As a member of GTPlanet, you, obviously, know every single variant of the Nissan Skyline. This is because Polyphony Digital have put each one into Gran Turismo. And with that it begs the question: which one would you have?
I can say straight away, it wouldn’t be the first one. Mostly because it would be terribly slow, terribly expensive…just terrible. You could do so much better somewhere else these days. I like the S50/54 more but it is rather boring to be honest. I’m not having the horrid Skylines past the R34 since they’re sold here as Infinitis. And I can’t see myself driving the R30, mostly because some models come with that most horrific of styling features; square fender mirrors.
The rest are rather more interesting. And the rest (bar one) all have models that come with the red ‘GT-R’ emblem.
I suppose I should get the odd one out first, the R31. That came as a GTS-R – the last good car with anything like that name – and I think it’s terrific. But while I’d certainly take it, it isn’t quite good enough to overcome some of the others.
Where the Skyline name really reverberates is around models that have taken the GT-R name since – R’s 32 through 35. (The R35 isn’t a Skyline but I can definitely bundle it in with them.) The R32 and R34 are the pinnacle of the JDM era, both still worshipped the world over to this day. The R35, meanwhile, competes very handily against today’s supercars. But I wasn’t interested in the R35 when it came around, and even in its 10th year, I’m still not. And the R32 and R34 aren’t my favourites. Because of this group, I’ve always preferred the R33. It always looked the most appealing of the bunch to me, especially in yellow. But because it stands as an awkward middle child in the Skyline’s peak, it isn’t as beloved. I don’t think that should be so. But despite this, it’s not the one I’d take.
There are two GT-Rs that preceded the 90s legends – the C10 and C110. The C10 is only slightly less beloved than the R32 and R34, and rightfully so, as the first ever GT-R. But I wouldn’t have it. I think it looks too much of a box. And that means the one I’d take is its sequel – the C110.
Why would I take the ‘Kenmeri’, a GT-R that came at the wrong time and lasted only six months? Well, even if it wasn’t the rarest of all Skylines, I’d still take it. Because it’s massively underrated, because it’s the most beautiful, and therefore, because it’s my favourite. The C110.
I’d certainly have it down as one of the most beautiful cars ever made. It’s certainly one of the most elusive. An oil crisis in 1973 forced it out of production nearly as soon as it began, with no motor racing to do and therefore no real-world purpose. Only 197 examples were sold in Japan, and it would be the last GT-R for 16 years.
But my god, just look at it. And it’s even in Forza 6 now.
To drive, it’s about what it says on the tin. A 160hp 2-litre straight-6 is much more brisk than most cars that rivalled it get, and it shows. This thing can hold its own at a good speed. 1145kg is a nice light weight in all cases, too.
The handling isn’t perfect, but it’s very easy to work. The main issue comes from the body, which rolls about quite a bit. It’s noticeable from the inside, and causes a little understeer. But it’s not even close to harmful. Especially when you can just touch the throttle and the rear wheels will put it back into line easily. It doesn’t really slide about, merely it turns very briskly once you’re on the throttle.
One thing the game definitely hasn’t got down is the sound. No way could it sound like that stock. Not unless you put a racing exhaust on it. It’s only really screamy when you put it into the redline – and the wheels never spin enough to put you in it – but it is noticeable. A common complaint with Forza’s sound that I feel sure applies here.
But none of it detracts from the fact that the C110 is such a lovely thing to have around. It carries more than enough speed for its type, it’s a very simple drive and it looks seriously good while winning races. Even if you never drive it, stick it in your garage for its sheer appeal.