We look back at the R35's inception and also check out the closer-to-production 2005 concept.
Name: Nissan Skyline GT-R
Debuted: 2001 Tokyo Motor Show
Why We Remember It Now:
With Italdesign reimagining the Nissan GT-R for a spectacular concept that will morph into a limited series production car, we’ve decided to go back in time to rekindle with the R35’s roots.
The GT-R is one of the oldest performance cars you can buy taking into account the current generation has been around for a decade. The model’s early days can be tracked back to 2001 when the first concept came out to signal Godzilla would live on in the 21st century. While the concept received the legendary “Skyline” badge, the production model launched late 2007 ditched it for a simpler moniker.
Looking quite sleek even today, the original R35 concept did not come with an impressive specs sheet to wow the crowds gathered at the Tokyo Motor Show. As a matter of fact, Nissan didn’t provide any numbers, be it about the engine or performance, as the concept was unveiled to give a taste of the GT-R’s design for its next iteration.
It’s easy to notice the connection between the concept and what was to become the road-going model seven years later. The Skyline GT-R Proto still looks sleek after 17 years and we have to admit that from some angles, the concept is actually more handsome than the car available in showrooms today. Growing up with a PlayStation 2, some of us remember the car from Gran Turismo 4 in which a plethora of Skylines were available.
While the exterior was a pretty accurate preview of the road car, it was a different story with the cabin as the production model’s interior did not have anything in common with the concept. It took the minimalist approach and had a simplified center console that makes us think of current McLaren models.
Gallery: 2005 Nissan GT-R Proto
In 2005, Nissan previewed the GT-R R35 yet again with a second showcar carrying the “Proto” name after prototype to signal it was very close in terms of design to the production car. Pictured above, the follow-up car served as a visual link to previous GT-R models while looking into the future of the supercar. Speaking of the future, Nissan recently talked about the R36, saying it will be the “fastest super sports car in the world” and also the “world’s fastest brick.” It will ride on an all-new platform and is going to boast an electrified powertrain once it will come out early in the next decade.