I know that some of you right now are eager to type into the comments section “A four-door R34”. Some of you probably will.
It’s a common misconception that even the most knowledgeable Scandinavian car-nut gets wrong, and I don’t blame you - it takes a bit of digging and research to understand what it all means.
In the photo above, we see two R34s. The one further away is an ER34, but the one closer is not. They are both Skylines, they are the same length, both have four doors, both share the same chassis. The only visual difference is that the closer one has a facelift bumper (that means re-designed).
If it’s not an ER34, then what is it?
Above we have the spec-sheet for the HR34, and the plate in the engine bay of my ER34.
Remember that the two cars were almost identical. The only difference between them is the motor size.
E is the code for a 2.5L
H is the code for a 2.0L
And remember kids, don’t confuse the chassis code with the model.
The HR34 is an R34 GT, while the ER34 should be an R34 25GT
And yes, there are 2-door ER34s - you just have to look at the 5th image in Google.
Some of you may have noticed that GT-Rs are often called BNR or BCNR. What does this mean?
B means it is a 2.6L
C means it has HICAS 4-wheel steering (however it is sometimes omitted)
N means 4WD
R means the Chassis (Silvias are S-chassis (S12, S13, S14, S15), Skylines are R-chassis (R30, R31, R32, R33, R34))
Why the different codes?
Because 4WD and 4WS require a different chassis to implement the additional bushings, racks and axles.
Looking at the spreadsheets above, we can see that the R33 is the easiest to understand. Their badges are easy to understand and so are the chassis codes - a GTS is 2.0L n/a, a GTS25 is a 2.5L n/a, add “t” to the end and it’s a turbo - GTS25t.
However the R32 has made a mess with their chassis codes and the R34 omitted some information.
So we established that the N is four-wheel-drive and the C is four-wheel-steering.
However there are no ECR34, BCNR32 or BCNR34.
As Aki Itoh has informed me, the lack of the C initial is due to the 4WD models also featured 4WS in the R32 and R33 while the R33 allowed either as optional extras.
As for the R32, it even leaves me scratching my head wondering why they us R and KR for the motor.
What I do understand is that GAE is an automatic transmission, GFE is manual, and GYE is a 2.5L automatic.
The F prefix is a 1.8L (that dates back to the R30 chassis).
S - Silvia and early Fairlady
C - Laurel and early Skyline
A - Cefiro
WC - Stagea
N - Pulsar
F - Leopard
U or T - Bluebird (earlier just used numbers e.g 510)
Y - Gloria, Cedric and later Leopard
Z - later Fairlady
Sorry for the long head-scratching post, here is a BNR32 (no potatoes).