RESPECT YOUR ELDERS - Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition
Godzilla turns 50, and Nissan is celebrating 50 years of GT-R with a very special model
Few vehicles in the world can be instantly identified by just three letters. But to motoring enthusiasts everywhere, "GT-R" has become synonymous not only with excitement, but supercar-rivalling performance as well.
Set to make its public debut at this weekend’s New York International Auto Show, Nissan will be unveiling their Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition. With this new model, engineers sought to push the boundaries even further, whilst still retaining the hallmarks that make it a true GT-R.
"A GT-R is about total balance management," said Hiroshi Tamura, chief product specialist for the GT-R. "It is not about chasing a power figures, but creating a new GT-R, where no aspect has been overlooked. This is appropriate to celebrate the GT-R 50th anniversary."
The 50th Anniversary edition will come in three heritage-era, two-tone exterior colour combinations meant to represent the GT-R's liveries from the Japan GP series - of which the original GT-R was born to dominate in. Retired since the GT-R "R34" model, Bayside (Wangan) Blue makes a return, complete with white racing stripes.
A four-coat, double-heat treatment process ensures a vivid blue with striking highlights and deep shadows. Blue accents on the wheel spokes are among several fine touches made to celebrate the GT-R's milestone. Pearl White with red stripes and Super Silver with white stripes round out the 50th Anniversary liveries.
Inside the 50th Anniversary Edition is a special grey interior colour scheme, which gives the cabin a sense of luxury, reminiscent of the atmosphere of the night sky after the twilight hour. Additional 50th anniversary features include unique steering wheel and shift knob trim, special embossed seats, an Alcantara headliner with unique stitching, Alcantara-wrapped sunvisors, and more.
"The Nissan GT-R has been the icon of our company's driving performance for the past half century," said Shinichiro Irie, program design director for the GT-R. "We were highly motivated to ensure that the GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition stands out. While the exterior and interior changes may seem subtle at first glance, they're still impactful, especially with the new paint schemes, keeping the car's lines and overall presence modern and edgy."
While many believed that the refinement and performance of the GT-R's 419kw (565-horsepower) 3.8-litre V6 24-valve twin-turbocharged engine - each handcrafted by its own takumi technician - were so high that there was no room for improvement, the car's engineers had a few tricks up their sleeves.
Among them was incorporating new turbochargers, which help increase the engine's low rpm response due to an abradable seal, providing tighter clearances and a 5% increase in efficiency. Overall, they provide even sharper engine response in and out of corners, making the driving experience more rewarding and richer than ever before.
The exhaust manifolds, inspired by racing technology, have optimized turbo flange attachment points, which allow for easier servicing and potential tuning, without touching the exhaust manifold. The GT-R's signature exhaust note is the product of a new titanium muffler, featuring titanium finishers with burnished blue tips.
GT-R features a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission with a refined "R mode," made for both road and track. It features more aggressive downshifts to better anticipate swift cornering exits, with gear selection happening during ABS engagement, resulting in reduced understeer and a more driver-intuitive feeling. The adaptive shift control is programmed to change shift schedules to fit the user's driving style, making it possible to drive according to the law on public roads, with full brute force available on the race track, without needing to manually change shift modes (in A mode/R mode).
The electronically controlled suspension has been retuned to provide better cornering stability and a smoother ride. The steering is more linear and precise than ever, requiring minimal corrections at speeds of up to 300kph. A new brake booster has been fitted and increases the initial braking response by engaging with less pedal stroke, resulting in enhanced stopping power and feel.
Sitting at the top of the GT-R pile is the updated GT-R Track Edition, a car honed for those who want to track their cars. It features an optional carbon-fibre roof and for US-spec models, gets propulsion from the same motor as the GT-R NISMO, which now uses turbochargers from the latest GT3 series GT-R race car. This results in a 20% increase in pedal-down acceleration reaction time and 441kw (600 horsepower).
Nissan South Africa are yet to confirm if the special edition GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition, will be made available to South Africa. Currently the Nissan GT-R is available in two variants in South Africa, the GT-R Premium Edition priced at R2 235 300, and the GT-R Black Edition at R2 338 400, with both using the same 408kw VR38DETT powerplant.