Nissan Built Just 44 Examples Of The Beastly GT-R Nismo 400R In 1997

2022-04-26 02:53:58 By : Ms. yuge Xiao

Nissan GT-R Nismo 400R is a reality check for anyone who takes the R33 GT-R to be lousy!

If you ask someone to name their top picks in the Nissan GT-R lineage, the R33 generation will rarely pop up. This is because most people have been fooled into thinking that the R33 GT-R is lousy as compared to its successor and predecessor. But all that doubt will be put to rest if the R33 GT-R Nismo 400R comes into the picture. This was a limited-edition model that got a serious hardware upgrade from Nismo.

Everything from the engine internals to the body kit was given an overhaul. It also addressed the standard R33 GT-R's shortcomings and made it a perfect race machine for the road. The 400R can rightfully be called the Mona Lisa of the GT-R world. The R32 is known for giving GT-R the "Godzilla" nickname. The R33 GT-R Nismo 400R is that Godzilla on steroids!

Nissan GT-R Nismo 400R is a reality check for anyone who takes the R33 GT-R to be lousy!

The R32 GT-R was a full-blown race car for the road that will give you backaches when ridden hard! And the R34 GT-R was, let's say, more civilized and non-racey, unlike its predecessors. The R33 slotted right in between these two and was the amalgamation of the best bits from either end. It was comfier to ride than the R32 and had more racing pedigree than the R34. But yes, it wasn't without flaws. The R33 was notorious for being prone to understeer, and it needed godly driving skills to master one.

No wonder, it was chosen to be the vehicle for Kanagawa's Grim Reaper in Initial D! In short, the R33 GT-R was a finer R32 with improved aero and a stiffer chassis. The R33 GT-R was the longest and heaviest of the line-up as well. But don't let that cloud over the fact that it was an R33 that broke the eight-minute barrier at the Nürburgring, Again, it was the R33 that violated the "gentleman's agreement". And the R33 was also the only GT-R to be officially offered with four doors!

Related: Watch This Extreme 1100-HP R32 Nissan GT-R Chasing 8s On The Strip

But there was one special edition model that brought the R33 GT-R right into the spotlight. In 1996, Nissan joined up with Nismo and created a limited production Nissan R33 GT-R with an extensive list of performance and visual upgrades. It was called the GT-R Nismo 400R and was an R33 on steroids. Everything from the engine, to the bodywork and everything in between, was tweaked for more aggression. It got the motorsport version of GT-R's RB26DETT inline-6 motor called RB-X GT2. The mods were extensive and deep. The 2.6-Liter twin-turbocharged motor was re-bored and re-stroked to 2.8-liters.

The pistons, connecting rods, and crankshaft were replaced with forged ones. High-lift cams were installed, and the ports were polished. The intake manifold was also modified to suck in more air. The exhaust manifold was built of titanium to facilitate the low-pressure cat-back system. New turbochargers from the N1-Racing GT-R were used to increase the boost to 1.1 bar. Nissan also packed in new bits like an oil cooler, intercooler, high flow air filter, and a revamped engine management system. All of this translated to 400 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque. The standard R33 GT-R made just 276 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque.

To handle all this extra power the five-speed transmission was reinforced with a carbon fiber driveshaft and packs chunkier twin-plate clutches. And with Nissan's wonder AWD system at work, the GT-R Nismo 400R could do 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds and have a top speed of over 186 mph! The chassis was also reinforced with titanium bits and the independent suspension setup came with special Bilstein dampers. Braking duties were taken over by Brembo's ventilated discs which further got Nismo's Type 2 brake pads and brake master cylinder stopper for minimal play. The Nismo 400R sat 30 mm (1.18 inches) lower than the standard car.

Related: A Detailed Look Back At The Nissan 'Godzilla' R32 GT-R

To tally along with its sick mechanical modifications, the GT-R Nismo 400R was given cooler exterior mods. It was given an aggressive body kit with loads of vents on the front fascia for serious aero-work. It also packs new side skirts, a rear bumper, and redesigned rear spoiler. All the big holes you see upfront was for cooling the brakes, oil cooler, and intercooler.

The 400R came with sick-looking three-piece Nismo LM GT1 forged alloys that wrapped on wider Bridgestone RE 710 tires. These 18-inch wheels required 50 mm more track width which also gave the 400R wheel arch extensions. The hood was carbon fiber and took design inspiration from Nissan's LM GT1 car. The "GT-R" logos on the outside were replaced with "400R" badges. And it came with a cool full-length 400R strip sticker on both sides.

The interior was also given a race treatment with bucket seats, a titanium shift knob, and a three-spoke steering wheel with a "400R" horn push. The speedometer was bumped up to read till "320 kph" and the tachometer to "11,000 rpm". And the cabin was filled with Nismo 400R logos too. The dash also had special gauges for turbo boost, oil pressure, and even torque split indicator.

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Nissan wanted to make 100 units of this wild R33 GT-R. But they ended the run with 44 units owing to low demand and serious money that it was asking for. All of them were RHD models and are one of the rarest Skyline GT-R editions ever built. So rare and sought after that Chassis No. 40 recently sold for a staggering $2.2 million!


Tijo is an engineer, mechanic, gamer, and an avid content creator. He is a grease-monkey who loves tinkering with automobiles every now and then, when not busy penning down his passion for them. He has always had a soft spot for JDM and is keen on diving deep in for anything that involves wheels and engines.