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Meet the £400,000 Skyline GT-R
Love or hate the Nissan GT-R and its crushing competence, you can’t argue against the value it offers. Porsche 911 Turbo S pace for 66,000 fewer pounds ain’t to be sniffed at.
So where does that leave this, the 2005 £400,000 Skyline GT-R? We’re too busy wiping drool from our keyboards while hopelessly yielding to videos of it being heeled-and-toed around Japanese race circuits to worry about such prosaic things.
This, girls and boys, is numero uno of just 20 Skyline GT-R Nismo Z-Tunes built, up for sale at The Lowdown now and expected to fetch in excess of $575,000. In British monies, that’s 400 large ones, or the cost of a Ferrari 458 and a McLaren 650S.
Why so much? Well, this is an exceedingly special edition of the R34 GT-R - the one before the R35 we have now - built in 2005, after production of the standard car had actually been wound up.
It marked 20 years of Nismo’s tuning, and as such, the stops were well and truly pulled out. The twin-turbocharged 2.8-litre six-cylinder engine borrowed much from Nismo’s GT500 race car, and as such produced a whopping 500bhp at 6800rpm, though props to whoever insisted the rev counter should go all the way to 11. Its 398lb ft of torque, meanwhile, matches that 458.
Each engine was entirely handbuilt, Nismo claiming at the time that neither cost nor production time were ever considerations. Further ambivalence to value for money came via copious use of carbon, years before it was as liberally and fashionably applied across the performance car landscape.
The front panels - including a GT500-spec bonnet - were all carbon-crafted, as was plenty of under-the-skin stuff, including parts of the floor pan and the driveshaft.
The end result was a 1600kg kerbweight. That’s exactly the same as a standard R34, Nismo deploying much carbon to counteract an air of luxury inside - some lovely leather and Alcantara seats the highlight - and a host of extra cooling equipment to keep that monstrous engine from grenading itself.
Given it was nearly twice as powerful as Nissan’s claims for the standard R34 GT-R (fistfuls of salt infamously required, however, given the very loosely applied 276bhp limit on Japanese performance cars at the time), you’d expect the Z-Tune to be an unholy animal to drive.
Quite the opposite. This contemporary Best Motoring video described it as “really easy to control”, a reprogrammed stability control system sending more power to the front axle than standard to avoid drifting.
Those last three words might strike an internet-wide “huh?!”, but these things can always be turned off should gratuitous skidding be your thing.
Priced at 17 million Japanese yen when new, this Nismo GT-R cost pretty much exactly what the current one does, at around £128,000 with inflation applied. Which makes its £400,000-plus value now quite the mark-up.
Simple question, then: if you could, would you?