For something weighing a tick over 3,000 pounds, this Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R really moves. Its heft and unusually long wheelbase belie a remarkable agility. It’s able to exploit all its turbo power come corner exit thanks to its ATTESA-ETS and 295-section tires at all four corners.
Yokohama A050 rubber helps administer the 750 horsepower made by a 2.8-liter RB26 fitted with HKS’ V-Cam variable timing system. Those tweaks help spool the twin GT-RS turbos quite quickly, as anyone can see from the way it fires out of every corner without the slightest hesitation. Even the slightest prod of the throttle corresponds with an audible whistle, indicating the perfectly-sized snails are ready for action.
With a six-speed sequential gearbox from OS Giken, the acceleration is relentless — just marvel at the way it rockets down Tsukuba’s back straight (0:52), accompanied by the RB’s signature raspy bark.
Fortunately, it’s not a car that excels only at the corner exits and down the straights. Despite its weight, it turns into quick and slow corners with staggering speed and precision. Top-dollar Quantum coilovers and Ikeya Formula arms ensure the right cambers and heights are possible. Once its driver releases off the 8-piston Brembo brakes, the long R33 GT-R neatly pivots into the apex like a smaller, lighter machine.
With a capable driver making the most of these choice parts, the GT-R puts in an incredible, tidy lap around Tsukuba in 57.432 seconds — even with a couple of significant mistakes — most notably the bobble onto Tsukuba’s back straight (0:50). Though well-held, that slide was easily worth a second, considering it preceded the fastest section of the course. Had he been able to keep the GT-R’s tail from snapping, this lap might’ve been somewhere in the 56-second range—something JGTC cars of 20 years ago were posting. Not too shabby for a nearly full-weight road car!