Home » The New Nissan Skyline Nismo Sweats The Small Stuff

The New Nissan Skyline Nismo Sweats The Small Stuff

Nissan Skyline Nismo Ts2
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“Nissan Skyline Nismo” is an evocative nameplate, conjuring up images of the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line, touring car racing, and some of the hottest Japanese speed machines of the ’90s. While the glamorized image many American enthusiasts hold in their heads doesn’t undersell the motorsports prowess of golden era Skylines, regular models weren’t supercar-beating holy grails. Think Japanese 5-Series and you aren’t terribly far off. As such, it shouldn’t be surprising that the new JDM-only Skyline Nismo is a sports sedan, but I’d argue that it’s still exciting.

2014 Infiniti Q50s

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Vidframe Min Bottom

See, the Japanese Nissan Skyline is already sold in America as the Infiniti Q50. When the Q50 launched, it was a reasonably competitive sports sedan with a hideous optional steer-by-wire system that was best avoided. Keep in mind that at the time, BMW had just kneecapped its 3 Series by fitting vague electric power steering, making the rear outside wheel toe in as it loads up to promote understeer, and slashing the interior materials budget, the C-Class of the time was old, and the Cadillac ATS had an unintuitive center stack. By the standards of 2013, the Q50 offered solid punch, a decent interior, and nice styling, all for thousands less than the German competition.

2016 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400

However, just a few years later, the tables turned. The W205 C-Class was gorgeous, the Jaguar XE was a promising option, the BMW 3 Series no longer had a sub-optimal engine lineup, and Alfa Romeo was returning to America. The Infiniti Q50 became an also-ran despite its new turbocharged V6, an aged platform commanding serious money.

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2023 Infiniti Q50s 05

Which brings us to today, when everything’s grown a whole lot more expensive. Well, everything except the Q50. Instead of competing on price against the venerable 3 Series and C-Class on price, here’s a 300-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 rear-wheel-drive sports sedan for four-cylinder 2 Series or CLA-Class money. Intriguing, right? Well, Japanese models just got more intriguing. A mere handful of individually-numbered Japanese models, but still. Nissan just released a new Skyline Nismo, and it seems to take everything good about the Q50 and dial it up a notch or two.

Skyline Nismo 024 Source

Let’s start with the engine. Based on the same high-output 400-horsepower twin-turbocharged three-liter V6 found in the Nissan Z, the Skyline Nismo tunes the VR30DDTT engine up a touch to 414 horsepower and 406 lb.-ft. of torque. Not huge gains, but still something to appreciate. All that power goes to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic gearbox first witnessed during the Dubya administration, a proven if not cutting-edge transmission.

Skyline Nismo 017 Source

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Power is nothing without control, so the Skyline Nismo gets new Enkei alloy wheels wrapped in proper Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT600 200-treadwear summer tires. After all, tires are the only four parts of a car that touch the earth, or at least they should be, otherwise something’s gone terribly wrong. Backing up the aggressive rubber is retuned suspension including new anti-roll bars that should stiffen this decade-old sedan up nicely. Speaking of stiffness, Nissan claims the Skyline Nismo uses the same glass adhesive as the GT-R Nismo, which is purported to have body rigidity benefits without adding weight. If that’s the case, why not use it on everything?

Skyline Nismo 012 Source

When it comes time to drop anchor, Akebono calipers and performance-oriented brake pads should bring the number on the speedometer down nicely. Considering how long the Akebonos have been laying in the Nissan parts bin, this is a fairly subtle upgrade but still one that’s appreciated.

Skyline Nismo 003 Source

Those with keen eyes should be able to spot the Skyline Nismo from a mile away thanks to its new skirt package with loud red accents. I reckon the new front bumper without a single-frame grille design is a wholesale visual improvement, and it’s reportedly functional, doing a better job than the standard bumper at channeling air toward the oil cooler and other vital heat exchangers. The flared side skirts are also visually intriguing, although the rear bumper seems to be an awkward blending of function than form. The little corner fins look wicked, but I’m not sure about the racing-style rain light.

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Skyline Nismo 032 Source

On the inside, the Skyline Nismo gets a few key upgrades we won’t see in North America, like optional Recaro seats, heaps of red stitching, and a tachometer bezel in only the brightest red you could imagine. There’s a certain joy in seeing heavily-bolstered chairs in the front of a sedan while rear passengers are at the mercy of a standard bench, and those bolsters should get a workout thanks to the established capabilities of the car’s FM platform.

Skyline Nismo 009 Source

Nissan will only build 1,000 Skyline Nismo models for the Japanese market, with a further 100 Nismo Limited models with hand-built engines to come next summer. Pricing for the standard Nismo model, while not directly comparable to the U.S.-market Q50, carries a substantial ¥1,981,100 surcharge over the 400R model, the equivalent to our Q50 Red Sport. That’s an awful lot of cash, but at the same time, I can’t be mad. Hell, I’m more excited for this than the Nismo Z.

Skyline Nismo 011 Source

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While the Nismo Z’s automatic-only status misses the mark on what enthusiasts were looking for, the Skyline Nismo is just a sportier sports sedan. It promises to be a little bit quicker, a little bit firmer, a little bit sticker, and a little bit more specially-appointed. It’s still a daily-driver with a big rear seat and a proper trunk, capable of family duty, road-tripping with friends, and everything in-between. In an era when Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz have pulled out of the six-cylinder compact sports sedan market, there’s some white space here for a very unique sports sedan that’s refreshingly simpler than newer competitors.

(Photo credits: Nissan, Infiniti)

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Max Finkel
Max Finkel
9 months ago

the GT badge is so so so good

Greg
Greg
9 months ago

This car is not anything worth writing about IMO.

I do want to address a huge problem for cars though, How do we get these idiot governments to agree on some test parameters so ALL GOOD CARS can come to America and we can stop missing anything good or unique.

They hate us all and you can tell by the options we have for cars!

M0L0TOV
M0L0TOV
9 months ago
Reply to  Greg

You can thank Mercedes for that. In the early 80’s you could import stuff like that via the grey market but Mercedes and other manufacturers lobbied heavily and that’s how we got the 25 year import rule. https://www.dirtlegal.com/blog/the-truth-behind-the-25-year-import-rule-may-surprise-you

Greg
Greg
9 months ago
Reply to  M0L0TOV

And they STILL hired her!

Ha!

Dsa Lkjh
Dsa Lkjh
9 months ago

“ Speaking of stiffness, Nissan claims the Skyline Nismo uses the same glass adhesive as the GT-R Nismo, which is purported to have body rigidity benefits without adding weight. If that’s the case, why not use it on everything?”

It either costs more, or takes longer to cure (which costs more).

Dsa Lkjh
Dsa Lkjh
9 months ago
Reply to  Dsa Lkjh

I guess I’m not Captain Muppet any more. What is the point of having an internet alias when you’re going to randomly out people with their real name?

Not that I used my real name, obviously, but still. Bad Autopian. You sit on that step and think about what you’ve done.

Forbestheweirdo
Forbestheweirdo
9 months ago
Reply to  Dsa Lkjh

It reverted to names a few weeks ago on mine, but I was able to go back and change it back. I think it was an update that messed up settings just temporarily, you should be able to change it back no problem.

M0L0TOV
M0L0TOV
9 months ago

Yeah, that happened to me the other day and I was like, why the fuck is this using my real name? I had to go and change it.

Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
9 months ago
Reply to  Dsa Lkjh

No account using my email address, so I’ve set up a new one, let’s see how it goes…

Josh Jones
Josh Jones
9 months ago
Reply to  Dsa Lkjh

My assumption would be that (in addition to cost/supply constraints) it would put too much strain on the glass if the rest of the body isn’t rigid enough, and you could end up cracking a windshield for turning too hard or something like that.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
9 months ago

Hurray it’s finally here! Another new car.
I’m going to bed. Good night.

Alec Harvey
Alec Harvey
9 months ago

Not a fan of the front grille, the Infiniti one looks better. Not a fan of the bodykit either, its a bit too much. I wish they had gone harder with the engine performance though.

FiveOhNo
FiveOhNo
9 months ago

That thing is less of a Skyline than the “Mach-e” is a Mustang.

Mikan
Mikan
9 months ago
Reply to  FiveOhNo

Since it was introduced in 1957, the Skyline has been an executive sedan that just happened to have an optional coupe bodystyle as well as warm and hot variants, and this model is still just that – the Skyline has never actually been solely a pure sports car, despite how well-regarded the performance coupe versions of decades past were.

Forbestheweirdo
Forbestheweirdo
9 months ago
Reply to  FiveOhNo

It’s not a GT-R, but 99% of skylines aren’t. It’s a skyline, just not an overly exciting one, but again, most never had any intention of being exciting.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
9 months ago

No manual no care

Logan King
Logan King
9 months ago

Way to cut the knees off the Z35 NiSMO you just announced, Nissan.

EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
9 months ago

I am whelmed. Nismo needs to revisit their proud tradition of putting large wings on things. So many great wings though the years, yet we get this puffin wing.

Cerberus
Cerberus
9 months ago

I read that as “Sentra NISMO” since my eyes interpreted the photo car as one. If you’re going to make all your cars look the same, maybe go with something interesting and change it up on occasion.

Forbestheweirdo
Forbestheweirdo
9 months ago
Reply to  Cerberus

I saw Maxima in it, but yeah same idea. They’re all boring. Nothing from Nissan excites me these days. I was excited for the new Z until I saw it is still on the 350Z platform and weighs as much as a freight train.

Cerberus
Cerberus
9 months ago

They do all look alike. Funny thing is the ’23 Sentra is 5″ shorter, but 3″ wider, 2″ taller, and with over 2″ longer wheelbase than the ’93 Maxima. Weighs about 100 lbs. less, which I suppose is almost something with how heavy everything is now.

I had 2 S30 Zs and was hoping for something decent even if I wouldn’t buy it, but the lackluster reviews even from the early reviewers that tend to get the gig because they kiss ass said all that needed to be said for me. I think I’ve seen one so far and new cars pop up early here.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
9 months ago

This article has been up for several hours now and only three comments (before mine). Says a lot about Nissan’s/Infiniti’s current desirability, no?

As for the Q50, isn’t there a Red Line/Stripe/Sport/??? version with the same 400 HP engine as the Z? Just a body kit away from an American Skyline.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
9 months ago

Both brands are incredibly stale. I couldn’t even remember if Nissan made a hybrid. Turns out the make a Murano hybrid. The current Murano came out in 2014…

Greg
Greg
9 months ago

They both stink, ugly as hell and just nothing good or special about them. They can’t even produce their new Z and its been a year or more?
I know one person who owns an infinity, and every once and a while see one of their SUV’s around town. Who do they appeal to these days? Nissan for low credit buyers and people who want a truck for free, but infiniti? This car does absolutely nothing for me, and even if we did we can’t buy it.

I Could but Meh
I Could but Meh
9 months ago

Looks pretty boring sedan-y.

Automotiveflux
Automotiveflux
9 months ago

I have a soft spot for Infiniti having owned two in the past but if I had the money to buy a car in this range I’d end up in a Genesis

Chronometric
Chronometric
9 months ago
Reply to  Automotiveflux

My wife noticed a Genesis for the first time the other day. I told her it is basically the new Infiniti, just from another manufacturer.

Data
Data
9 months ago

Why are the press photos in Millenial Gray? Head over to Mazda and borrow some Soul Red.

Geekycop .
Geekycop .
9 months ago
Reply to  Data

Nissan lost their soul many many moons ago. BRING BACK THE DIME!!!!! Also an inline 6 with a manual please.

AKA Rukh
AKA Rukh
9 months ago
Reply to  Data

They already tried that – remember the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept?

Dorf
Dorf
9 months ago
Reply to  AKA Rukh

dgdfg

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