Illustration for article titled What Its Like To Drive An R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R

“All the cool things people say about these cars are true.”

“This is the can’t-have-it car,” as Matt Farah put it on his most recent The Smoking Tire video. The R34 was the last Skyline GT-R we never got here in America, as fast as these unobtainable Gran Turismo cars ever got. Americans drove them in video games, watched them in videos, and always longed for them from afar. In person?


This 360-horsepower ‘RB26' 2.6 liter turbocharged straight six is a joy, the chassis with its stock four-wheel steering is ultra-direct and the car lives up to the hype. The shifter is wonderful. The seats are good. The whole car feels well-built and special.

Usually these cars get built up into high-horsepower monsters because there’s an aftermarket for it, but with a near-to-stock engine the power is just right for enjoying yourself on a back road. If it were mine, this is how my R34 would end up looking.


The only thing that seems off about the thing is that the owner Mo has a set of way-too-stiff-for-shitty-American-roads coilovers on it. He has a set of softer ones on order, which is a good sense of how these GT-Rs have entered a world of almost absolute tunerism. Every one is modified in some way.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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