Nissan’s R32 Skyline GT-R EV conversion donor is surprisingly mint

Nissan announced last week that it will be converting an R32 Skyline GT-R to run on battery-electric power. A followup video has revealed the candidate that will undergo the knife, and it’s a pretty mint example. That has polarized many of the enthusiasts following the project, who voiced their disappointment on social media.

The donor car appears to be a standard-spec Godzilla in Gun Gray Metallic. Thankfully it’s not a rare variant like a NISMO or N1. The exterior is in surprisingly good condition, with no signs of rust as well as consistent paint and panel gaps (at least what can be discerned from a video). Even the curb-side wheels show zero rash. The interior has been modified a bit with an aftermarket stereo and such, while the center console and vents show some wear. The dash, a typical weak point, is in great shape. All in all, though, the R32 is a very good example for a three decades old car.

Responses to the car have been mixed, with some fans approving of the project but most take exception. Here are some translated comments from social media in response to Nissan’s unveiling of the donor:

Give me the engine.

It means that an R32 Skyline GT-R that can still drive will be destroyed and rebuilt. It’s a waste.

Just using a BNR32 is getting a lot of criticism, and it’s a waste that the base car isn’t more tattered. I guess there are hardly any usable and good-looking ones on the market anymore with little damage to the car body, but in that case, an HNR32 or something like that would have been fine.

It’s so cool.

It’s a shame.

It’s in great condition! It’s a waste to mess with all that…

I would prefer a Kazue Ito’s Cima-like full restoration rather than an EV conversion…

The R32 is an EV specification!? I am personally looking forward to it!

Stop it!

Please don’t spoil the Skyline’s history any more.

Converting the R32GT-R into an EV is a big mistake. A Skyline GT-R without RB26DETT is not GT-R. I still prefer hydrogen engines. It would be better to learn from Toyota and develop a hydrogen engine. Hydrogen RB26DETT is absolutely better.

From the perspective of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., I think it’s a project that will be hit with customers who don’t buy new cars and only complain… but I like Nissan, so I’m rooting for it.

You’ve gone to great lengths to sell heritage parts. The EV conversion plan would be wonderful if it would lead to the discovery of a new appeal of the R32. 

I’m a little confused as to why such a beautiful is going to have its engine pulled. If it’s a big deal, why don’t you buy a fixed HCR32 car that was dusty around there and restore it?

I like a wild GT-R that smells of gasoline, has poor fuel efficiency, and makes a lot of noise.

Nissan is free to use a car made by Nissan.

Is it necessary to do it with such a nice looking car?

If someone buys this stripped engine and the car lives a long time, that’s fine.

I think the engine itself will probably be preserved, so it’s probably okay. It’s good that it’s an interesting initiative.

I heard that the comments were all about criticism, so I looked at about 10 users who gave criticism, but they all don’t seem to have cars. Personally, I am very much in favor of this EV conversion. I am very grateful to have more options to choose from as I continue to ride.

If you swap the engine, it’s just a used Skyline.

I’m really looking forward to it. This is something that only Nissan, the number one electric vehicle manufacturer in Japan, can do that no Toyota, Honda, or Suzuki can imitate. I would like to create a monster machine using the Ariya B9 e-4ORCE technology and give people who have never ridden an EV a ride in a different dimension.

Like the Japanese commenters, we’re kind of torn about this project. On one hand, R32-generation Skyline GT-Rs are not particularly rare. Nissan sold approximately 43,000 of them from 1990-93. It’s cool to see Nissan experimenting with ways to future-proof classics like the R32 for the inevitable ban on gasoline-powered cars. Still, like many commenters said, to start with such a nice example seems like a pity, especially since Nissan has its own heritage restoration and parts program for the R32. What do you think of this project?

This post is filed under: News.

3 Responses to Nissan’s R32 Skyline GT-R EV conversion donor is surprisingly mint

  1. Lee says:

    Like it or not, electrification in some fashion is the way forward. The choice to use a GT-R and not a base model Skyline was a thought out one. No one at Nissan would sign off on this project unless they used some of their best, albeit old, vehicles for this conversion. And there are a lot more R32s than R33s and R34s to chose from, so losing one for a one-off project really isn’t that bad IMO.

  2. Sedanlover says:

    I think this is great! I can only imagine it’s taken these guys at Nissan a long time to get to this point, with all the differing opinions internally, trying to decide on a car, then find one to buy, all while fitting within a certain budget.

    Personally, I believe it is great to see the two major mobility companies in Japan are considering creating EV conversion kits for some really old models. Think about it, Toyota could’ve easily done the EV/Hydrogen conversion on two 86’s instead of AE86’s…
    They are saying to the enthusiasts “We see you” and they are looking to the future and maybe even using some sort of sustainability lens to save what is already on the road.
    Remember a time when car companies wanted you to throw that 4-year-old car in the bin and buy the brand new model? Maybe the pandemic has changed the way they look at the products they produce and has made them consider things from a different angle…?

    TLDR: it’s a yes from me.

  3. anon says:

    I said this before but there’s no point in this, doing an EV conversion will just make the car’s other flaws all the more apparent and take away from the system as a whole. As a marketing stunt it doesn’t matter but it does show that Nissan is out of ideas as a company.

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