These are some of the rarest Godzillas.
Nissan has dabbled in performance-oriented vehicles over the years and has also built some track-focused beasts as well. The majority of Nissan’s hi-po offerings wear the iconic GT-R badge, and depending on who you talk to that either stands for Gran Turismo Racing or Racer. But the one thing that isn’t debatable is the performance that’s associated with those three letters. To celebrate the reveal of the new GT-R, here’s a list of five Godzillas we bet you never knew existed. All are of course special editions so don't feel too bad about being in the dark.
Paul Walker undoubtedly helped put the R34 GT-R on the map in America, but before that Nissan created a version that was worthy of being the star of any Fast & Furious movie. In 2004 it built the R34 GT-R Nismo Z-Tune to enter into a GT-R “tuner battle." The Z-Tune’s RB26DETT inline-six was heavily modified with a bored-out engine block, new camshafts, a long-stroke crankshaft, upgraded turbo, lightweight forged pistons and more for a total of 493 hp. There was also a sportier suspension, increased chassis welding, new wheels, brakes, and tires. Only 20 models were ever made, which makes this one hell of a rare car.
Next on the list might be the only four-door GT-R in the world. No, Nissan didn’t build a sedan with the iconic badge but that didn’t stop tuning house Autech from creating this officially approved R33 GT-R sedan. This machine was created to celebrate the Skyline’s 40th birthday and is basically Godzilla in the body of a sedan. The car has the GT-R coupe’s running gear, which includes the ATTESA-ETS torque-split system, as well as the 2.6-liter six-cylinder that puts out 280 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque. While it may have been completed by a tuning company, this isn’t a hack job as Autech even flared the rear wheel arches to match the coupe’s look.
A four-door sedan may seem like the rarest GT-R of all, but the R33 GT-R LM deserves to be in the same conversation as far as exclusivity is concerned. Some claim the R33 LM is a unicorn, and rightfully so. Built as a homologation special, this car was created to give Nissan the ability to race a similar vehicle at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Unlike the racing version, the road-going GT-R LM featured a race-ready RB26DETT straight-six that was detuned to 300 hp, while the interior was similar to that of the regular R33. It may not be the most powerful GT-R, but the design, which was completed by Ben Bowlby, easily makes this one of the most aggressive versions ever made for the road.
Before the Nurburgring became a place where automakers continually attempted to one up each another, automakers used the iconic track to develop cars. The 2002 R34 GT-R M-Spec Nur was the final production model of the R34 GT-R and was the perfect send off for the sports car. Fanatics will recognize that two GT-R Nur models were made, but the M-Spec variant is the rarest as only 250 units were built. As per Japan's “gentlemen’s agreement” to produce cars with only 280 hp, this model was advertised as only making 276 horses. But really it put out roughly 300 hp. The color is also the same “Silica Brass” that’s found on the modern 45th anniversary edition.
Lastly, but certainly not least, is the 2014 Special Edition GT-R that came finished in an iconic shade of Midnight Opal. This may not seem like a true special edition after seeing the other four, but the color is an iconic one for this car. The Midnight Purple hue was first offered on a R33 GT-R as a limited-edition model and was immediately a hit. The original Midnight Purple shade was also offered on the 1999 R34 GT-R as another special edition model, and it took just 10 days for every unit to be scooped up. Midnight Purple III was offered on the final rendition of the R34 GT-R and was the most exotic of the three shades. While the majority of people will see Midnight Opal as another shade of purple, the color has a rich history in the GT-R lineup.