The Nissan Skyline R32 GTR was the hero the car enthusiasts didn’t deserve. The car was officially produced in 1989 and was a direct answer to a direct threat that is the Porsche 944. And when the prices of the naturally-aspirated Porsche 911s and the E30 M3 were at sky high, the Nissan R32 GTR remained at a relatively cheaper price tag. Because it was an affordable platform, the domestic market has found ways to import the car into U.S. soil.
It was an excellent platform for a car, tracks, the streets, and even modification. Its track record of being a dominant figure in the Japanese Touring Car Championship under Group A rules is just one reason why it’s still sought after even up to this day. Another reason is its excellent availability for modification. And even if the R35 GTR gets more attention than the R32 GTR, it still receives lots of love, especially from the enthusiastic car community.
One of the reasons why car enthusiasts love this car is because of one thing: it’s just too fun to drive and modify. Because of its popularity, many aftermarket parts are stuck in shops, just waiting to be bought and be installed in your car. If you want more power, improved handling, or even better car aesthetics, then the list of the best Nissan Skyline R32 GTR mods below will help you out a lot.
#1 Intake Systems
The RB26DETT engine of the Nissan Skyline R32 GTR benefits greatly from less restrictive intakes. Intake systems provide the engine with more air so that it can burn its fuel efficiently. Not only that, intake systems are vital to filtering the air before it even enters the turbochargers of the Nissan Skyline R32 GTR. It even produces some useful extra horsepower and torque for the vehicle!
We would all agree that since the car is old, the manufacturing processes back in the day may have conjured some pretty mediocre air intake pipings compared to today’s standards. So if you want your Nissan Skyline R32 GTR to breathe better, you might want to get your hands on some trusted aftermarket intake systems.
We recommend the HKS Racing Suction Intake Series if you need some serious air filtration that works great for track use and spirited street driving. The intake is unaffected by gasoline, and it’s low-maintenance enough to keep you from purchasing replaceable air filters from time to time.
#2 Exhaust Systems
Exhaust systems and intake systems go hand in hand. Just like intakes, exhaust can potentially bring extra horsepower to the Nissan Skyline R32 GTR, as long as you install the right exhaust system. Sports exhausts are great for the R32 GTR simply because it balances the volumetric flow of the gasses through the engine.
Keep in mind that you should get the right size of exhaust system for your car because the diameter of the exhaust pipes matter. If the piping diameter is too small, it may restrict the airways and do more harm than good. On the other hand, if the piping bore is too big, you’re bound to lose so much flow rate that you’ll end up sapping horsepower and torque.
Luckily for you, aftermarket auto parts manufacturers have created exhaust systems that fit precisely for the Nissan Skyline R32 GTR. An aftermarket R32 GTR exhaust system like the HKS Hi-Power exhaust is optimized for the vehicle to make sure that you get an effective straight-flowing pipe and at the same time a deep and aggressive sound output that’ll break the necks of the people around you.
#3 Turbocharger Upgrade
As car enthusiasts, there’s only one thing we’re asking for: MORE POWER BABY! The Nissan Skyline R32 GTR uses a turbocharger to bring some extra horsepower to the car. However, Those who own a Godzilla, or any other Skylines for that matter, know that the OEM turbochargers are pretty nasty – in a bad way.
You see, the OEM turbocharger of the R32 GTR uses wheels made of ceramic. Many owners have seen their turbo wheels get damaged countless times. So if you want to avoid such an unfortunate scenario from happening, then it’ll be in your best interest to get your hands on a better turbocharger: perhaps a more robust turbo unit, or even a single turbo conversion.
Keep in mind though that the cost of turbochargers and the labor it entails are pretty brutal. However, if you’ve got too deep of a pocket and you want every part of your beloved Nissan Skyline R32 GTR improved, then feel free to do so.
#4 Engine Tuning
Now that you’ve introduced some power-producing mods to your car, it’s now time to tune it. Remember, all of the mods you’ve installed won’t achieve their full functionality if you don’t tune your car. There are three common levels (or remapping) of engine tuning. Stage 1 optimizes the stock components to tap into the potential power hidden in the car that is running on stock parts.
Stage 2 remapping involves installing parts like intake and exhaust system and even intercoolers to raise the power output of the car as close as possible to the limit set by the manufacturer. Lastly, the Stage 3 remapping would involve some other mods like bigger turbochargers and some engine reassignment.
If you’re a regular car enthusiast who just wants some extra horsepower without costing you a fortune, you can opt for stage 2 remapping. However, if you’ve got deep pockets and you genuinely want to transform your Nissan Skyline GTR R32 into something more sinister, then you should consider stage 3 remapping. Many experienced engine tuning services out there offer their services, so you don’t have to worry too hard about finding any expert to do the job for you.
#5 Lowering Mods
Lowering a car is perhaps the most common way to modify a vehicle. There are just so many benefits you’d see flying out the window if you don’t get your car lowered, one of which is an aggressive lowered stance that all car enthusiasts love to look at. Aside from that, you’re making your vehicle more streamlined, which will eventually translate into better fuel consumption because of better vehicle aerodynamics.
So you want to lower your car. That’s great! Now the problem is, what mod would you pick? Do you even know where to start? Don’t worry; we’re here to help. For cars like the Nissan Skyline R32 GTR, there are two popular options you can start with: lower springs or coilovers. Both setups will reduce your vehicle’s ground clearance, but the two have their clear and distinct difference.
Lowering springs are pretty straightforward. As the name suggests, these are springs you can use to lower your car’s ride height – that’s it. Although some select few manufacturers offer adjustable lowering springs for Godzilla, this mod lacks the adjustability that most car enthusiasts crave for their suspensions.
Coilovers, on the other hand, have what the lowering springs don’t: adjustability. It’s a popular go-to suspension upgrade because it lowers your car’s ride height and, at the same time, allows you to alter the stiffness of your suspension depending on your chosen application. Coilovers are usually picked up by car enthusiasts who typically visit the track more often than usual.
The best mods to use for lowering your car would be some R32 GTR Ohlins coilovers, particularly the Ohlins Road and Track coilovers. It provides the most optimal conditions for a vehicle driven on both the track and the streets.
#6 Aftermarket Wheels and Tires
The next thing you need to do right after having your car lowered is to slap a new set of wheels and tires into your vehicle, drive it around the city, and let people gasp in awe at how awesome your car looks. Lowering your car is enough to make your vehicle awesome, but once you installed new wheels and tires to it, you’re guaranteed to get more fun and attention.
Getting the right R32 GTR wheel fitment isn’t too hard: you just have to know your Nissan Skyline R32 GTR’s wheel specs and try not to deviate from it too much. We also recommend that you visit GTR forums and search the community posts to know what’s the best-looking setup for your car.
In our opinion, the best-looking wheels for the Nissan Skyline GTR R32 would be the AVID1 AV6 18×9.5 +38, together with the Toyo Tires EXTENSA HP II. When fitted together, it can potentially make your vehicle look way cooler and, of course, perform better.
There are just so many modifications and alterations you can do to your Nissan Skyline R32 GTR, but the ones above are the most necessary mods you need to prioritize for your car. The R32 GTR is such a great platform, both for modification and performance driving. And when you’ve finally finished modifying it as a project car, you’re guaranteed to have a vehicle that will truly capture your gear-head heart for the rest of your days.