|Also called||Nissan Sunny GTI-R|
|Body style(s)||3-door hatchback|
|Engine(s)||230 PS (169 kW; 227 hp) 29 kg·m (280 N·m; 210 lb·ft) 2.0L (1998 cc) SR20DET 4 cylinder 16 valve DOHC|
|Wheelbase||2,430 mm (95.7 in)|
|Length||3,975 mm (156.5 in)|
|Width||1,690 mm (66.5 in)|
|Height||1,410 mm (55.5 in)|
|Curb weight||1,220 kg (2,690 lb)|
The Nissan Pulsar GTI-R (chassis code RNN14 - aka GTiR, i-R and 'R) is a special vehicle that was manufactured by Nissan between 1990 and 1994 in order to enter the WRC under Group A rules. The body is based on the Nissan Pulsar (aka Sunny) N14 3-door hatchback model, but features a large rear wing and bonnet scoop. It has an ATTESA 4WD system (also used on specific U12 & U13 Bluebird models), and a unique variant of the SR20DET engine (not used on any other car).
The Nissan GTI-R is often compared to similar homologated 2 litre turbo-charged AWD vehicles from the late-80s and early-90s, such as the Lancia Delta Integrale, Ford Escort Cosworth, Toyota Celica GT-Four, Subaru Impreza WRX, and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
There were 2 versions of the Nissan GTI-R sold to the general public:
GTI-RA: (Alpha) aka RA / Road / Luxury = MODEL NUMBER: EBYNRVFN14xxxx
GTI-RB: (Beta) aka RB / Rally / Homologation = MODEL NUMBER: EBYNRRFN14xxxx
[The model number is located on the VIN plate on the firewall in the engine bay]
RHD vs LHD models:
The right hand drive versions (except possibly the UK-delivered examples) were manufactured in Japan. Production ran from August 1990 until November 1994. The total number produced during those 4 years was between 13,000 and 15,000. It is unclear how many of them were RA and RB models (see below for differences). The commonly quoted figure of 5,000 applies to the first year of production only (1990-91), which Nissan had to fulfill under FIA regulations (5000 models total, with 500 of them Homologation) in order to enter as a manufacturer in the WRC. They were priced at ¥2,270,000.
The left hand drive models (badged as Sunny) had a different chassis number of EGNN14. No verifiable evidence has been available of the details (numbers/dates/etc) of LHD versions produced, but it is generally accepted they were assembled in Europe, with less than 1000 produced in total. They were officially sold in Germany, The Netherlands, Iceland, Italy and France (possibly other countries, but details are unconfirmed).
About half way through the production (August 1992), Nissan made a range of cosmetic changes to the RA model. Although not advertised as such, they were extensive enough (around 10 items) to be noticeable as a different phase or series and are clearly defined by chassis numbers RNN14-100000 and above.
The homologated model was specifically built to be used for motorsport (Group N rallying in particular). They had the luxury trimmings (such as air conditioning and power windows) removed as standard, and the simple interior trim from the base model Pulsar which reduced the curb weight to 1190 kg (2624 lb). Some of the luxury items were available as an option. The engine remained the same as the RA model, but there were a few mechanical changes such as a close-ratio gearbox and a front lsd instead of the open diff from the RA model.
There were several RB versions produced with special Nismo VIN plates (total unknown, but there has been evidence of least 5), which featured many of the Nismo rally options (suspension, diffs, seats, roll cage, foot rests, etc). Some were used by Nissan as promotional cars, but they could be ordered by private buyers as a Nismo "Complete Car" and were priced at ¥3,140,000.
The Group A Rally Cars were not sold to the general public. They were specifically built and used for the WRC by the now defunct NME (Nissan Motorsports Europe) as their Works cars. After NME was disbanded, the cars were sold to private buyers, predominately in Europe, where some made their way into Rallycross events.
Sunny was the badge used for the European-delivered EGNN14-chassis (both RHD & LHD) models. Their power specifications (220 PS / 162 kW and 267 Nm / 197 lb·ft) were slightly lesser due to different fuel and ignition maps in the ecu to compensate for the lower octane fuel available in those areas. The EGNN14 also had a different rear number plate surround. In 1992 they were priced in the UK at £20,553.
NME only competed in selected rallies during both years (ones they thought had the highest potential for good results), but the expected initial success did not materialise, and they never won a WRC Group A rally in the GTI-R. The campaign was abandoned in 1992, NME was shut down, and funding was redirected to Le Mans and the development of the R390. Much has been written about the reason for the NME failure. The most notable being the Dunlop tyres, the inefficiency of the top-mounted intercooler when engine power was increased to Group A standards (especially in hot weather), and the political and cultural issues between Nissan Japan and the newly created NME (Nissan Motorsport Europe).
NME did not enter Group N (Production) cars in the WRC, but other factory-backed Nissan teams did between 1991 and 1993. Most notable were the Nissan Belgium Rally Team with lead driver Grégoire De Mévius, and a Japanese entry (team unconfirmed) driven by Hiroshi Nishiyama.
These results clearly show that the GTI-R had the ability to be a successful rally car at Production Class level.
Being such a rare-but-attainable street performance car, there
is a dedicated following of enthusiasts around the world.
The first known RNN14-specific owners club was established in Japan in 1993.
The first known English-speaking community was established in 1999 (initially through oneList, which evolved through eGroups and finally Yahoo! Groups).
Countries with the largest owners club membership are Japan, UK, Australia and New Zealand - all with dedicated online communities based around forums.
The GTI-R has also been imported (under low-volume compliance schemes and motorsport-import rules) into many other countries including Canada, USA, Ireland, Israel, Lebanon, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Trinidad, Barbados, Jamaica, Singapore, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, Canary Islands and Russia.
|Nissan car timeline, European market, 1980s–present|
|Supermini||Micra K10||Micra K11||Micra K12|
|Small family car||Sunny B310||Sunny B11||Sunny N13||Sunny N14||Almera N15||Almera N16||Tiida C11|
|Cherry N10||Cherry N12|
|Large family car||Bluebird 910||Bluebird U11||Bluebird T12/T72||Primera P10||Primera P11||Primera P12|
|Executive car||Laurel C31||Laurel C32||Maxima J30||Maxima QX A32||Maxima QX A33||Teana|
|Coupé||Silvia S110||Silvia S12||200SX S13||200SX S14|
|Sports car||280ZX||300ZX Z31||300ZX Z32||350Z Z33|
|Compact MPV||Prairie M10||Prairie M11||Almera Tino|
|Compact SUV||X-Trail T30||X-Trail T31|
|Patrol 160||Patrol Y60||Patrol Y61|