How much do you know about the Nissan Skyline? For starters, the R35 is not a Skyline and not all Skylines sport the distinctive circular taillights. Just read the comments on YouTube and various forums and you will be amazed at the knowledge that some ‘automotive scholars’ insist you acknowledge upon, or that they might be living in denial.
Introducing the 11th Generation V35 Skyline, produced between 2001 to 2007, you might call it the missing link between the R34 and the R35. As one of the lesser known Skylines and further ostracized by the fact that major car tuners such as HKS, Mines and Amuse remained developing the R32 – R34 GT-Rs as race cars. The V35 Skylines were rarely seen in races, but when they do, the original engine would usually be swapped out.
If you are having passing thoughts that the V35 has certain resemblance to the Nissan 350Z Fairlady, you’re right. Both were based on the Nissan FM platform, FR layouts with the engine being pushed as far back into the engine bay towards the firewall as possible (you might think of the MR layout which has the engine towards the rear) to give more balanced weight distribution and enhanced handling.
Parking alongside our R35 chase car, I took immediate notice to the shapes of both cars. The R35 seemed like a V35 with a wider and aggressive stance with flared wheel arches and a sleeker front end, as though the designs of the R35 looked upon the V35 and gave the R35 a more chiselled look. The owner had sourced for a R35 spoiler with brake lights and had it custom fitted onto the car. Once fitted, it looked as if it was a factory option and further reinforces the similarities.
Still wondering over the description of being a tradition breaker? The Skylines of recent history spotted inline turbocharged engines with R designations (R30 – R34). A new age of Skylines begun with the V35, there are no GT-R variants, no turbocharged engines or the iconic straight six RB engines. Nissan has since pursued a direction of luxury performance cars for the Skylines as compared to the thorough-bred performance 350Z. Although both sported the VQ35DE V6 natural aspirated engine, it was up-rated for the 350Z. Definitely a drastic change when compared to the R34 Skyline (especially when we compare the top specifications).
As I have never been in a stock V35 350GT, I would not clearly understand the reasoning behind its unpopularity. However, with proper tuning and modifications, it’s certainly not your daily off-the-mill runabout Nissan that you would shrug off, as with this particular V35.
The owner purchased the V35 350GT for the very fact that it is really rare and he had sought after a unique rear wheel driven performance coupe with adequate space in the rear without having the need to amputate the legs of passengers. With only around five 350GTs in existence in Singapore, it is definitely a unique and sleek car to behold.
Intended as his personal project car, the car was re-sprayed in a two tone Athens Blue pearl paint. Unlike iridescent paint, the pearl blue does not overwhelm your sense of sight and the new coat of gloss paint over an original set of OEM wheels by Rays makes the entire package delectable.
Giving the entire car an overhaul in terms of aesthetics and performance, the owner decided to take it one step further by doing a conversion to an Infiniti G35. Taking an original set of Wald body kit and rear diffuser, he had them customised to be subtle, yet aggressive with air ducts to cool the brake discs. This Skyline like many others, is not a pushover. Finishing the exterior would be the original R35 GT-R’s spoiler custom mounted on the rear to give it a seamless fit.
Likening the space of the two plus two to the Mercedes CL500 coupe and the handling of the BMW M3 E92, I’m able to feel the raw power of the natural aspirated V6 as he brought me for a drive around Singapore. Turning the VDC (vehicle dynamic control or Nissan speak for electronic stability control) off, he demonstrated his tuned 330bhp blue beast’s launching from nought to hundred in roughly 4.8 seconds with hardly any tire squeal, definitely uneventful, but powerful. A customized race exhaust with quad muffler tips was installed specially for the shoot and it sounded bassy when reved. Although the speed cut was removed via the tuning, the Skyline was unable to demonstrate this in Singapore as neither of us encourage reckless driving on public roads.
The gear changes were certainly not granny shifting and each change sent adrenaline rushing down my spine and my head jerked forward. With the well-balanced chassis, cornering was precise and I did not detect a hint of the rear loosing traction, there were no accidental oversteering resulting in a ballet round a corner. Power is nothing without control and although it was slightly stiff with the set of KW shock absorbers and springs, it was still comfortable to be in as it wasn’t as stiff as a Honda Civic Type R’s. A pair of six pot Brembo brake callipers replaced the originals to stop him in his tracks –and a fine precaution against errant drivers on the roads- .It was not meant to be track oriented but it still had enough grunt to take one on if he so chooses to answer the call of Sepang International Circuit.
A car for a family of four for a weekend out to the shopping centres or for track use, the 350GT Skyline is certainly a car that you would do a double take on or giving a thumbs up as it rolls by.
Falken Ziex ZE912 245/40R19
Michelin Pilot Super Sport 255/35ZR19
Infiniti front grill
Automatic reclineable front seats
Nismo 4.0 Final Drive
Lower arms , engine mount and gear bushings
Custom R35 GT-R spoiler with brake lights
KW Shock Absorbers and Springs
LED Angel Headlamp
Custom Wald bodykit
Custom Wald diffuser
Brembo Six pot brake kit with slotted rotors
Custom race exhaust with quad muffler tips