- Credit: Nissan

The Car The Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 Was Supposed To Be

Nissan wanted the Skyline GT-R R34 to be a completely different beast. What caused them to make the R34 into what was instead of their intetion for it

If you guys remember not too long ago, I posted an article called, "5 Facts About The Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 You (Probably) Didn't Know". The last fact was surprising to me when I first heard about it, and it seemed to surprise a few of you guys too. I said I'd do a more in depth article on that for you guys now.

First things first, let's talk about Nissan's plan for the Skyline GT-R R34.

Kozo Watanabe was all about making the Skyline deliver technological innovation to customers. The R34 GT-R was no exception. The change for for the R34 GT-R was radical. The legendary RB26DETT was going to be yanked from the GT-R and replaced with a newly developed V6 motor. The engine placement was also going to change as well. Believe it or not, the R34 GT-R was supposed to have a mid engine layout! Now before you panic, it wasn't going to be your typical mid-engined sports car. It was going to be a mid-engined layout like the Ferrari F12 with the a Front Midship layout with the engine sitting behind the front axle of the car. This would've been better for the car's center of gravity by making it lower giving it better handling. Unfortunately there isn't much more (if any) information on the new V6 engine that the R34 would receive. All we can do is possibly make an educated guess of what the engine could've been. My guess would be a detuned version of the VQ30DETT that was used in the 2003 GT500 Skyline GT-R R34 racecar.

What caused Nissan to pull the plug on this project? Well, the new project would we need a separate production line, and it would cost a lot of money to invest in it. It also didn't help that Nissan was in a really bad financial situation. They were on the brink of bankruptcy being $20 billion (over $30 billion today) in debt. This forced extreme budget cuts for the cars development and forced Watanabe to only make minor adjustments to the R34 and the RB26DETT engine. Shortly after the R34 GT-R's debut, Renault bought a voting stake in the company ultimately bailing Nissan out.

What are your thoughts on what the original R34 Skyline GT-R was supposed to be? Do you like the idea of the Front Midship engine layout. Do you like the idea of the R34 having a V6 ,or are you glad that the extreme budget cuts kept the RB26DETT in this iconic car? Let me know in the comments.

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Comments (4)

  • I think that it’s great it kept the RB, I still miss it, although my opinion is the RB20DET sounded the best (I’ve gone into hiding now lol). Front midship would have been alright too I guess. But I wouldn’t have been ready for the V6 at that point. And as long as it looked the same. Couldn’t imagine the R34 looking any different

      1 year ago
    • Well I imagine the R34 would’ve looked a little different due to the compact nature of the V6 layout. I don’t think it would’ve a radical change but maybe something like this.

        1 year ago
    • Good call 👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾

        1 year ago
  • I have an R34 GTR VSpecII. I spent a lot of time, effort and money developing oil management add-ons to fix the RB26DETT's chronic issues. It is a great engine, but has a massive Achilles heel. No single add-on fixes it. I love my R34, but I would have been very happy for it to be powered by a V6 twin-turbo with mid-front layout. The front overhang on the R34 causes many issues with ramps and speedbumps with only a slight reduction in ride height on coil-overs. The key requirement though is tuneability. Any engine in a GTR must be tuneable.

      4 days ago