Nissan Is Turning This R32 Skyline GT-R Into an EV

Nissan’s not turning any old junker of an R32 GT-R into an EV: It’s converting a particularly clean example.

byJames Gilboy|
Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32) EV conversion

In case you haven't heard, Nissan is turning an original R32 Skyline GT-R into an electric vehicle. If that bothers you, you're only gonna get saltier when you see how pristine an example of an R32 Nissan is converting.

Announced in late March, the R32 EV conversion project is spearheaded by a Nissan engineer and GT-R owner who wants to apply modern drivetrain tech to their car. In that regard, it's something of a resto-mod, one future-proofed against feared ICE bans. Not much is known about the project's scope—whether it's a one-off or a pilot program for factory EV conversions—but it has an obvious benchmark to beat: the stock R32's performance.

From the factory, the R32 GT-R's 2.6-liter, twin-turbo RB26DETT straight-six made about 280 all-wheel horsepower, according to RB Motoring. Making that sort of power won't be a challenge; the dual-motor AWD system in the 2023 Nissan Ariya E-4orce makes a good deal more and is billed as being calibrated like the GT-R's ATTESA ET-S AWD anyway.

Weight, on the other hand, could prove tricky. GTR USA Blog says the stock R32 weighed in at a relatively lithe 3,265 pounds, a figure few modern EVs come close to. That's because lithium-ion batteries have about 1-2% of the energy density of gasoline, so storing enough energy to drive on them—never mind drive quickly—sends curb weights skyward. Distribution probably won't be as good as a modern EV either, as Nissan will have to cram batteries in wherever there's space.

Still, seeing what Nissan has in store for this car will be interesting. It won't be to everyone's taste, but it's not like there were a small number of R32 GT-Rs built. There's room for something different, and whether that's better or worse is purely subjective.

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