This guide has been written for the Nissan Skyline Silhouette GTS Sedan, produced in limited numbers by Nissan Australia’s "Special Vehicles Division" (SVD) in 1989 and 1990. Although officially known as the Silhouette "GTS", enthusiasts and the media have attributed the "GTS2" name to this vehicle to distinguish it from the previous SVD GTS released in 1988. For clarity, we have referred to the car throughout this guide as the GTS2. Built in very low numbers, these Skylines have a strong following and are recognised as a unique piece of Nissan Australia’s history. Classic Register currently hosts a number of GTS2 vehicles on the Register - please feel free to upload your car's details so we can document as many of these rare skylines as possible.

The SVD GTS2 has a number of unique features when compared to its standard counterparts, and was built to provide an exclusive and high performance option for Skyline customers during the period when the R31 GTS-R skyline was competing in the Australian Touring Car Championship. The idea of a higher performance Australian built skyline was initially teased to the public as a concept car (known as the Super Silhouette Turbo) at the 1987 Sydney International Motor Show.1 This concept car had a similar appearance to the final GTS1 design release in 1988. An intercooled turbo sedan developed by SVD went on to be used as a pace car in several high profile Australian motorsport events including the 1988 Australian Grand Prix, further promoting the SVD brand.2 Following a successful production run of 200 GTS1 vehicles in 1988, the GTS2 was launched. Six GTS2 vehicles were also purchased by the Tasmanian police for traffic and pursuit work in 1990, reflecting a similar order made for the GTS1 in 1988.On release, the GTS1 cost $35,490 (AUD) with the manual transmission, and $37,090 (AUD) for the automatic.4

Production numbers:

200 units were produced by SVD, each individually numbered with a plaque on the dash, and unique vehicle identification plate. This included 96 manuals, and 104 automatics. Unlike the GTS1 which was based on the Silhouette model, The GTS2 started out as a GXE model, and was built with certain accessories stripped or altered before being sent to the SVD factory for modification.5 In addition to the 200 civilian GTS vehicles produced, 6 additional GTS2 vehicles were produced for the Tasmanian police in 1990. Further information on these police vehicles and other service vehicles with SVD involvement are summarised on section 6 of this guide.

Period of manufacture:

The majority of GTS2 vehicles were built between August 1989 and December 1990. However, several orders are believed to have extended production through to as late as April 1991.6

Please note, this guide has been written based on a variety of period magazine articles, online sources and enthusiast input. You should not rely on this guide to make any purchasing decision and we make no representation that all information is accurate. You should always seek independent professional advice when looking to purchase a unique car. If you have additional information, photographs or corrections you believe could improve this guide, please contact us so we can improve this page for everyone's benefit.

1. Exterior features - Nissan Skyline R31 GTS2 Silhouette (SVD)
  • GTS2s were based on the Series 3 R31 GXE model.7 All GTS2s were 4-door sedans.
  • All GTS2 vehicles were painted "Beacon Red" (paint code: 319). However, six vehicles ordered by the Tasmanian Police Force were painted "Classic White" (paint code: 915).8 See section 6 of this guide below for further details and specification of the GTS2 police vehicles.
  • Vehicles were fitted with a unique body kit that including a revised front bumper/splitter with integrated fog lights, grille blanking panel, side skirts, rear bumper and bootlid spoiler.
  • The bootlid spoiler had an integrated tail light, and the rear parcel shelf mounted tail light was therefore deleted.
  • “Nissan SVD” decals were applied to the left hand side of the bootlid. A “Silhouette” decal was applied to the right hand side of the bootlid, and rear door side mouldings  (see images).
  • "GTS" was cast in large text on the centre of the front grille panel, and the rear bumper. The front bumper also had “Nissan” embossed on the passenger side.
  • Body trims were de-chromed and painted satin black (this included the window frames and door handles).
  • Vehicles were fitted with Yokohama 215/55 ZR tyres mounted on white 16 x 7 inch 6-spoke alloy wheels.9 These were painted "Classic White" (paint code: 915), and had "Nissan" embossed on the centre caps.
  • A fixed central roof-mounted antenna was fitted (as opposed to the standard antenna mounted on the rear passenger mudguard).
  • Tinted windows were applied as standard.10
2. Interior features - Nissan Skyline R31 GTS2 Silhouette (SVD)
  • Velour cloth Scheel front seats (Australian made and hand stitched - customised by SVD). Rear seats were bolstered to match, and included matching headrests.
  • The grey trim applied to the seats and door cards (trim code: K) was the same as that applied to the GXE model Skyline. To differentiate the GTS trim, the seats had “GTS” logos embroidered in red on the centre of the back rests, and red stitching applied to the seams. The six GTS2 police vehicles, however, received only plain grey cloth without the GTS embroidery or red stitching.11 See section 6 of this guide below for further details with respect to police vehicles.
  • Dashboard plastics were as per the GXE model, being single tone grey with a black surround panel on the central dash (as opposed to the two-tone dash on the GTS1).
  • A leather bound 4-spoke Momo steering wheel was originally fitted. This wheel had an exposed central boss and spokes, with a "Nissan SVD" badge on a black background in the centre. On the rear side of one spoke you will see several stamped markings including: “MOMO”, "Made in Italy", "Type M38", and a 4-digit month and year of build (which should be 1987), and the part number "KBA 70056".
  • A security coded Eurovox sound system was fitted standard, as was a security alarm system. The original sound system had “Nissan Special Vehicles Division” printed on the tape entry flap.12
  • As the GTS2 was based on the GXE trim level, the comprehensive trip computer was lost, and replaced with a clock.
  • An additional driving light switch was applied to the dashboard (right hand side of the steering wheel).
  • Instrumentation included a 200km/h speedometer and tachometer redlining at 5,500 RPM.
  • A uniquely numbered SVD build badge was applied to the glovebox lid.
  • Like the GTS1, the GTS2 had wind-up windows, however, was fitted with central locking as standard.13
  • A unique owners manual supplement was provided with the cars, as shown in the images.
3. Chassis number and SVD build number - Nissan Skyline R31 GTS2 Silhouette (SVD)

Model number:14

The GTS2 was allocated its own unique GTS model code, unlike the GTS1 which had the Silhouette model code applied. In the case of all civilian GTS2 vehicles, a model number of CJR31FGTS or CJR31AGTS was applied. We note that the 6th digit "F" referred to the manual transmission, and "A" referred to the automatic transmission. We have noted that on some (but not all) vehicles, this model number is often followed by a "3", we presume reflecting the series 3 Skyline used as the basis for the GTS2.

The six GTS2 vehicles produced for the Tasmanian police were allocated a GXE model code, rather than the GTS code outlined above. This code reads CJR31FGXE3, and all transmissions were manual as per the 6th digit "F". See section 6 of this guide below for further details with respect to police vehicles.

 

Chassis number:

The GTS2 is allocated a standard HR31 Skyline chassis number from the factory, as the vehicles are originally derived from the GXE model. The chassis number should begin with "J", followed by a 5-digit unique number. The chassis numbers we have sighted during our research have been between J14000 and J22000, however, this is only based on a small sample. The chassis number is located in several positions:

  1. Embossed on the vehicle’s Nissan build plate (mounted on the passenger side upper-bulkhead next to the SVD build plate).
  2. Stamped into the upper-central bulkhead in the engine bay (next to the Australian compliance plate).
  3. Embossed on the vehicle’s compliance plate (mounted on the driver’s side bulkhead in the engine bay).
  4. Stamped into the vehicle’s SVD build plate (mounted on the passenger side upper bulkhead next to the Nissan build plate).

Naturally, it is important to confirm that the chassis number noted on the SVD build plate is the same as that located in positions 1-3 as described above.

 

SVD build number:14

The SVD build number will appear in two locations:

  1. On the SVD build plate (mounted on the passenger side upper bulkhead next to the Nissan build plate).
  2. On the badge fitted to the glovebox lid.

For civilian vehicles, this will be a 3-digit number between 001 and 200. However, the Tasmanian police vehicles were produced in addition to the batch of 200 red cars, and will have a build number of between "TP1" - "TP7". See the example provided in the images. See section 6 of this guide below for further details with respect to police vehicles.

 

Observations with respect to build numbers and build dates: 

A build date will appear on both the Nissan chassis plate and the SVD plate as demonstrated in the images. We have undertaken a small sample analysis of Nissan chassis plates and SVD plates on the GTS2 vehicles, and note there is generally a 2 - 4 month gap between the Nissan build date, and the SVD build date, which could make sense in terms of build-delivery-rebuild time. Interestingly, we have noted that certain cars have an earlier build number, but a later SVD build date. For example, SVD car number 21 was built on 16 October 1989, whilst car number 170 was also built on the 6th October 1989 - and we have sighted several other similar examples. This suggests the cars were not necessarily finished in the order of their build number allocation. Anyone with further information on the production process is encouraged to contact us or comment below.

4. Engine number and transmission specification - Nissan Skyline R31 GTS2 Silhouette (SVD)

The GTS2 was fitted with the RB30E engine, which was essentially the same engine block as applied to the standard GXE model. Naturally, a number of modifications were made to the GTS2 engines and ancillaries (including improvements over the GTS1 engine) to ensure a substantial power increase occurred. See the mechanical features section of this guide for specific details.

 

Engine number format:

The RB30E engine will have a number in the format: 1#####A

The engine so far sighted for GTS2 vehicles have been between 176000A and 179000A, however, there may be exceptions and further data will need to be collected to comprehensively make any conclusion.

 

Engine number location:

The engine number on the RB30E is provided in two locations:

  1. Stamped into a small flat area on the inlet side (driver's side) of the engine block. This small flat area is located toward the front of the block, slightly lower and forward of the oil filter. Below the engine number, "RB30" will be cast into the engine block.
  2. Embossed on the vehicle's Nissan build plate.

 

Transmission specification:

The original transmission in a GTS2 will be confirmed by the vehicle's model number, located on the Nissan build plate. This number will read as CJR31FGTS or CJR31AGTS. The relevant digit for the transmission specification is digit 6: (F = 5-speed manual, A = 4-speed automatic). 

 

5. Mechanical features - Nissan Skyline R31 GTS2 Silhouette (SVD)

Engine specifications:16

The GTS2 was based on the standard RB30E 3.0l (2962cc) fuel injected SOHC engine (as used in many other Australian R31 skylines), however, several modifications were made to the engine accessories to increase power, including increasing the power above the previous generation GTS1. Modifications to the engine included many of the same elements as applied to the GTS1, such as the 2.25 inch stainless steel extractors / exhaust system, a stage 1 re-profiled camshaft (developed by Wade Engineering in Melbourne)17 and an oil cooler. Nismo Australia reportedly also assisted with the design and development of the engine improvements.12 Additional work on the GTS2 was undertaken to the camshaft and engine head, altering the valve timing along with the introduction of the piggyback ECU (i.e., an ECU which worked with the pre-existing Nissan unit as an auxiliary). The engine had the same compression ratio as the GTS1 of 9.0:1, but now produced 10kw more power.  The GTS2 produced 140kw @ 5,600rpm, and 270Nm of torque @ 4,400rpm. ​This provided for a 0 – 100 sprint in 8.9 seconds (9.2 seconds for the automatic) - results vary depending on source, and a top speed of 220km/h.

 

Other mechanical specifications and enhancements:18

  • The GTS2 SVD engine can be identified by the semi-gloss black rocker cover with embossed red stripe and red Nissan text.
  • Returned springs, bilstein gas dampers, 27mm front sway bar (vs 25mm on the standard car). The Fred Gibson Racing Team (Gibson Motorsport) was involved in the suspension setup development.
  • Speed-sensitive power assisted steering.
  • Yokohama 215/55 VR tyres mounted on white 16 x 7 inch 6-spoke alloy wheels.
  • Larger front disc brakes than the standard car, and upgraded pads all-round. The GTS1 received the GTS-R disc brake package (discs / rotors and callipers) at the front (outer diameter 274mm x 22mm rotors / Inner diameter 60.6mm x 22mm). The model number for these GTS-R brakes is CL28VB. Rear discs are 260mm x 10mm in diameter. The GTS1 and GTS2 also had a revised master cylinder design (split point).
  • Available as a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. The manual transmissions had a final drive ration of 3.7:1, and the auto 3.9:1. The automatic transmission was fitted with an auxiliary transmission oil cooler.
  • A limited slip differential was fitted standard.
  • Inbuilt alarm system and comprehensive digital trip computer was a standard feature.
  • Central locking, power windows and cruise control were deleted from the GTS1 to keep costs and weight down.
  • Full flow oil cooler system
  • Spare wheel was a 6JJ x 15 inch steel rim, fitted with a 205/65 HR15 tyres.

6. Police and emergency services vehicles - Nissan Skyline R31 GTS2 Silhouette (SVD)

Several special orders for the GTS2 (or cars of a similar specification to the GTS2) were placed by Australian state government departments including the Tasmanian police, Victorian police and the Victorian fire brigade. Each order, and its relation to the civilian GTS2 has been outlined below.

 

Tasmanian Police GTS2 vehicles:19

The Tasmanian police placed an order for six GTS2 vehicles, which were built in addition to the civilian batch of 200 cars. This was a repeat order, having placed the same order for the GTS1 vehicles in 1988. The GTS2 police vehicles were all produced from April 1990, and are mechanically the same as the civilian GTS2 vehicles. There are, however, certain differences including:

  • All were painted "Classic White" (paint code: 915). Police cars were originally dressed in full police force signage with all lights and equipment set up for highway patrol.
  • No "GTS" badges were applied to the front grille or rear bumper of police vehicles.
  • The trim material applied was not customised by SVD like it was on the civilian vehicles (there was no red stitching and no "GTS" embroidery on the seats).
  • Police vehicles received a 3-spoke GXE steering wheel in place of the 4-spoke MOMO wheel.
  • No build number badge was applied to the glovebox lid.
  • The SVD build plate on the police GTS (on the bulkhead) will state a build number of between "TP1" and "TP6". See section 3 of this guide for further details.
  • These six police vehicles were allocated a GXE model code on their Nissan build plate, rather than the GTS code, as outlined above in section 3 of this guide. The model code for a police GTS reads CJR31FGXE3, and all transmissions were manual as per the 6th digit "F".

 

Victorian police and fire vehicles:20

Several vehicles with the same mechanical specifications as the GTS2 were also built for the Victorian police force and fire brigade. 6 are believed to have been built for the police, and 7 for the fire brigade. Both the police and fire vehicles are believed to have been built in February/March, 1990, but these vehicles were not fitted with an SVD build plate. These vehicles shared only the mechanical features with the GTS2, but had a standard exhaust system fitted from the catalytic converter back, and were fitted with 15 inch steel wheels rather than the white 16 inch wheels of the GTS2. In addition, SVD fitted the police cars with a speedometer calibrating device integrated in the car's dash, and both police and fire vehicles were fitted with an additional vent in the front bumper for the oil cooler. These special order Skylines were otherwise GX Skylines with certain police/fire trim and features. We have one example of these Victorian Police Skylines here on Classic Register. See also the attached images detailing the Victorian Police R31 Skyline specifications. Note - 20 additional R31 Skylines were recorded as being ordered by the Victorian police, however, these vehicles were unrelated to the GTS2.

  • The VIN / chassis numbers of the Victorian police vehicles include: J24316, J29367, J29429, J29431, J29433 and J29539.
  • Known VIN / chassis numbers of the Victorian fire brigade vehicles include: J29369, J29471, J29503 and J29507, J29511, J29513 and J29515.

 

7. History, original documentation and promotional material - Nissan Skyline R31 GTS2 Silhouette (SVD)

Attached is a small collection of original brochures / advertisements for the GTS2. They are displayed here for historical purposes and Classic Register claims no ownership of these documents. If any readers have copies of early documentation (such as brochures, advertisements or specification sheets), please contact us so we can display the information for the benefit of enthusiasts.

8. References - Nissan Skyline R31 GTS2 Silhouette (SVD)

 

The following sources (as referenced in the text), among input from many owners and enthusiasts, have contributed to the creation of this page. If you have any further information you believe can be added, please let us know by contacting us or commenting below.

  1. Modern Motor Magazine, May 1987 pp.36-41.
  2. Per discussion and examples on https://forum.r31skylineclub.com/news.php.
  3. Original newspaper article extract on the famous & notable R31 skyline thread: https://forum.r31skylineclub.com/index.php?topic=152014.0 confirming the Police ordered six GTS1 vehicles, but noting that very little is known about these. See also the comprehensive discussion regarding police vehicles on https://forum.r31skylineclub.com/index.php?topic=45092.0
  4. Car Australia Magazine, October 89, p.62
  5. Based on early documentation obtained from the Nissan factory sighted by a 3rd party source, and confirmed by the model code on GTS2 police chassis plates, and trim specifications sighted.
  6. Base on vehicles sighted during research, and discussion of GTS build dates on several forums including https://forum.r31skylineclub.com.
  7. Confirmed by multiple enthusiasts on www.sau.com.au and https://forum.r31skylineclub.com. Also based on an assessment of the trim specifications of GTS2 vehicles sighted to date, all conforming with the GXE specifications, along with GTS2 police vehicle model codes sighted.
  8. This Classic White paint colour and code for the wheels and police vehicles is a presumption, and has not been confirmed with any original source documents.
  9. See original GTS2 advertisement,  + confirmed in Motor Magazine, August 1989, and Car Australia Magazine, October 1989 pp.57-63.
  10. Car Australia Magazine, August 1989 pp.30-31.
  11. Conclusion drawn based on civilian and police vehicle trim sighted during research.
  12. Confirmed by sighting an SVD GTS2 with the original unit fitted, appearing to be the same spec Eurovox system as fitted to the GTS1 vehicles.
  13. See GTS2 advertisement brochure + confirmed in Car Australia Magazine, August 1989 pp.30-31, and Car Australia Magazine, October 1989 pp.57-63.
  14. Based on a sample of vehicle chassis plates sighted.
  15. Based on a sample of vehicle build plates sighted.
  16. Per information provided on svd.asn.au, the original GTS2 advertisement and Car Australia Magazine, August 1989 pp.30-31, and Car Australia Magazine, October 1989 pp.57-63.
  17. Per information provided on svd.asn.au and confirmed in additional forum discussion (note - Previously the SVD owner's website, the site is no longer active), and Car Australia Magazine, October 1989 pp.57-63.
  18. Per information provided on svd.asn.au. and the GTS2 brochure and Car Australia Magazine, August 1989 pp.30-31, and Car Australia Magazine, October 1989 pp.57-63.
  19. Information based on several vehicles sighted, and on comprehensive discussion on several threads including: https://forum.r31skylineclub.com/index.php?topic=152014.0 and https://forum.r31skylineclub.com/index.php?topic=45092.0