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Discussion Starter #1
This review compares the R34 GT-T to the R34 GT-R (both driven back to back along the same stretch of road). I have now owned an R34 GT-T for one year now. Just yesterday I drove its bigger brother the GT-R in a bid to decide whether to upgrade to the GT-R or not...

Firstly let us just refresh ourselves here about the two cars.

GT-R and GT-T, a basic summary…

The GT-T is rear wheel drive 2.5 litre single turbo (RB25DET) and the GT-R is a four wheel drive 2.6 litre twin turbo (RB26DETT).

Both outputs are claimed to be 280 bhp (this is actually inaccurate, the GT-R is 320 bhp in real life!). The GT-T has NEO variable valve lift timing and both cars come equipped with excellent HICAS 4-wheel steering and the same leather trimmed steering wheel. The GT-T runs on 225/17's section tyres, the GT-R runs on 245/18's. The GT-T has big sized Nissan manufactured calipers with excellent stopping power. The GT-R has racing Brembo calipers and huge stopping power. The GT-R has a nice computer multi-function display showing torque, power, oil temperature, boost pressure, etc. etc. The GT-T has simply 3 analogue dials show oil temperature, boost pressure and battery voltage. The GT-R having a 6-speed box and the GT-T a five speed unit. The GT-R has wider bodied wings and a big front mounted intercooler with aggressive front spoiler. The GT-T makes do with a much more toned down front bumper with a smaller sized intercooler.

Basically, both cars come from the same ‘gene pool’ but both are different to drive. I should know since I drove both cars back to back on the same day one after the other.

First let us outline the examples I drove. The GT-T was a slightly modified example with an anti-cat straight through exhaust, running 1-bar boost pressure (raised from 0.6 standard), HKS plugs and HKS filter to give around 300 bhp plus a factory GT-R rear wing replacing the GT-T's standard one and running on 18” wheels and less than 10k miles (as new condition really).

The GT-R was completely standard apart from running on wider rimmed alloys (265 tyres).

First Impressions

On the open road the GT-T feels very well accomplished, lots of smooth power delivery and then a very nice zone (just above 3,000 revs when the turbo came on strong to give a very nice urgent pull to the engine). The car gives a very respectable power delivery and easily feels like its good for 300 bhp. Torque builds up well and gives a push into the back of the seat feeling that every respectable high performance sports coupe should deliver.

Climbing out of the GT-T into the GT-R and the differences are already starting to become more apparent. The seats in the GT-T really are lacking in support for spirited driving since the level of damping is surprisingly soft for the level of power available. The GT-R ones really are excellent and give excellent body support. It is more noticeable around a fast corner and on the GT-T this inspires less confidence to go into a corner hard or under trail braking than when driving the GT-R. The GT-T really is crying out for a decent set of lowering springs to fix this problem and a swap out for a good set of Recaro seats.

The very first gear change you make brings another big surprise. The GT-T has a 5-speed box and the GT-R has a six but that’s not the whole story. There is a metal gate on the GT-T that gives a nice clickety click action which is pleasant enough but in the GT-R the box is very stubby and tight with absolutely no feeling of slack that you get on the GT-T. Basically the GT-T gear shifter feels (dare I say it?) a little bit sloppy in direct comparison. Its not that there is a horrible gear change on the GT-T (I actually really like it), but in comparison to the GT-R it just doesn’t feel as driver focused. The GT-R has a much more sporty feel to the selection of gears, a sort of ‘chunky’ feel if you like. Reminds me of the NSX gear change…

Engine power wise the example I was driving of the GT-T was slightly uprated to around 300 bhp but even still the difference between the GT-R and GT-T was noticeable and this I think was purely down to engine torque, not bhp! The sheer feeling of torque on the twin turbo’d motor is staggering. On the GT-R at almost any point in the rev range floor the throttle and the car just responds, compared to the example I drove the same feeling was there on the GT-T but just not to the same extent of urgency (surprisingly not as much in it really than you would expect). The throttle response on the GT-T was admittedly less linear. Hit the throttle and straight away you notice very crisp clean acceleration and then start to feel the torque quickly building up to massive grin inducing levels. In the GT-T the rear killer blow of the acceleration curve felt slightly higher up the rev range (perhaps because of better traction of the 4wd?). With the turbo spooling about 0.5 bar the GT-T feels just as amazing but in the GT-R that feeling was there right through the rev range. Lets get one thing clear here though the GT-T (at least at this level of tune) was not at all far behind on the engine stakes, at least compared to a ‘standard’ GT-R anyway. It really has a truly excellent power unit and it really feels brilliant to drive.

Get the cars moving and the steering feels very accurate and pin-sharp (on both cars actually) but there is more feedback (and a LOT more bouncing up and down) in the GT-R. From the driving seat (apart from the seat itself) it is a very similar feeling, the steering is rather impressive in both cars and turn in characteristics are immensely impressive. Against the GT-T the GT-R doesn’t have much here except that of course on the fatter rimmed tyres and 2 more driven wheels there is obviously a lot more scope for faster changes in the GT-R. What really does come across here though is just how well sorted the steering feel is on both cars, absolutely brilliant and definitely one of the big plus points. This really does give a big confidence boost compared to other cars.

Overall I was convinced enough to decide I will swap from the GT-T to the GT-R… but despite what I’ve written here really there is not as much in it as you’d think. The added weight advantage of the GT-T only helps its case (its about 200 kilo’s lighter than the GT-R) and I’m sure a more tuned up GT-T (especially lowering springs and better seats) would make the whole car feel so much more driver focused. Overall if you can afford the GT-R go for it, but overall don’t feel to short changed about buying an R34 GT-T because overall it’s a very capable car (I’d say its easily better than a BMW M3). Price differential is that a mint GT-T 2-3 yrs old with low mileage will fetch about 20-22K (GBP) and a GT-R 32-34K (GBP)… (both jap imports, uk spec models are nearer to the 40k mark ). It would certainly be interesting to drive a GT-T with 10k of modifications to compare the difference, the GT-R would still have the edge though, it really is that good…
 

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Well done Trevor,

an excellent review.

Does anyone else have views on the differences between GTS GTR or even R32,33,34 GTR feeling.

I have only been lucky enough to have a passenger ride in Shins 34 and that was really different to my 33 gtr, the gearbox gives a much more snappy feeling to the acceleration.

David Yu rates the 32 over all models how do these compare ?
I am currently considering a project 32 and would really like some comparisons between the 33 and the 32. Is it really that different ?

We all know the RB26 is well tunable in whatever car so info on handling and feeling of the car.

I look forward to the opinions, it may be wise to remember that we are talking about driveability as this could easily descend into a thread about the merits of spending extra money. money aside how do they compare..

Trevor, if you feel this is a thread hijack then please let me know and I'll start a different thread.

cheers
Steve
 

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Trevor,

Thanks for the review - must be interesting to hop from one model to the other.

I can't help thinking that it's not really a 'like-for-like' comparison though.
I mean - if you think the stock GT-R is better than the 'light tune' GT-T, just wait until you get all the restrictive exhaust system removed from the RB26 and a decent one put on it. Then you'll really see good response from the GT-R.
Don't get me wrong - I think your review was great - and will be helpful to many, but, when you get your GT-R and do the same 'light tune' as you've done to the GT-T you're going to see massive differences between the two (and all good :D :D :smokin: ).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Guys,

Thanks for the comments.

I just wanted to convey the information that in my opinion I feel for the money the GT-T is one hell of a car. Everyone knows about the GT-R but information is thin on the ground about the R34 GT-T. I think quite a few GT-R owners must sneer about how inferior the GT-T is without ever having driven one.

I'm sure Nissan felt that the R34 GT-R was just too 'hardcore' for most people. A lot of people would feel intimidated to drive the R34 GT-R as an everyday car whereas the prospect of the GT-T as a daily drive is more realistic and less costly proposition.

The GT-T has got more 'comfortable' seats, softer sprung suspension and even (as standard) a wisper quiet exhaust system so after a long motoway journey you would still feel fresh and ready to tackle a days work. I think it feels like the GT-T is the 'executive car park' version of the car but with pretty sporting intensions right out of the box. A car that makes you stand out, you can drive really quickly AND still have fun in (without realising just how quick your going). Lets be honest any car with 280 bhp is going to get the heart racing to some extent.

The GT-R however is much more 'brutal'. When you get in and drive the car from the GT-T it feels a bit strange because the whole experience feels so very very familiar but its almost like your driving a 'turned up' version of the car, a stripped out race preped version of the GT-T if you like. Your senses are bombared with more information and things seem to respond that bit quicker than your used to, steering, gearbox and acceleration.

The point which becomes apparent to me however is that modifying a GT-T will get you pretty close to the level of the GT-R (obviously without the 4wd benefits) but modify the GT-R and your on to a whole new ballpark of performance. This I believe is the hope of Nissan. They felt they would get people hooked into the Skyline by introducing them to the brand through the GT-T (get them hooked) and then get them to upgrade to the more expensive GT-R... pretty much exactally the route i'm following !


Trevor
 

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Nice review Trevor. So you are definetly upgrading? I'm sure you will not be dissapointed. The GT-R is a very fast and sports oreinted car but its totally usable on an every day basis...as loads of members of the forum do.
 

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R33 GT-S v R33 GT-R

I had a GT-S for three years, and got a GT-R in June. For about six weeks, I had both cars, with only the GT-S varying from stock with 215/40 on 18x8.5, a GT-R cat back exhaust, speedo conversion & a Nismo style nose. The GT-R was stock, but the clutch was badly worn.

Visuals: The GT-S is sleeker, and it is obvious that eighteens are essential to beef up the looks on any Skyline. Visceral reaction is that the GT-S poses on the drive, while the GT-R squats, chuckling.

Internals: Not a lot of difference, except that you sit ON the seat in a GT-S, and sit IN the seat in a GT-R. Feel is about the same, but the gearchange is firmer on the GT-R.

Grunt: Oh my. The GT-S goes off the mark on demand, will do about 120 at the top of 4th, and is quiet but with a subtle rumble.
The GT-R is not as quick off the mark, but when it wakes up, f*** me it's quick. The happy howl of the GT-R when it gets out of traffic is a delight. Again, a visceral reaction is that the GT-S can do it all with aplomb, while the GT-R can do it all, but does urban grudgingly, encouraging you to gat it in every tiny gap.

Handling: The GT-S is amazing, I loved the handling, despite the occasional wagtail moments on damp roads. Then you get in the GT-R, and accelerate. At everything. Providing you don't transgress any laws of physics, the damn thing will go round anything.

Overall: The GT-S is a polite monster. almost a stealth car. Well mannered in all situations, but with the power and response to get you out of the tight bits or off the lights respectably. The GT-R is far more of a hooligan, which can handle all conditions like the GT-S, but it is not as accomplished in traffic.

The GT-S will 0-60 in 6, so pick your opponents carefully to avoid embarrassment. Or modify it...
 
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