The Nissan Skyline GT-R is one of the most legendary Japanese performance vehicles of all time.
Across several distinct generations, the ‘Godzilla’ (read here why the Skyline GT-R is known as Godzilla) has become synonymous with power and performance.
Despite being illegal in the United States at the time (check out our article on why Nissan Skylines are illegal in the United States) the Skyline GT-R has become a cult classic worldwide, and is one of the most desirable names in Japanese performance motoring.
As you will know, Nissan finished up production of R34 Skyline generation in 2002 (read our R34 GT-R buyer’s guide here for more information).
The Skyline actually continued after – and continues to this day – but as what many refer to as the ‘New Generation Skyline’; a marked departure from the Skylines of old. In America, the new Skyline is more commonly known as a series of Infiniti cars such as the Infiniti G35:
This New Generation Skyline never featured a GT-R variant, and was more about providing a luxury touring car experience.
Car enthusiasts were desperate for another GT-R, and several years later the R35 GT-R was unveiled in 2007, and continues production to this day.
One question we see asked a lot is why is the R35 not a Skyline?
After all, if we take the R34 GT-R, for example, it was the Nissan Skyline GT-R R34.
So why is the current Nissan GT-R now the Nissan Skyline GT-R R35? After all, any vehicle with those unmistakable taillights should surely be a Skyline!
If you’re wondering why the R35 GT-R is not a Skyline, the answer is relatively simple.
Previous generation GT-Rs (e.g. R32/R33/R34) were based on the Skyline platform of that generation.
Take the R32 GT-R, for example, which was available in a number of different trims and engine/gearbox configurations, including as a sedan.
The R32 GT-R (the original ‘Godzilla’) was built from Nissan taking the Skyline platform of that generation and dialling everything up to 11.
The R35 GT-R is different.
It does not share a platform with the current Skyline (known in America as the Infiniti Q50). Whereas all old GT-Rs were the absolute top of the line in the relevant Skyline platform of their respective generation, the R35 GT-R is a ‘standalone’ vehicle.
Because of this fact, the R35 is not a Skyline.
The GT-R name was kept because the R35 GT-R is really the spiritual successor to the Skyline GT-Rs of old, but Nissan chose not to use the Skyline name because of the unique platform.