Nissan Skyline: Generations & Evolution

The SKYLINE brand is one of the Japanese passenger cars that is rich in history, and it all started in 1957. This history spans 13 generations of SKYLINE, with the last model released in 2014. But for the fans, the 3rd generation (1963) to the 10th (1998) generation of SKYLINE are worth the attention as these are the ones that built the reputation as racing cars. In this article, we will take a look at those models.

Skyline thrives in vibrant urban environments, where its sleek silhouette punctuates the skyline against a backdrop of bustling streets and modern architecture. Its popularity stems from a blend of aesthetic appeal and symbolic significance—it embodies progress, innovation, and aspiration. The allure lies not just in its physical presence but in what it represents: the allure of urban life, the promise of opportunity, and the embodiment of human achievement reaching for the sky.

Nissan Skyline C10


1968USD 20,800 – USD 45,900
1969USD 24,700 – USD 50,800
1970USD 47,840 – USD 134,330
1971USD 35,680 – USD 101,760
1972USD 21,090 – USD 87,780
Nissan Skyline C10 gray frontside
Nissan Skyline C10 drivingsheet

In 1968, Nissan introduced the third generation of the Skyline, known as the C10, marking the first to carry the Nissan badge. Initially powered by a 46 HP 1.5L G15 engine, later upgraded to a 105 HP 1.8L G18. The KGC10 2000GT-X followed, boasting a 128 HP 2.0L L20SU engine. In 1971, the KPGC 10 2000 GT-R debuted, featuring a 160 HP 2.0L S20 engine, elevating the Skyline’s status. The GT-R, or Hakosuka, introduced the iconic name, paving the way for future high-performance models. Available initially as a sedan and wagon, a coupe variant joined in 1970.

The interior of the Nissan C10 Skyline was straightforward and functional, reflecting its era. It featured a simple dashboard layout with analog gauges, basic climate controls, and utilitarian upholstery materials. Despite its simplicity, it offered sufficient comfort and ergonomics for passengers. Options for interior amenities were limited, focusing more on driving experience rather than luxury features.


  • Sleek design enhances urban landscapes.
  • Efficient fuel consumption for its class.
  • Responsive handling offers a dynamic driving experience.


  • Limited interior space.
  • High maintenance costs.
  • Lack of advanced tech features compared to competitors.

Notable Features:

  • Aerodynamic body design.
  • Fuel-efficient engine options.
  • Responsive steering and handling.
Nissan Skyline C10 engine

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Nissan Skyline C110


1972USD 21,090 – USD 87,780
1973USD 86,630 – USD 439,730
1974USD 86,420
1975USD 95,070 – 108,050
1976USD 47,710 – USD 83,320
1977USD 35,800 – USD 75,450
Nissan Skyline C110 white body
Nissan Skyline C110 engine

The C110 generation was manufactured from September 1972 to August 1977. For international markets during the 1970s, it was marketed as the Datsun K-series, comprising models like the Datsun 160K, 180K, and Datsun 240K. Available in four-door sedan, two-door hardtop coupe, and five-door station wagon variants, the C110 featured more intricate styling compared to its forerunner. Notably, the wagon version deviated from convention by omitting windows between the C and D pillars.

The C110 offered a choice of engines: a 1.6-liter, a 1.8-liter, or a 2.4-liter. Powering the lineup were the 4-cylinder 1.6-liter SOHC G16 engine delivering 100 HP, the 1.8-liter G18 engine akin to the C10’s, and the 6-cylinder SOHC L24 engine generating 130 HP. Transmission options included a 3-speed automatic or 3 to 5-speed manual. Equipped with semi-trailing ring arm suspension, front and rear disk brakes, and wheel-arch extensions with front and rear spoilers, the C110 was tailored for street racing prowess.


  • Wide range of engine options catering to various performance preferences.
  • Advanced suspension and braking systems enhance handling and safety.
  • Sleek design with aerodynamic spoilers and extensions adds to its street-racing appeal.


  • Limited availability of advanced technological features compared to contemporary models.
  • Potential maintenance challenges associated with older vehicle models.
  • Relatively low fuel efficiency, especially with larger engine options.

Notable Features:

  • Multiple engine choices, including a powerful 6-cylinder option.
  • Semi-trailing ring arm suspension for improved handling.
  • Front and rear disk brakes for enhanced braking performance.
  • Stylish design elements such as spoilers and wheel-arch extensions.

Related Blog:
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Nissan Skyline C210


1977USD 15,895 – USD 37,880
1978USD 31,020 – USD 40,950
1979USD 11,690
1980USD 13,550 – USD 42,990
1981USD 10,700 – USD 40,770
Nissan Skyline C210 silver frontside
Nissan Skyline C210 silver backside

The fifth iteration of the Skyline, the C210, debuted in 1977, serving as a precursor to the discontinued GT-R lineage. After a year, it evolved into the C211 with the model code 2000 GT-EX, replacing the GT-R. Equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter L20ET engine producing 140 HP, it joined variants featuring 1.6-liter (L16 and Z16), 1.8-liter (L18 and Z18E), 2.0-liter (L20E), and 2.4-liter (L24) engines. Transmission options included 3-speed automatic or 4/5-speed manual.

The available body styles remained consistent, comprising sedan, coupe, and wagon variants.


  • Wide range of engine choices catering to diverse preferences.
  • Turbocharged variant provides increased power output.
  • Various body styles available, including sedan, coupe, and wagon.


  • Limited availability of modern technological features.
  • Potential challenges with maintenance and parts for older models.

Notable Features:

  • Turbocharged 2.0-liter engine option.
  • Versatile body styles for different needs.
  • Classic design cues characteristic of the era.
Nissan Skyline C210 engine

Nissan Skyline R30


1981USD 13,780 – USD 20,190
1982USD 19,400 – USD 28,250
1983USD 14,060 – USD 107,980
1984USD 13,920 – USD 87,100
1985USD 14,670 – USD 16,630
Nissan Skyline R30 silver frontside
Nissan Skyline R30 silver driningsheet

The sixth generation Skyline, known as the R30, debuted in 1981 with a revised model naming convention. Available in wagon, coupe, and sedan variants, unlike its predecessor, both 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder models shared the same front end length. Offering 26 variations, it featured various 4 and 6-cylinder engines, including the turbocharged 2.0-liter L20ET (140 HP) and FJ20ET (190 HP). Nissan also standardized rear and front disc brakes across all future Skyline models during this period.


  • Versatile body options: wagon, coupe, and sedan.
  • Diverse engine lineup, including turbocharged options for enhanced performance.
  • Standardization of rear and front disc brakes across all models improves safety.


  • Potential challenges with maintenance and parts availability for older models.
  • Limited availability of modern technological features compared to contemporary cars.

Notable Features:

  • Shared front end length for both 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder models.
  • Turbocharged engine options deliver increased power output.
Nissan Skyline R30 engine

Nissan Skyline R31


1985USD 14,670 – USD 16,630
1986USD 10,880 – USD 19,190
1987USD 9,330 – USD 47,910
1988USD 9,940 – USD 17,440
1989USD 6,960 – USD 27,640
Nissan Skyline R31 gray frontside
Nissan Skyline R31 drivingsheet

The evolution of the Skyline saw the release of the R31 in 1986. As an evolved R30, the R31 came with a much longer body, but the body styles remained the same. With the R31 Nissan introduced new engines, the RB-series engines also known as the ‘red-tops’ due to having a red camshaft top cover. The R31 came with a host of new technologies such as the Nissan Induction Control System (NICS) which was later replaced by the Electronically Concentrated Control System (ECCS). Another technology used on the R31 is the High-Capacity Active Steering (HICAS) four-wheel steering system. 

Standard Skylines were fitted with a 4-cylinder 1.8-liter CA18i that produces 91 HP and five variations of the 2.0-liter straight-six RB20 with or without a turbocharger ranging from 93 HP – 210 HP.  These engines were attached to a 5-speed automatic or manual transmission.

Nissan Skyline R31 engine

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Nissan Skyline R32

1989SD 6,960 – USD 27,640
1990USD 16,360 – USD 34,770
1991USD 7,840 – USD 47,710
1992USD 9,080 – USD 12,895
1993USD 9,940 – USD 46,420

In 1989, Nissan introduced the Skyline R32, nicknamed ‘the Godzilla’. Available solely as a 2-door coupe or 4-door hardtop sedan, the wagon variant was discontinued. Improvements were made to the RB-series engines, enhancing injection systems and cylinder heads. The lineup included models like the GXi with a 90 HP 1.8L SOHC engine, the GTE with a 120 HP 2.0L RB20E SOHC, and the GTS offering various engines up to a 210 HP 2.5L RB25DE DOHC. The top-tier R32 GT-R featured AWD, HICAS 4-wheel steering, and a 270 HP twin-turbo 2.6L RB26DETT DOHC engine. Transmission options included a 4/5-speed automatic or 5-speed manual.


  • Wide range of engine options catering to diverse performance preferences.
  • Introduction of high-performance GT-R variant with advanced AWD and HICAS systems.
  • Improved RB-series engines offer enhanced power and reliability.


  • Potential challenges with maintenance and parts availability for older models.
  • Limited availability of modern technological features compared to contemporary cars.

Notable Features:

  • GT-R variant with advanced AWD and HICAS systems.
  • Twin-turbo 2.6L RB26DETT DOHC engine delivering 270 HP.
  • Variants available with turbocharged engines for increased power output.

Nissan Skyline R33

In 1993, Nissan introduced the taller, longer, wider, and heavier R33 Skyline, available in sedan and coupe body styles like its predecessor, the R32. Uniquely, the R33 exclusively featured 6-cylinder engines. Enhanced safety measures, including airbags and internal crash bars, contributed to improved safety ratings. Engine options included a 2.0-liter RB20E and two versions of the 2.5-liter GTS range, both naturally aspirated and turbocharged RB25DE. The GT-R variant retained the 2.6-liter RB26DETT engine from the R32, maintaining power output with slight torque enhancements due to intercooler, turbo compressor, and dump pipe modifications. Transmission options comprised a 5-speed manual or automatic.


    • Strong performance with turbocharged engines.

    • Iconic design with sleek, aggressive styling.

    • Advanced technology for its time, including ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system.


    • Heavy weight affects agility.

    • Some models may have issues with rust.

    • Limited availability in certain regions due to import restrictions.

Notable features:

    • RB26DETT twin-turbocharged inline-six engine.

    • HICAS four-wheel steering system.

    • Advanced onboard computer for engine management.


Nissan Skyline R34


In 1998, Nissan introduced the Skyline R34, a culmination of its prior models, featuring cutting-edge technology and updated NEO engines for enhanced efficiency. The base R34 boasted the RB20DE NEO engine generating 150 HP. Options included the RB25DE and RB25DET, with the former powering models like the 25GT/GT-V, GT-X, and 25GT/GT-X-Four, delivering 197 HP, while the latter powered GT-T/GT-X variants with 280HP. The R34 GT-R, sporting an upgraded chassis, retained the RB26DETT engine with improved turbos. Transmission options ranged from 4-speed automatic to 5 and 6-speed manual, with the GT-R featuring the Getrag 233 gearbox. Design highlights included standard Xenon headlights, aluminum driving pedals, and a two-tone genuine leather covering for the steering wheel and gear shift knob.


    • Advanced technology and updated NEO engines offer enhanced performance.

    • Sleek design with standard Xenon headlights adds to its appeal.

    • Available in various models with different power outputs to suit preferences.



    • Limited availability due to import restrictions in some regions.

    • Maintenance costs can be relatively high, especially for the GT-R model.


Notable features:

    • RB26DETT engine with improved turbos in the GT-R model.

    • Option for 5 or 6-speed manual transmissions, including the Getrag 233 gearbox.

    • Two-tone genuine leather covering for steering wheel and gear shift knob.


The Nissan Skyline is an iconic series known for its blend of performance, style, and technology. While some models may face issues like weight and rust, its turbocharged engines and sleek design remain highlights. Overall, the Skyline’s legacy in automotive history and enthusiast culture solidifies its status as a timeless classic.




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