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

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
Ford Racing Puma bodykit – Art of Speed
Ford Racing Puma
Ford Racing Puma

Ford Racing Puma bodykit – Art of Speed

The Ford Racing Puma's bodykit is an iconic piece of automotive design, but there's more to it than meets the eye
20 Apr 2021
US-only Nissan GT-R Nismo Special Edition revealed with 592bhp
Nissan GT-R Nismo Special Edition
Nissan GT-R

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

The range-topping Nissan GT-R Nismo has been refreshed for 2021, bringing a limited-run model along with it
14 Apr 2021
Porsche Carrera GT centre-locking wheel nuts – Art of Speed
Carrera GT wheel nuts
Porsche

Porsche Carrera GT centre-locking wheel nuts – Art of Speed

Porsche's iconic colour-coded wheel nuts were just one of many iconic details on the naughties icon
7 Apr 2021

Most Popular

M-Sport’s Fiat Panda is a 300bhp rally car
M-Sport Fiat Panda rally
Fiat Panda

M-Sport’s Fiat Panda is a 300bhp rally car

This Fiat Panda 4x4 has been transformed into an all-out rally car by motorsport firm M-Sport
7 Dec 2021
'I always feel a fizz excitement at putting a car key in my pocket, walking outside and driving away'
Dickie Meaden opinion
Opinion

'I always feel a fizz excitement at putting a car key in my pocket, walking outside and driving away'

Meaden might think he’d fallen out of love with cars, but for one thing…
7 Dec 2021
Car pictures of the week
Tolman Peugeot 205 GTI
Peugeot 205 GTi hatchback

Car pictures of the week

In this week’s car pictures from issue 292, we look at the highlights from Adam Towler’s drive in the Tolman Peugeot 205 GTI
3 Dec 2021