Facelift DR30 RS-Turbo Skyline, nicknamed "Iron Mask" for its distinctive front end treatment
Although making about the same power as the L20ET-powered GT-ES models, the version of the Skyline initially known as the 2000RS was released on October 2, 1981 as more of a stripped-down lightweight racer, without as many luxury extras included (quoted curb weight was only 1,130 kg (2,490 lb)). These were equipped with the naturally aspirated 4-valve-per-cylinder DOHC FJ20E engine generating 110 kW (150 PS; 148 hp) of power at 6,000 rpm and 181 N·m (133 lb·ft) of torque at 4,800 rpm. The official Nissan chassis designation for all FJ20-powered models was DR30.
In February 1983 the DR30 range received a significant boost in performance with the introduction of the turbocharged FJ20ET engine in the 2000RS-Turbo. Front brakes were also significantly upgraded to cope with the power increase. Now with 140 kW (190 PS; 188 hp) of power at 6,400 rpm and 225 N·m (166 lb·ft) of torque at 4,800 rpm on tap, the FJ20ET enjoyed new-found prestige as the most powerful Japanese production engine of its era.
Nissan sought to elevate the status of the DR30 Skyline as their new flagship model in light of this success, and it received a generous amount of changes to distinguish it from lesser Skyline models in August 1983. Interior equipment was significantly upgraded to now include electric windows, air conditioning and power steering as standard in the new RS-X model (for Extra) with an increased curb weight of around 1,235 kg (2,723 lb); gone were the days of the spartan, stripped-out race interior, although this could still be specified at time of purchase. But by far the most striking change to the RS was the new unique front end treatment, nicknamed Tekkamen (鉄仮面) or Iron Mask by fans for its distinctive look. The headlights were considerably slimmer, and instead of a conventional grille the bonnet now sloped down to two narrow slits above a facelifted front bumper and airdam.
Further changes were made in 1984, most notably the addition of an intercooler, revised compression ratios and turbocharger exhaust housing to the FJ20ET powered model, now known as the RS-Turbo C and increasing output to 205 PS (151 kW) of power at 6,400 rpm and 245 N·m (181 lb·ft) of torque at 4400 rpm. An automatic transmission option was also added at this time, and changes to the "PLASMA Spark" ignition system followed in early 1985 towards the end of R30 production.
Nissan Skyline (R30) van (Japan)
To this day the FJ20-powered R30 Skyline remains a cult car both at home and overseas (there are still dedicated "one make" drag racing events for this model in Japan), and is credited with rejuvenating the Skyline brand in the early 1980s. It also paved the way for the eventual re-introduction of the legendary GT-R badge, markedly absent since the end of C110 Skyline production in 1973.
The DR30 achieved success in Australian touring car racing during the mid-1980s. The factory backed Peter Jackson Nissan Team made its Group A debut in the opening round of the 1986 Australian Touring Car Championship, and over the 10 round series, lead driver George Fury would win four of the rounds and it was only unreliability in the first two rounds that cost Fury the title, finishing only 5 points behind the Volvo 240T of Robbie Francevic. Fury then went on to finish second to the BMW of Jim Richards in the 1986 Australian Endurance Championship, winning four of the six rounds, though failures to finish in the opening round at Amaroo Park in Sydney, as well as a DNF at the James Hardie 1000 at Bathurst cost him the title. Team driver Garry Scott would put the DR30 on pole for the James Hardie 1000 before going on to finish third with young charger Glenn Seton. Despite missing out on the drivers title, Nissan would win the 1986 Australian Manufacturers' Championship from BMW. Fury finished off 1986 by finishing second to the V8 Holden Commodore of Allan Grice in the Group A support race for the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide.
Fury was joined in 1987 Australian Touring Car Championship by Glenn Seton. While Fury had a frustrating first half of the championship, Seton would battle it out with the BMW M3 of Richards for the title. The series came down to the last race at Sydney's Oran Park Raceway where Richards used the nimble M3 to defeat Seton and win his second ATCC in three years. With Fury finishing third in the championship, this saw Nissan sharing victory with BMW in the 1987 Australian Manufacturers' Championship. The final competitive race for the Peter Jackson Nissan DR30's came in the Group A support race for the 1987 Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide where Fury again finished second behind the Ford Sierra RS500 of Dick Johnson.
The 340 bhp (254 kW; 345 PS) DR30 continued to be used by privateer racers in Australian touring car racing until 1989.
Paul Newman Version
- 1800TI – 1.8 L Z18S SOHC I4, 105 PS (77 kW), later models 1.8 L CA18E SOHC I4, 115 PS (85 kW)
- 2000TI – 2.0 L CA20E SOHC I4
- 2000TI – 2.0 L Z20E SOHC I4
- 2000GT and Passage – 2.0 L L20E SOHC I6
- 2000GT Turbo, Passage and Paul Newman Version – 2.0 L L20ET turbo I6, 140 PS (103 kW, 206 N m)
- RS – 2.0 L FJ20E DOHC I4, 150 PS (110 kW, 181 N m)
- RS-X and RS-X Turbo C – 2.0 L FJ20ET DOHC turbo I4, 190 to 205 PS (140 to 151 kW, 225 to 245 N m)
- 200D GT – 2.0 L LD20 SOHC I4 Diesel
- 280D GT – 2.8 L LD28 SOHC I6 Diesel