9 Things We Just Learned About The Nissan Stagea Autech 260RS
There’s something deeply satisfying about driving a fast wagon. Jump into any version of the Audi RS6 Avant or Hemi-powered Dodge Magnum SRT8, and it’s an experience like no other. The ferocious pace aside, the joy comes from the fact that this is a wagon – a kicking family grocery hauler.
Very popular at the turn of the 2000s, sales of sports wagons have faded in recent years. With buyers opting for high-quality crossovers, there are now very few choices. The SUV craze is still in full swing. Vehicles like the 2022 Nissan Juke are expected to dominate sales. But don’t despair, because the used market holds the answer for those who want something different.
Yes, you can buy from German. There are several high-speed wagons like BMW and Mercedes-Benz that would scratch the itch. They’re perfectly capable machines… but they’re also boring. For the ultimate expression of fast wagons, there’s only one true answer: buy Japanese. And if you buy a JDM rocket, aim for one of the best, the Nissan Stagea. But don’t stop there, scroll to the top of the model tree and prepare to be impressed. Here are nine things we just learned about the Nissan Stagea Autech 260RS.
9 Vanilla Nissan Stagea
Produced from 1996 to 2007, the Stagea was Nissan’s answer to the Subaru Legacy. With four different versions to choose from, there are also several specifications. Each is well built and reliable and offers acres of interior space and a very comfortable ride.
Labeling the Stagea as a Skyline with a huge trunk is accurate but short-sighted. Available with similar power plants and drivetrain, the Stagea drives very differently. A more relaxed approach could be felt behind the wheel. He felt much more mature than his brother.
8 Autech Tuning Experts
Much like the M division is for BMW, Autech was Nissan’s tuning arm. With a history dating back to 1986, Autech has worked on some impressive projects, having tuned Skylines, Pulsar GTI and Silvia, to name a few. It also modifies disabled vehicles.
Subaru had already set a high benchmark with the impressive Legacy GT-B. Their twin-turbo creation was ballistically fast and very capable. So it was prudent for the tuning experts at Autech to take a Stagea and unleash something faster and much meaner.
seven The Ultimate JDM Cart
If the announced Nissan Skyline GTR is the king of Japanese performance cars, then the Autech 260 RS shares its throne. Autech crammed all the components that made the R33 Skyline GTR a legend into one wagon—a wagon that had so much attitude, it was almost unreal.
That means the iconic RB26DET engine hides under the hood and the ATTESA E-TS transmission glues it to the road, while a limited-slip differential aids the ride – all the ingredients to make a superb wagon. This is a recipe that offers an incredibly tasty result.
6 Ferocious performance
The 2.6-liter biturbo engine delivers an understated 276 hp. Many believed the true figure to be over 300 hp. Linked to a 5-speed gearbox, the 260RS can hit 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. A real wolf in sheep’s clothing, it delivers 260 lb/ft of torque. It is a very fast machine.
To keep an eye on the pace, a full range of GTR gauges have been added. The bolstered seats also keep the driver in place. Other key features are Brembo brakes, BBS alloys and strut bars, all to ensure the Autech 260RS is the best JDM wagon ever.
5 A mighty sleeper
There were only 1,734 Autech 260 RS wagons ever made. They are so rare that crossing one on the highway is an event. But then, for the most part, the Autech 260RS is an unknown factor. Only true gearheads would know what’s under the hood.
Unloading its full salvo of horses, this wagon induces a smile. It also surprises those who don’t know what it is, leaving them in its dust.
4 Very convenient
The Autech 260RS has other abilities than taming the black roof and humiliating muscle cars. The interior cabin is very generous. The seats are comfortable and the equipment levels are decent. It’s a great travel companion for those looking for adventure.
With the rear seats up, cargo space is generous. With them loose, it gets cavernous. The permanent AWD system offers security and comfort when the weather turns bad. The Autech 260RS is a wagon that offers so much and offers so much more.
3 Two versions available
Series 1 cars were manufactured from 1996 to 1998. During this two-year window, 986 cars were manufactured. Based on the Nissan Stagea RS Four, all cars were heavily overhauled by Autech. Only the visual aspects separate the two versions, but mechanically they are identical.
The series two cars are based on Stagea’s later design. 784 of them were made. The most notable change is the addition of a dual headlight in the center grille. The interior also has a premium feel. Both cars are insanely fast and well worth chasing.
2 A valid alternative
The Nissan Skyline R33 GTR is now an iconic classic car. Prices have risen considerably in recent years. Unencumbered examples are highly prized, with modified cars being even more expensive. An average model will cost around $60,000.
Offering everything a Skyline R33 GTR can and more, the Autech 260RS is a bargain. At around half the price of the R33 GTR, it offers the same thrills in a more sensible package. They are also bound to go up in value, so mark them as a decent investment.
1 A timeless tuner
Having absorbed all the good bits of one of the greatest cars of all time, the Autech 260RS has more to give. In standard form, it is quite fast. But Japanese cars are allergic to staying standard. Getting 1000bhp out of a 260RS is just a matter of parts for a tuner.
Upgrading, improving and making the Autech 260RS an unstoppable force is simple: just apply the rules for modifying a Skyline GTR. Bigger turbos, better brakes, complete engine swaps—the 260RS accommodates them all. It’s a great do-it-all wagon, after all.
For the price of a decent R33 GTR, why not just buy a pair of 260RS. One to keep in the garage and one to drive as intended. Moreover, you will not have missed any fun. Jumping into an Autech 260RS also refreshes the spirit. In a sea of SUVs and crossovers, it reminds a gearhead of the fast wagon fun that comes from embarrassing sports cars. It is a reset button for the modern automobile.