THAT revered superfast Japanese car, the Nissan Skyline has a new feather in its cap.
The model made famous by the Playstation generation has been named the Most Iconic Japanese Car Ever by followers of Japfest, the biggest celebration of Japanese cars and culture in Europe.
The organisers of the show, which will be held for the first time this year at Silverstone, Northants, carried out a survey among its social media followers to see which performance car would be identified as the most iconic model in Japanese car culture.
The clear winner was the Nissan Skyline, a car that first came to prominence in the UK in 1997 as the star of the Gran Turismoconsole game.
Like the game, the Skyline was developed through multiple generations, each one faster and more advanced than its predecessor. The Skyline name has since become synonymous with Japanese performance tuning in the UK and beyond, and a bumper turnout of Skylines is expected at this year's Japfest events.
The Skyline really struck a chord in Britain and was one of the landmark cars that sparked off a craze for very fast Japanese cars. The runner up was that other great, the Toyota Supra with the Subaru Impreza WRX in third place.
I was able to drivea Skylinein the late 1990s and it was startlingly fast. Some of the instruments were in Japanese so you did not know quite what was going on, but the muscle of this car had to be experienced to be believed. It appeared to have bottomless depths of power and strained at the leash to be given its head to whoosh into triple mph figures.
A relaxing drive? Certainly not because you had to be on the case all the time. It was just one of those cars that wanted to go, go, go and that was what it was all about.
So it is hardly surprising that it became a cult car.
But the Skyline's history is interesting because apart from the sports car version, the Skyline range which dated back to the 1950s also included small saloons and hatchbacks originally produced under the Prince marque.
The modern development of the Skyline is the GT-R is a race-oriented model delivering factory-tuned supercar performance with revolutionary aerodynamics and ultra-precise handling.
Available only in limited numbers, the 600PS GT-R NISMO is inspired by a NISMO-prepared GT-R that competed successfully at the 2012 Nurburgring 24-hour endurance race in near production form. And, as proof of concept, in late October 2013, a ‘Time Attack' GT-R NISMO was driven to a new volume production car and Nissan GT-R Nurburgring record of 07m 8.679 seconds around the famed road course.
GT-R is powered by a 600ps 3.8-litre V6 twin turbo in the finest Skyline tradition.