We recently talked about how the GT-R50 celebrates the 50th anniversary of the iconic Nissan Skyline. However, there’s quite a big historical gap between the small, lightweight, and nimble Nissan Skyline GT-R “Hakosuka”, made from 1969 until 1972, and the R32 generation, which marked the beginning of the modern era in 1989.
In the same way, the BMW 2002 is very different from something like a modern BMW M3 with its powerful 6-cylinder engine. But in between all these, we have the E30 M3, one of the coolest German cars of all time. One rendering artist found a way to give Nissan its own E30, which it never had, by converting the forgotten R31 generation of the Skyline into a GT-R convertible.
It’s a strange concept, but the more you look at it, the more you appreciate this design. That’s usually the case with 3D cars created by Andreas Richter aka @richter.cgi.
As you’re probably aware, the original GT-R is a race car for the road and quite rare. They made just 1,945 examples between 1969 and 1972. In 1973, the car was killed off, partly due to the oil crisis, which crippled demand for high-performance vehicles. Somewhere in those forgotten pages of Nissan’s history lies the R31 Skyline.
The R31 was introduced in 1985 as an evolution of the R30. It had a boxy shape typical of that era but also introduced many new features, specifically being the first car with the RB-series of “Red Top” engines, nicknamed for their cam covers.
The RB20s were available with turbochargers and a complicated intake system with 12 really small intake ports. The car was also made in Australia with a 3-liter RB and there was even the RD28 diesel engine. The R31 series was fitted with Nissan’s now famous four-wheel steering system. The most desirable version of the R31 chassis was the HR31 GTS-R Coupe, built for Group A racing homologation with a tuned RB20DET-R making 210 hp in 1987.
So what was BMW making during the R31 era?
Only one of the coolest cars ever. The E30 M3 basically kick-started the M brand, with a little help from the M1 supercar. This sports sedan icon came in a lot of flavors, ranging from the normal 200 horsepower 2.3-liter to the limited 2.5-liter Sport Evolution with 238 hp.
Slightly less exciting, but equally cool is the M3 Cabriolet, made from 1988 until 1991. It’s this particular car that Richter targets in his transformation of the R31 Skyline into a GT-R.
The mods are a little more extreme than the car needs and are probably designed to mirror the top body kits of the R34 GT-R. Wide fender flares are added to the GTS-R bumper while the cutout in the “ADVAN” hood reveals a modern powertrain, the twin-turbo VR38DETT V6, although I suspect the AWD system would be nearly impossible to fit in such a small chassis.