“Skyline GT-R.” You don’t need to say any more than that to get me excited. However, out of the three classic imports, the R32 was probably my least favorite because of the design until I saw this magical digital widebody kit dubbed Snow White by its maker, Avante Design.
In 1989, the R32 Skyline GT-R made its big debut and it went off like a bomb. It had a straight six, two turbochargers, and AWD. Not impressed? Then consider how extreme an all-wheel steering system would have been back when so many normal cars had leaf springs and drum brakes at the back.
Everybody knows that Nissan built an amazing engine too. Although the official rating was 280 hp, it actually produced about 320 hp with more ready to be unpacked by the tuners. The engine was designed for racing in the 500 horsepower class and then restricted via boost and exhaust. However, the looks were quite understated and were perhaps overshadowed by the R34 with its many exotic body kits.
Not being constrained by the laws of the real world, Avante Design was able to create an R32 Skyline GT-R unlike any other. Its widebody fenders not only stick out more but also change the appearance of the car. Viewed from certain angles, it’s quite similar to the Impreza 22B STI.
The front end was completely redesigned as well, featuring a large chin splitter and a vented hood. Meanwhile, the rear features the usual aero culprits, skirts, wings, and diffusers. To top it all off, Snow White put on some shiny new shoes and some exhaust jewelry.
Historically, the R32 is very important. Not many people realize this, but the GT-R is built on the bones of the Skyline series of luxury vehicles which included sedans. “R32” is the name of the eight-generation chassis, built from 1989 to 1994, and by that time, the GT-R nameplate had been missing for almost a decade.
It dominated the Japanese racing scene, basically taking all the Touring Car Championship wins until its retirement. It also competed in Australia, where I believe the Godzilla nickname first came to be.
Besides motorsport, Porsche was the R32’s other main target. Nissan went after the Nurburgring production car record, previously held by a 944.