After years of hype, speculation, broken dreams and dashed hopes, the Nissan Skyline will finally be sold on U.S. soil, without having to deal with third-party dealers, the Mexican mafia, or Craigslist. We will finally get to test drive a 2008 Skyline at Nissan dealerships this summer and get to experience the car made famous by Gran Turismo, The Fast and the Furious and magazines like the one currently resting between your hands. But before we get carried away and get our panties all bunched up for this machine that we'll probably never afford, let's pay homage to all the Nissan Skylines before it, the cars that we're all familiar with and geeked out on, the rolling representation of all things that are ferocious and intense in Japanese mythology. Let's start by bowing down to this 2000 R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec N1 tuned by TRIAL Tuning Spirit from Osaka, Japan.
TRIAL Tuning Spirit was founded by Michio Makihara nearly 15 years ago and is currently known to be one the largest tuning shops in Japan. They opened up a U.S. office in Tucson, AZ in 2002 and are currently in the process of opening a shop in California. They sell a variety of original aftermarket parts, including engine and suspension components, and sell other manufacturers' products. We've featured many of TRIAL's project cars, including the Falken-sponsored Toyota Supra, but it was the red 3ZZ Toyota Celica that put them on the map nearly five years ago. Most recently, they tuned a yellow Super Lap Battle Mitsubishi Evolution VIII that looks like it should be running uphill on Pikes Peak or flying to the moon.
This time around, they tried their hand at this R34 GT-R V-Spec N1, which could easily manhandle any Corvette Z06s or Porsche 911 Turbos it comes across, in mere stock form. The V-Spec N1 models are lighter than the other R34s with the removal of the ABS, air conditioning, sound system, rear wiper and trunk carpet. It also has firmer suspension and lower ground clearance, and comes with a plastic front-air diffuser and a rear carbon fiber air diffuser, both of which are designed to keep air flowing smoothly underneath the car. The most major change, of course, comes from under the hood. There were only 45 of these R34 N1 engines produced. Twelve were given to NISMO, Nissan's tuning division, and the rest were sold to various racing teams and tuning garages, one of which was TRIAL Tuning Spirit.
The R34 N1 engine features improved camshafts for more power and ball-bearing turbochargers, which provide quicker boost to the engines. TRIAL stepped it up by installing a bevy of HKS products, starting with a 2.8 Step 3 stroker kit, which is as a major as you can possibly get when tuning engines. It features forged pistons working harmoniously with forged H-shaped connecting rods that pump the combustion chambers with full-metal clips of fury, using the full counterweight crankshaft. To make sure everything runs smoothly and to make everything bigger, TRIAL put the BNR34 under a port and polish process. They finish the sexy engine off with a set of Tomei stud bolts and painted the Nur-Spec valve cover.
But what we should really be talking about is the power generated by the HKS T04Z turbine, which is connected to an HKS exhaust manifold, farting out the excess turbo sharts and gas from the previous night's tacos (just ask Jonathan Wong). The T04Z also uses an HKS GT-2 wastegate and front pipe to ARC intercooler. To make sure the engine is also as cool as the turbo, TRIAL went with an HKS oil cooler, N1 normal oil cooler, NISMO mission cooler, and Calsonic original 4-core aluminum radiator. The only cooler missing is (cue the proverbial hi-hat drum snares) the cooler for the Sapporo beers. LOLz all around! Transferring this power to road is an ATS triple carbon clutch and NISMO carbon proper shaft.
The exterior of this R34 is what makes all of us wish we were born Japanese, sported a funky JDM haircut and had pixelated genitalia. The entire body kit comes from the NISMO collection of fresh-to-def automobile exteriors. Starting off with the dry carbon fiber hood, this NISMO body kit is made to cut through the ambient atmosphere like a samurai sword to Lucy Liu's cranium. On the sides are NISMO side steps connecting the Z-Tune front fender to the rest of the gorgeous body. If this car had an equivalent in the human world, it would be a combination of Jessica Alba, Lauren London and that chick who co-hosts Dancing with the Stars. In the front, TRIAL opted for a Mine's carbon diffuser, and to stabilize the chassis on the Osaka streets, they flopped on a TRIAL wing stay in the rear. Taking all of this beauty from point A to point B is a set of 18-inch Rays TE37s, white as the body. They're wrapped in gummy Yokohama A048 tires and are more major than Lee Majors himself.
Inside is simple, but perfect. After all, we're talking about a Skyline here, and there should be minor adjustments when it comes to modifying the interior. On that note, TRIAL added a 12-point rollbar just in case the Osaka "one time" chases them down a steep bank, and they also installed a set of money-shot worthy Recaro SP-G seats, adorned in equally ganmen-showers worthy Takata harnesses. Of course, all this safety equipment would only be necessary if the front AP 6-pot brake calipers with fluid cooler and rear Brembo 4-pot brakes weren't functional.
This is pretty much the prettiest and cleanest Skyline we've ever seen. It's straight to the point, majorly powerful, epicly sexy and supremely Japanese. If we were to own one, we'd like to own this Skyline simply because it's rare, and we trust TRIAL's choice in accessories. But seeing that we'll never own one, we'll just focus on making ganmen showers on photos of Jessica Alba, Lauren London and the chick who co-hosts Dancing with the Stars.
'00 R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R
Owner Trial Tuning Spirit
Hometown Osaka, Japan
Daily Grind tuning shop
Power We'll take "major" for $100, Alex.
Under The Hood
HKS 2.8-liter Step 3 stroker kit, T04Z turbo, exhaust manifold, GT-2 wastegate, front pipe, oil cooler, forged pistons, forged H-shape connecting rods, full counterweighted crankshaft, V-cam system (30/30 in the world), stage 2 camshafts; NISMO metal head gasket and reinforced engine mounts; ported and polished cylinder head; Tomei stud bolts; Trial titanium Bazooka exhaust; ATI damper pulley; Calsonic aluminium radiator; ARC intercooler
Drivetrain ATS triple carbon clutch; NISMO reinforced input shaft and transmission cooler
Stiff Stuff Cusco pillow ball tension rod and rear camber arm, process for rear member
Rollers 18x10.5" Volk Racing TE37s, Yokohama 265/35R18 A048 tires
Stoppers front AP 6-pot liquid cooled calipers with a fluid cooler; rear Brembo 4-pot calipers
Outside Nismo dry carbon hood; NISMO Z Tune front fenders, front bumper spoiler, side skirts, rear under spoiler set, carbon doors, carbon trunk and GT taillights; Mine's carbon diffuser; Trial wing
Inside 12-point rollcage; Recaro SP-G seats; Takata harnesses
Www brembo.com; hksusa.com; mackinindustries.com (ARC/Volk Racing); mynismo.com; recaro.com; tein.com (Takata); yokohamatire.com