This identification / buyers guide has been developed for those interested in the Nissan Stagea 260RS Autech edition. This guide focuses on the Series 1 car built between 1996 and 1998, noting that only aesthetic changes differentiate it from the series 2. A guide for the Series 2 can be found by clicking here. The Stagea 260RS Autech (otherwise known as the GTR wagon), is a special tuned version of the Nissan Stagea produced by Autech in Japan. These cars were essentially standard RS Four cars sent from the Nissan factory to Autech, where they then underwent extensive modifications.

These cars demand a premium above standard Stageas, and are desirable due to their GTR roots packaged in a practical body. As with many cars, there are many replicas out there (particularly so with the 260RS due to the cars close links to the RS4 turbo), and it is important to understand what features are unique to the 260RS in order to make a sound purchasing decision, or to bring a car back to factory specifications. This guide intends to provide information on the 260RS including external and internal features, engine and chassis number details as well as mechanical features unique to the car.

Period of manufacture:

Series 1 (1996 to late 1998)

Number produced:

We have now confirmed through GTR-registry.com that 1,734  Stagea 260RSs were produced (including series 1 and 2). Previous estimates among enthusiasts had assumed roughly 2000 cars were produced.The breakdown between series 1 and 2 is:

- 986 (Series 1)

- 784 (Series 2)

A further breakdown of the numbers produced in each colour can be seen in the paint colour / codes section of this guide (section 5).

Please note, this page has been written as a broad guide only, based on a variety of online sources and enthusiast input, but should not be relied upon in any circumstances. We recommend you seek independant professional advice if you are looking at purchasing a rare vehicle such as this. We encourage those familiar with these cars to comment or contact us with suggestions, corrections and further information, so we can keep this guide as accurate as possible.

1. External Features - Nissan Stagea 260RS Autech (Series 1):

The Nissan Stagea 260RS Series 1 had the following external features, which make a good starting point for the identification of a genuine car:

  • Unique front and rear spoiler, side skirts and tailgate spoiler.
  • Rear undercarriage shield/protector.
  • Standard ground clearance: 145 mm (5.7"). Standard overall height: 1510 mm (59.4").
  • 17" X 7" silver BBS wheels. (Front offset: +30 / Rear offset: +20). Look closely at the centre of the wheels, they should have BBS casting marks somewhere between the wheel stud holes, and a black Autech centre caps stating "Produced by Autech Japan". They should also have a sticker in the rim confirming they are for front or rear use only (see images).
  • Series 1 tail lights were non-gloss / non-mirror finish lenses.
  • Series 1 front headlights and grille design.
  • "Autech Version" badge on lower RHS tailgate, with "260RS" badge directly below.
  • "Autech Version" badge on front LHS grille.
  • Roof racks (as were standard on most Stagea models).
  • The 260RS should NOT be fitted with a sunroof, which can be a giveaway for a re-birthed car.

If you are aware of any additional unique features, please don't hesitate to contact us.

2. Interior Features - Nissan Stagea 260RS Autech (Series 1):

The Nissan Stagea 260RS Autech edition had the following interior features:

  • Unique seat trim material, very similar to the R33 GTR trim. This had suede like side panels, and a silver/grey fabric in the centre. Note, Series 1 cars have slightly different seats to the series 2, notably; the Series 1 seats do not have a hole in the headrest and are a slightly different shape.
  • Leather gear shift knob.
  • Leather park brake handle.
  • GTR style gauges (front torque split, oil pressure and boost) in central dash with grey background.
  • 260RS Series 1 did NOT have the pop out cup holders in the dash.
  • All electric windows.
  • Dashboard insert panel had a gloss piano black finish, unique to the 260RS (see images for panel referred to).
  • R33 GTR steering wheel.
  • Tachometer that redlines at 8000 RPM (Same as R33 GTR).
  • The 260RS has an "S" button on the dash which will bypass the control system of the ATESSA E-TS computer and lock the transfer case into full 4WD (i.e. synchronises the torque split 50/50). 
3. Chassis Number and Model Number - Nissan Stagea 260RS Autech (Series 1):

The chassis number on a Series 1 260RS should begin with the following prefix:

E-WGNC34 - This will be followed by a 6 digit number unique to the individual car.

The Model number on a Series 1 206RS should be as follows:

TGKNRFAC34UDAP88AZ

 

Chassis and model number locations:

The chassis number should be located in two positions on the car. Firstly, it should be printed on the vehicle's plate, which is riveted to the driver’s side firewall / bulkhead in the engine bay. Secondly, it should be stamped next to the data plate, into the bulkhead/firewall itself, further towards the centre of the bulkhead. These locations are shown in the attached images.

The model number is also stated on the data plate, directly below the chassis number. Again, this is demonstrated in the attached images.

 

An important side note: 260RS cars are fitted with data plates which state the car has an RB25 engine in it, not an RB26. The data plate shown in the images has been modified, so please ignore the red section which says RB26. The reason they have RB25 data plates is because Autech bought the chassis from Nissan which were already allocated a chassis plate (i.e., they were intended to be RS4’s). The cars had no drivelines or engines fitted, and Autech installed the RB26DETT engine and GTR driveline into the RS4 shell.

As an additional recommended check, run the VIN/chassis number in question through Nissans online VIN decoder to confirm that the car is in fact a genuine 260RS. When you run your VIN through Nissan’s "FAST" software, a couple of outcomes will confirm if it is genuine.

1. a small blue pop-up screen appears stating that it’s an Autech vehicle (see image attached), or;

2. The display fields will confirm the vehicle is a 260RS with the RB26DETT engine (see image attached).

As with most cars, there is always potential for a re-birth to have occurred. The best way to check (along with the other tips in this guide)  is to remove the plastic cowl along the front of the windscreen, and check for any signs of aftermarket welding, which may indicate a new chassis number has been installed.

4. Engine Number - Nissan Stagea 260RS Autech (Series 1):

A Nissan Stagea 260RS Autech edition should have an engine number in the following format:

RB26

Followed by a 7 digit unique engine number.

Location of engine number:

The engine number can be seen on the inlet side of the engine block, under the thermostat / radiator connector pipe. The dipstick tube also obscures it a bit so you may need a mirror. The first line says RB26, followed by the 7 digit unique number directly underneath that. See the images for the location and an example.

The engine number in a 260RS is the same as the R33 GTR. Unfortunately, like most RB26 engines, it is not possible to confirm that the engine is in fact the absolute original from your car, unless you have very early paperwork you can check. However, you are able to confirm from the engine number that it is the correct type for the car, as well as confirm that it is from approximately the correct year.

As the 260RS Series 1 was produced from 1996 - 1998, you should expect to see an engine number beginning RB26-06XXXX through to RB26-08XXXX, representing those year ranges.

Note also that the Stagea 260RS used the standard GTR block, not the N1 block. Therefore, you should see 05U stamped on the block, confirming it is the correct block type in the RB26 range. The attached images show the location of this casting.

5. Paint Colours and Codes - Nissan Stagea 260RS Autech (Series 1)

A limited range of colours are believed to have been available on the 260RS Series I. The colours listed in the table below are believed to be the only ones available. There may have been special order colours that have not been listed here, and if anyone has information, please pass it on so we can improve this section.


Paint Colour Paint Code Number Built
Sonic Silver KR4 138
Silky Snow Pearl White WK1 652
Dark Bluish Black Pearl KJ6 196

The paint code is located on the chassis plate as per the attached image. Build numbers courtesy GTR-registry.com.

 

6. Mechanical Features - Nissan Stagea 260RS Autech (Series 1):

The 260RS Autech Stagea had the following standard mechanical features. These features are the same in the series 2 cars:

  • 2.6 litre DOHC twin turbo inline 6 cylinder (RB26DETT - R33 GTR engine).
  • 5 speed manual transmission (same as R33 GTR).
  • Fitted with the ATTESA E-TS 4WD system. Has an "S" button on the dash which will bypass the control system of the ATESSA E-TS computer and lock the transfer case into full 4WD. 
  • Rear mechanical LSD and stabilising bar.
  • 17" silver/alloy BBS forged wheels. (Front offset: +30 / Rear offset: +20).
  • Front and rear original tyres = 225/50R17.
  • Front brakes: Brembo vented discs w/4 Piston calipers (330mm rotors).
  • Rear brakes: Brembo vented discs w/2 Piston calipers.
  • Drivers side rear boot compartment should contain a bottle / reservoir with ATF fluid.
  • Looking underneath the car, between the engine and gearbox, the chassis rails slope on a 45 degree angle before levelling out. On the angled part of the chassis rails, Autech cars have a brace bar for additional strength.
  • Super Hicas steering.
  • Diff lock button.
  • Front suspension strut brace – note, adjustment position on the centre strut brace is at the centre of the brace on a RS260, whereas it’s normally on the sides on the RS4.
  • 260RS suspension should have forks at the bottom. If the suspension has an eyelet, this is a giveaway that it may be a converted RS Four.
  • Look at the clutch master in the engine bay, specifically the recessed part in the firewall where it sits. A 260RS Autech has the master cylinder recessed in 40mm, whilst an RS Four is not recessed at all.
  • 4.11 diff ratios front and rear.
References

The following websites provided valuable information for the production of this identification guide. We value the input of all 260RS enthusiasts and encourage you to get in contact with us or comment below if you have further information on these cars, so we can get as much information to those whp are looking at purchasing or restoring them to factory specifications.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Stagea

http://www.sau.com.au/

http://www.gtr.co.uk

http://www.supercars.net

http://www.skylineowners.com

http://www.GTR-registry.com