- Rare in France
- High performance
- Known history
At the start of the 1990s, Nissan jumped on the bandwagon for GTIs and offered a sporting version of its new N14 model to compete with its European rivals, which were enjoying worldwide success. The manufacturer’s ambition even drove it to enter the World Rally Championship, well known to be an exceptional showcase to sell production cars! At the time, the Lancia Delta Integrale dominated the world of rallying, so the Japanese car maker decided to launch an exceptionally sporty version with four-wheel drive, the GTI-R.
Homologated in Group A, the car flew the flag for Nissan in the World Rally Championship, making its official debut in the Safari Rally in the hands of Stig Blomqvist. The roadgoing version of the Group A car went on sale in Japan before coming to France, where the French importer Richard Nissan handled sales of it. Only 80 or so cars were sold in France, making it a true rarity!
Powered by a 2-litre 16-valve engine boosted by a Garrett T3 turbocharger, this pocket rocket was a killer of Deltas and Cosworths. Its maximum power of 220bhp was delivered to all four wheels by a revolutionary transmission with two viscous couplings, which progressively and automatically limited the degree of resistance required in the differential.
From the outside, the Sunny is not afraid to show its aggressive character! The enormous air scoop on the bonnet says it all but is highly effective in supplying air to the intercooler.
The model which we are offering for sale is an extremely rare French-market car sold new by the importer. It is a so-called ‘Light’ model, without ABS, air-conditioning or electric windows. With an original mileage of 185,000km (115,000 miles) and clear history, this rare machine was the subject of a feature in the French magazine KM/H in November 2015. On test, we found it to be powerful, lively and in perfect working order.
Known to its fans as the ‘Baby Godzilla’ in reference to the amazing Nissan Skyline nicknamed ‘Godzilla’, the Sunny GTI-R deserves to be better known than it is in France, as it offers unrivalled performance for the money.