The new, plain-looking Nissan Skyline, the R30, was released in August 1981. While appearance didn't seem to be much of a concern to Nissan (the sedan is very unmemorable, and the wagon is particularly ugly), performance was, with several models in the Skyline's lineup proving thus.

The 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine had been dropped, and the 1800TI was now the standard offering. A few steps above the 1800 were the 2000GT and new 2800GT, using SOHC, 2-liter and 2.8-liter, respectively, six-cylinder engines. In October 1981, the Skyline RS, the only DOHC Skyline of the R30 generation, appeared with a two-liter, I4 engine and a ground-pounding 150 horsepower. Yet another high-performance Skyline debuted in 1983, the strongest ever at the time: the turbocharged RS-X, which managed to crank out a not-so-modest 190 hp (205 with intercooler), a worthy successor to the GT-R.

The R31 was introduced in `85, and was visually similar to the R30 -- the majority of differences were mechanical. Luxury cars were becoming more popular, and so then the Skyline lost some of its performance edge. The 1800TI now used the CA18DE engine (an engine Nissan Silvia afficionados will recognize), rated at 100 hp -- a few horses shy of the previous generations. Additionally, no coupe models were available at first, only becoming available in mid-1986 as the GTS -- the first Skyline to be powered by an RB-series engine (the turbo, DOHC RB20DET, at 190 hp in the GTS-X, to be precise), which any Skyline devotee worth his salt will recognize. Another notable mechanical addition was that of High Capacity Active Steering (HICAS), Nissan's hydraulically controlled rear-wheel steering assistance system. The GTS-R, the top dog in the R31's lineup, was specially racing-modified, with extensive revision of the suspension, exhaust, and turbine systems, now granting the Skyline 210 hp. Only 200 GTS-Rs were built, and can sell at auction for more than a later-model R32 V-spec model.

Back to Nissan Skyline C-series - Forward to Nissan Skyline R32.

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