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The Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R was nearly powered by a V6

Published: 29 July 2020

► How the R34 could’ve got a V6
► And why it didn’t happen
► The Super GT500 car did get one,  though

In 2007 JDM fan boys around the world were in uproar. Nissan had disgraced the heritage of the GT-R badge by fitting a V6 under the R35 instead of the traditional boosted straight-six.

What those furious fans didn’t realise however, is Nissan was simply fulfilling a prophesy that had begun almost a decade earlier with the development of the R34 GT-R.

Nissan Skyline GT-R

You see, the last of the Skyline GT-R line very nearly wasn’t powered by Nissan’s iconic and revered RB26DETT powerplant.

Nissan R34 Skyline buying guide

Chief engineer Kazutoshi Mizuno and designer Watanabe both intended for the R34 to be fitted with a V6 engine, mounted behind the front axles for a front-mid-engined layout.

Nissan Skyline GT-R

However, the plan was thrown out because there wasn’t enough budget to develop a V6 with performance worthy of the hallowed GT-R badge.

Instead, the RB26DETT that had powered both the R32 and R33 soldiered on and was utilised once again.

Nissan GT-R review

During the R34’s development, Nissan – and Japan in general – was in the throes of a financial meltdown, having weathered seven years of what economists now call the Lost Decade.

Nissan Skyline GT-R