1985-1989 Nissan Skyline: A Comprehensive Guide to a Classic Car

July 3, 2023 1:08 PM

1985-1989 Nissan Skyline

The Nissan Skyline, produced by the Japanese automaker Nissan, has become an icon of the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) car scene. It gained immense popularity during the years 1985-1989 and continues to be highly sought after by automotive enthusiasts. Let's dive into the details, performance, and unique features of these vintage Nissan Skyline models.

Design and Styling

The 1985-1989 Nissan Skyline models showcased a classic and timeless design that still captivates JDM enthusiasts to this day. With its sleek and angular appearance, these cars exude a sense of refined elegance. The clean lines, distinctive front fascia, and integrated rear spoiler contribute to its aggressive and sporty look. The Skyline's design elements were ahead of their time and influenced many future performance cars.

Engine Performance

Under the hood, the 1985-1989 Nissan Skyline was powered by a range of robust engines, each contributing to its legendary performance. Here are some of the notable engine options available:

1. RB20DET

The RB20DET was a 2.0-liter inline-six engine, equipped with a single turbocharger. This engine produced impressive power and delivered a thrilling driving experience. With its smooth power delivery and aftermarket tuning potential, it became a favorite among JDM enthusiasts who sought even more performance.

2. RB25DET

Another popular engine in this era was the RB25DET, a 2.5-liter inline-six engine. It provided an increase in displacement, resulting in improved low-end torque and overall power. This engine, known for its durability, allowed the Skyline to deliver a balance between performance and reliability.


The RB26DETT is an iconic engine that gained fame through the legendary R32 GT-R model. A 2.6-liter inline-six with a twin-turbo setup, it delivered incredible power and torque. Renowned for its robustness and ability to handle high power outputs, this engine became synonymous with the Nissan Skyline's performance legacy.

Driving Dynamics

The driving dynamics of the 1985-1989 Nissan Skyline are what truly set it apart from other vehicles of its time. Thanks to its advanced technology and engineering, these Skylines offered exceptional handling, agility, and overall driving experience.

The rear-wheel-drive layout, coupled with advanced suspension systems, provided outstanding balance and stability. Whether navigating sharp corners or cruising at high speeds, the Skyline demonstrated remarkable poise and precision. The chassis was designed to offer a harmonious blend of comfort and sportiness, ensuring an engaging driving experience for enthusiasts.

Innovative Technology

During the 1985-1989 era, Nissan introduced various cutting-edge technologies in the Skyline lineup, further cementing their position as pioneers in automotive innovation.

One notable technological advancement was the introduction of the Nissan HICAS (High Capacity Actively Controlled Steering) system. HICAS used rear-wheel steering to enhance stability and improve handling. This system allowed the Skyline to deliver exceptional maneuverability, especially during cornering, and set new benchmarks for performance vehicles.

Popularity and Legacy

The 1985-1989 Nissan Skyline models played a significant role in shaping the JDM car culture and continue to enjoy unwavering popularity among enthusiasts worldwide. With their timeless design, powerful engines, exceptional driving dynamics, and innovative technology, these Skylines have become coveted symbols of automotive excellence.

The legacy of these models paved the way for future generations of the Nissan Skyline, solidifying its status as an automotive icon. Today, collectors and JDM enthusiasts eagerly seek out well-maintained examples from this era, cherishing their place in automotive history.

In conclusion, the 1985-1989 Nissan Skyline models epitomize the spirit and essence of JDM car culture. With their timeless design, impressive engine performance, exceptional driving dynamics, and innovative technology, they remain highly regarded among automotive enthusiasts. Whether it's the sleek exterior, the powerful engines, or the advanced features, these vintage Skylines continue to capture the hearts of car enthusiasts around the globe.