R33 Skyline GT-R

The new R33 Skyline GT-R was launched in January 1995 with a base GT-R and the V-spec model. The V-spec model weighed in 10 kg (22 lb) heavier, and had a sportier suspension resulting in lower ground clearance. The V-spec also featured the newer ATTESA E-TS Pro all-wheel drive system, which included an Active Limited-Slip Differential.

At the heart of the V-spec version of the R33 Skyline GT-R was the ATTESA-ETS Pro Electronic Torque Split System, which at the time made it arguably the most technologically advanced production car in the world. The system was conceived in the 1990s for the JTCC to put some 600 bhp through the wheels and to the track efficiently. ETS Pro satisfied the purist by giving all the advantages of rear wheel drive until the conditions dictated otherwise.

A 16-bit micro processor monitored wheel rotation as well as lateral and longitudinal acceleration 100 times a second. On detecting wheel spin and taking into account current driving conditions, it instantly instructs a wet multi-plate clutch to direct more torque to the front wheels, regaining traction in a fraction of a second and letting the driver maintain control. The system came into its own during hard cornering or in slippery conditions, when the front/rear torque was adjusted anything between 0:100 and 50:50. 

An active LSD on the rear axle (V-Spec Version) further aided traction by calculating the optimum torque split between the left and right rear wheels, altering from to anything between fully lock and totally free.

Working along with ATTESA-ETS PRO, is the SUPER HICAS rear-wheel steering wheel. This uses a series of sensors to monitor vehicle motion, rate of turn and the driver's action on the steering wheel. Complex software then compares this information to the computer predictions of the car's ideal turning characteristics, adjusting the angle of the rear wheels to reflect the driver's intentions. The result of this type of technology? Neutral steering and unrivalled cornering capabilities. 

The engine in the R33 was nearly identical to the R32. It used the same turbochargers and the same specification for the manual gearbox, although the syncros were made to be stronger. The engine corrected the R32's weak oil pump drive collar, which tended to fail in higher power applications, with a wider collar.

With the realisation that the increased body rigidity increases handling potential, several specially designed cross members are integrated into the monocoque body design. In addition, extra torsion bars were added to the multi-link suspension to further enhance stability. Working closely with Bridgestone technicians to perfect the Potenza tyres, Nissan put the prototype R33 GT-R through its paces in all weathers at the notorious Nürburgring, earning them a daring reputation amongst other manufacturers. 

A unique 9" wide alloy wheel forged in aluminium were built to be light and strong with the five spoke design greatly improved brake disc ventilation. Tested in the wind tunnel and capable of around 175 mph, the Skyline GT-R's adjustable rear spoiler lets you find your compromise between wind resistance and grip, with a Cd figure of just 0.35 achievable with the spoiler flat and a maximum downforce of around -0.14 CI (co-efficient of lift) at an angle of 18°. To equalise the weight distribution, the bonnet and front wings where made of aluminium instead of steel and the battery was removed from the engine bay and placed in the rear of the GT-R. This altered the car's centre of gravity and improved its corning characteristics. 

Inside the Skyline GT-R, form followed function. Mono-form bucket seats with integrated headrests that are lightweight yet immensely tough provided the ideal driving position and supporting the body against the
G-forces endured under hard acceleration and cornering. Tricot seat fabric provided a level of comfort and kept the seat weight to a minimum. A Connolly leather interior option was available from Middlehurst at a cost of around £2000.

The Ergonomic internal layout means that all instrumentation and switchgear fails instantly to the hand and the eye. Speed and engine revolutions can be read in the driver's peripheral vision with the pointer 'zero' positions visually located at the nine and six o'clock positions. For the same reason, turbo pressure, oil temperature and font/rear torque gauges were set into a panel in the centre console above the A/C controls.

A high-quality security-coded Kenwood audio system featured a stereo and cassette with auto reverse, RDS and CD auto-changer capability (dealer option). The unit feeds a maximum of 35 watts per channel through 4 speakers and also featured an anti-theft 'Stealth' mechanism which neatly concealed the unit as soon as the ignition was switched off.

The braking system was made by Italy's famous Brembo Spa, suppliers to many of the world's Formula 1 team at this time. Four-piston calipers were fitted on the front with two-piston callipers on the rear to bite into the discs with a diamond shaped ventilation bores which increased the surface area to aid heat dissipation. The GT-R's braking system utilises the same wheel rotation sensors used to control the ATTESA-ETS PRO, to activate the high performance ABS, ensuring that the huge Brembo calipers always deliver optimum performance. ATTESTA-ETS Pro itself brings a new level of control to driving, automatically shifting the power whenever it can be used to provide sure-footedness unrivalled, at the time, in other production cars.