The Nissan Skyline GT-R has been an import enthusiast dream car for decades and although the early 90s models can now be legally imported into the U.S., they are quite expensive. In fact, a lot of the R32 and R33 Skyline GT-R models for sale are currently priced at around $25,000 to $30,000. But there is an alternative that can give you the same thrills and street cred as a GT-R without the hefty price: The Nissan Skyline GTS-T.
What’s so great about the Skyline GT-R?
First things first, what makes the Nissan Skyline GT-R such a JDM legend isn’t just the fact that it’s been in videos games like the Gran Turismo series or the Fast and Furious franchise, it’s the fact that it’s a turbocharged, all-wheel-drive monster of a car that can tear through race tracks and is also comfortable enough for the daily drive. Just think of the newer Nissan GT-R, but 25 years older and a little more subdued.
The importance of it being 25 years old is that the current import law states that any car 25 years or older can now be legally imported to the U.S. Naturally, a lot of Skylines made from 1989 to 1995 are currently being imported by vendors and legally purchased by consumers. The R32 Skyline, made from 1989 to 1994, is a popular platform given its twin-turbocharged 2.6-liter, inline-six (RB26DETT) that produces 276 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a five-speed manual transmission and mated to an all-wheel-drive system. This combination is good for 0 to 60 times of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of over 150 mph, hence, the high demand and the high price.
What’s the difference between the Skyline GTS-T and GT-R?
One way to circumvent the higher price tag of a GT-R is to go for it’s cheaper little sibling; the Skyline GTS-T. The GTS-T has the same body style, and most of the fun, for a fraction of the price. Opting for the lower trim level will give you a single turbocharged 2.5-liter, inline-six engine (RB25DET) that produces 212 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, a five-speed manual transmission, and a rear-drive setup as opposed to an all-wheel-drive configuration. Yes, that might sound like a lot less power, however, there are plenty of aftermarket tuning modifications that you can install with all the money that you saved by not going with the Skyline GT-R trim.
How much does a Skyline GTS-T go for?
The Nissan Skyline GTS-T currently sells for anywhere from $13,000 to $18,000, depending on what condition the car is in as well as if there are any modifications done to it. Tuning these cars is not only a common interest in here in the states but also in Japan, so don’t surprised if one of the cars that you find has some modifications done to it already. And while you might not have the same type of traction that you would otherwise get in the GT-R trim level, you can still find some Skyline GTS-T models with four-wheel-steering and even in a four-door body style.