In A Battle Of Cool Nissan's R34 GT-R Slams The R35

Illustration for article titled In A Battle Of Cool Nissan's R34 GT-R Slams The R35
Screenshot: TheStraightPipes on YouTube

If you add modern GT-R levels of power to a 1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R Spec-V, add a big brake kit, lightweight wheels, and modern sticky rubber, the resulting car is unsurprisingly awesome. What better way to test just how awesome it is than to pit it against the new 50th Anniversary Edition. Both are in the now-iconic shade of Bayside Blue, and they’re both big, boxy, and powerful examples of Japan’s (perhaps) most recognizable supercar.


These two cars are obviously quite different, but they have more similarities than one might imagine.

Sure, a stock R34 wouldn’t hit nearly as hard as this modified V-spec, but the tastefully modified example is more or less indicative of the level some owners will take their car. An informal poll of me, myself, and I indicates a unanimous preference to the modified 1999 R34 over the brand new 50AE.

The R35 was perhaps a turning point in automotive dynamics. When it was launched, driving it was described as being akin to piloting a video game or simulation. It allegedly took the driver out of the equation, and it was a ton of speed for the money. In the time it has been on the market [12 years] both of those positions have flip-flopped. Not only has the price of the car ballooned, but the competition has gotten more numb and disconnected.

The Straight Pipes folks provide a comprehensive look at the ups and downs of each of these two Bayside Blue beauties. Their answer to the question “Which GT-R should you buy?” feels like a cop out, however. It’s still worth your time to watch.

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.


General Purpose

I must be in the minority who prefers the looks of the R35. The R34, while fairly stylish, reminds me of many lesser Nissan coupes of the 90s, as well as all of its immediate predecessors, while the R35 is one of the most unmistakable cars I can think of, and if anything looks better after 12 years of production while most supercars have jumped the shark with obnoxious styling excess.

We may consider the R35 dull at the moment, but I believe one day we’ll revere it as one of the most iconic sports cars of all time and, like the air-cooled 911, yearn for an alternative universe where it just never left production.