Though the R33 Skyline is in many ways an improvement, Nissan’s R32 Skyline GT-R is still a performance icon in its own right. It helps that, like the MkIV Supra, the R32 was overbuilt for its time, able to take on massive power gains. And, with its all-wheel drive, put that power down well. So well, in fact, that Australian tuning shop Maatouks Racing boosted one to 2100 hp and broke the AWD drag racing world record.
Making an R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R shatter records
To be sure, Road & Track explains, getting an R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R to over 2000 hp required quite a bit of work.
To start, Maatouks Racing enlarged the R32 Skyline’s 2.6-liter twin-turbocharged six-cylinder to 3.2 liters. Next, the stock turbos were replaced by a single GenII Pro-Mod turbo, and the car got a new custom radiator. Also, the R32 GT-R now runs on methanol instead of gasoline and has a new oiling system.
Maatouks Racing’s R32 Skyline, nicknamed ‘Metro’ after its sadly-deceased former owner, The Drive explains, is still AWD. But it uses a brand-new custom system, along with a racing 2-speed PowerGlide transmission. The rear differential and transfer case are original, R&T reports, but strengthened significantly. Only the front differential remains completely stock.
In addition to the added power and strengthened drivetrain, the ‘Metro’ R32 Skyline GT-R is lighter than stock. That’s thanks to Lexan windows, carbon brakes, carbon-fiber doors, and a stripped-down interior.
The ‘Metro’ Nissan Skyline actually set a world record earlier in the year, running the ¼-mile in 6.57 seconds at 209 mph. And pulling a wheelie while it did so. However, another GT-R, an R35-gen modified by Extreme Turbo Systems, broke that record shortly after, Motor1 reports.
But Maatouks had promised Metro’s former owner, Sam ‘Metro’ Youssef, that it would turn his R32 Skyline into a world-record holder, Drag News reports. And so, on June 16, 2020, the car returned to the Sydney Dragway for another run. Where it ran even faster than before, finishing the ¼-mile in 6.472 seconds at 219.92 mph.
Which makes it, not just the fastest Nissan Skyline GT-R, but the fastest AWD drag racer in the world.
Could the 2100-hp R32 GT-R do this on the street?
Sadly, the 2100-hp ‘Metro’ R32 Skyline GT-R isn’t street-legal, thanks to the methanol and interior modifications. Plus, that 2-speed transmission isn’t really meant for street use.
But even if it was street-legal, it likely wouldn’t be anywhere close to that quick outside of the drag strip. That’s because, as Autoweek explains, drag strip surfaces are specially prepped for better grip and adhesion. So much so, The Drive reports, that people can get stuck to them.
That’s why, for example, despite the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye’s power advantage over the Camaro ZL1 1LE, it’s slower in a drag race. Without the sticky surface, the former’s tires simply can’t find enough grip. And even with AWD, it’d be a similar story with the Metro R32.
However, Maatouks Racing did set another record with another R32 Skyline GT-R, the ‘King32.’ This particular Nissan Skyline is street-legal and has a full interior and the factory body panels. It ran the ¼-mile in 6.84 seconds at 209 mph. But, while it’s slower than Metro, it’s still the fastest street-legal Nissan Skyline GT-R in the world.
Can you make your own version?
Improving a car’s handling is somewhat straight-forward. Grippier tires, stiffer sway bars, and better suspension can all be installed with not too much effort. Adding a lot of power, though, is noticeably trickier. Although the ECU can be tuned for more performance, you can’t add over 1000 hp to a car without extensive powertrain mods. Not to mention extensive investment.
That being said, if you’re interested in going drag racing with an R32 Skyline GT-R, now is perhaps one of the best times. The car has been import-eligible for a few years, and prices have dropped slightly following R33 importation, Hagerty reports. Importers like Toprank typically offer R32s at $35,000-$50,000; stock examples go towards the higher end. But it’s possible to cheaper examples on Bring a Trailer.
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