Nissan R34 Skyline GT-R multifunction display – Art of Speed

The R34 GT-R came with Nissan’s interpretation of a games console crowning the dashboard. A gimmick? Big time, but entertaining all the same

Nissan R34 GT-R display

If you ever want to own an R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R, buy now. Just get it done, because members of the so-called PlayStation Generation – now in their 30s and early 40s – are coming for it. During their formative years they were indoctrinated by the R34’s exotic heritage, contract-killer aesthetic and earth-shaking powertrain, so their bond with the fifth-gen Skyline GT-R is lifelong. And guess what? In a few years’ time they’re going to want it back. 

 Of course, only a handful will have driven one, and in truth this bond has more to do with the fact that the HICAS rear-steer and four-wheel-drive stability made the digital version an extraordinarily dependable companion on Gran Turismo. It was relentlessly fast, endlessly forgiving and tuneable beyond even the wildest dreams of a teenager, much like the real thing, and for this it has been rewarded with unconditional loyalty. 

> US-only Nissan GT-R Nismo Special Edition revealed with 592bhp

It’s also a car whose reputation precedes it, not least in terms of technology, because as well as being an icon of the digital world, the R34 famously came with Nissan’s interpretation of a games console crowning the dashboard. A gimmick? Big time, but entertaining all the same. 

As per the interior as a whole, the LCD’s housing wasn’t exactly elegant, and as far as interaction went the software was limited – the driver could set the revs for the upshift light (evo recommends 7500rpm). But in terms of what the display could tell you it was borderline encyclopaedic. Oh-so critical measurements of boost and injector pressure, throttle opening, oil, water and cabin temperature and torque split could be imparted in 30-second increments via graphs for attentive drivers to quickly read and react to (although how exactly we’re still not sure).

Nissan R34 GT-R

V-spec cars – and doesn’t this just show that Nissan knew owners would take the twin-turbo straight-six some way past its claimed 276bhp? – even displayed temperatures within the intake and exhaust manifolds, and a final Nismo version could record lap times and monitor G-forces. All extremes recorded during a drive were stored to later substantiate outrageous claims, and the telemetry data could be downloaded to a computer in spreadsheet form for ‘post-race analysis’.

It all sounds oppressively techy, but the R34’s multifunction display wasn’t representative of the driving experience, which remained the same as the R33 GT-R before it: raw. And with all those pretty graphics, owners could be forgiven for thinking they’d accidentally signed on the line for a Nismo GT500 racer. Surely that can only be a good thing?

Recommended

The Nissan GT-R has been axed in Europe
Nissan GT-R Nismo
Nissan GT-R

The Nissan GT-R has been axed in Europe

13 years since the GT-R’s introduction, Nissan is officially ending European production for the supercar
17 Mar 2022
2022 Nissan GT-R model year update revealed
MY22 Nissan GT-R T-spec – front quarter
Nissan GT-R

2022 Nissan GT-R model year update revealed

Two new special editions and the return of some iconic colours are the highlights of the Nissan GT-R’s MY22 update
14 Sep 2021

Most Popular

Aston Martin DBR22 revealed – an open-top V12 rival to the Ferrari Monza SP2
Aston Martin DBR22 - front quarter
News

Aston Martin DBR22 revealed – an open-top V12 rival to the Ferrari Monza SP2

It’s another screen-less low-volume supercar, but the new DBR22 could pinpoint the future of Aston Martin design
15 Aug 2022
Porsche 911 Sally Carrera Special Edition revealed
Porsche Sally Carrera – front quarter
News

Porsche 911 Sally Carrera Special Edition revealed

Porsche’s been collaborating with Pixar on this one-off special that’ll be sold at Car Week for charity
12 Aug 2022
Used BMW Z4 (G29, 2019 to date) review and buyer’s guide
Header
Reviews

Used BMW Z4 (G29, 2019 to date) review and buyer’s guide

BMW’s Z4 offers good performance, plenty of grip and lots of equipment. But is it sporting enough?
15 Aug 2022