The Nissan R33 GT-R might be the least popular of the last Skyline GT-Rs, but its potential has never been put into question. With a modest assortment of trackday modifications, the long and heavy R33 can put in remarkable lap times, thanks to its intelligent four-wheel drive system, known as ATTESA-ETS, and the venerable RB26DETT motor providing the punch.
With this lightly tuned example, its RB has been stroked to 2.8 liters and fitted with a sizable single turbo, which makes the boost arrive a little abruptly, to say the least. Though the power figures aren’t noted, something around 600 horsepower wouldn’t be out of the question, and most of it is delivered in one big blow at the top of the rev range. Yet, even with this lumpy power delivery, it’s able to clock laps in the 1:31-range at Winton Motor Raceway.
Factor in a set of big AP Racing brakes and broad tires helping the heavyweight decelerate and corner with a surprising amount of stick, and the long-wheelbase GT-R has plenty going for it as a track car. In fact, despite weighing some 3,400 pounds, this R33 GT-R looks as agile as a Silvia or an RX-7, and beats both at the corner exit.
Watching the car hop, search for grip, and accelerate even with the rears spinning, you get a sense of why the tech-heavy R33 GT-R was so revolutionary 20 years ago, and why it’s still revered in this day and age. By putting that lump of power to the ground quite efficiently, it can accelerate out of tight corners with an urgency that a car that size simply shouldn’t have.