship with the Skyline.
The V37 is no stranger to abnormally powerful drivetrains. The Infiniti Q50 and Q60 Red Sport 400 kicked off the 400-horsepower twin-turbo VR30DDTT back in 2016, the most powerful engine Nissan offered outside the R35 GT-R. That same powertrain eventually made its way to the new Nissan Z, which paired it with a 6-speed manual, and then the Z NISMO, which took the manual away. However, even the Japanese version of the Red Sport wasn’t enough to earn the “GT” badge.
The Skyline NISMO arguably contains the best version of this engine. It was tuned by the same engineers that work on their SuperGT race engines, but they didn’t simply drop it into the V37 and call it a day. While power matches the Japanese-spec Z NISMO at 420ps (414 horsepower), torque is bumped up to an substantial 406 lb-ft. Output is fed through a 7-speed automatic rather than the Z’s 9-speed for a more grand touring arrangement than the Z’s sports car setup. For simplicity’s sake, here’s a rundown of the VR30DDTT’s various permutations:
- Infiniti Red Sport 400: 400hp, 350 lb⋅ft, 7AT
- Nissan Z: 400 hp, 350 lb-ft, 6MT or 9AT
- Nissan Z NISMO (USA): 420hp, 384 lb-ft, 9AT
- Nissan Z NISMO (Japan): 414hp, 384 lb-ft, 9AT
- Nissan Skyline NISMO: 414hp, 406 lb-ft, 7AT
In addition, the Skyline NISMO features the following upgrades from the regular V37:
- Exclusive 19-inch Enkei wheels
- Rear tire width increased by 20mm
- Tuned suspension and sway bars
- Tuned VDC
- Fade-resistant brake pads
- High-rigidity adhesive used on front and rear windshields to improve body rigidity, same compound used in R35 GT-R NISMO
- Redesigned grille and internal air guide for reduced air resistance and optimized airflow to radiator and oil cooler
- NISMO front and rear bumpers and side sills with red accents
- NISMO-exclusive fog lamps
- Five body colors are available, including Brilliant White Pearl, Meteor Flake Black Pearl, Carmine Red, Dark Metal Gray, and NISMO-only Stealth Gray
The differences continue into the cabin:
- leather-wrapped steering wheel with red 12 o’clock marker
- 280 kph speedometer and red-ringed tachometer with NISMO logo
- Black/red Recaro seats with suede upholstery
- Serial number plate denoting build sequence
Nissan says that the Skyline NISMO’s exclusive aero kit was designed to pay homage to the “surf line” that kicks up from the rocker panel through the rear wheel to the rear bumper. The trademark styling cue has appeared several generations of classic Skylines, from Hakosuka to Kenmeri to Skyline Japan. Nissan says the surf line is not only a tribute but functional as well, “significantly increasing downforce while reducing air resistance” for greater stability at speed.
Interestingly, the Skyline NISMO contracts Enkei to supply its exclusive wheels, while the Z uses Rays. Working with one supplier would’ve been easier, and with Nissan’s size it would’ve been no problem to ink a good deal. But we think it is likely Nissan’s way of supporting different wheel makers in order to buoy the industry as a whole, even if it comes at greater cost.
Production of the Skyline NISMO will be restricted to a run of 1,000, expected to go on sale in Japan in early September. Each one will have a numbered plaque on the center console to denote its build sequence.
But wait, an even more exclusive Skyline NISMO Limited will see a run of just 100 examples. These will go on sale in Japan in summer of 2024 to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Prince Skyline GT S54A-1. These will feature a hand-assembled engines put together at Nissan’s Yokohama plant. Each motor will wear a serial plate denoting its production number and a label with the name of the takumi master craftsman that built it. Matte gunmetal wheels, hood decals, and exclusive seats will visually distinguish these cars. Only three color options will be offered, Brilliant White Pearl, Dark Metal Gray, and NISMO Stealth Gray.
We don’t know if there’s any truth to the rumors that the next Skyline will be an SUV. It would be a travesty if it did. We certainly hope this is not the case, but perhaps the Skyline NISMO is a final send-off to the storied name before that transformation.
Images courtesy of Nissan