When Nissan reintroduced the Skyline GT-R in 1989 as a high-tech, high-powered all-wheel-drive twin-turbo brute of a coupe, it created a legend that lives on to the present day. The R32-based GT-R annihilated all challengers in Group A touring car racing, both at home in Japan and down south in Australia. So dominant in Oz was the most potent production Skyline made up to that point that the vegemite-scarfing and VB-chugging masses that congregated at such sacred temples of speed as Oran Park, Sandown, Lakeside and mighty Mount Panorama soon took to calling the Japanese invader “Godzilla.” At first, it was probably just a term of endearment for a talented newcomer; soon, though, it became an epithet, as Antipodean race fans tired of the homegrown Holdens and Fords (even if the latter’s British-developed Sierra Cosworths were themselves adopted automotive citizens of sorts) being shut out of victory lane.
It was into this world that Godzilla’s little brother was born. We say little brother because this new car also brought an ate-up-with-boost turbocharged engine and AWD to the party. However, unlike the Skyline GT-R, Nissan’s new baby was raised to tackle rally stages. And its name is the Pulsar GTi-R.