Nissan’s GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition Is a Thing of Beauty

Joanna Estrada
April 20, 2019

Nissan didn't give fans a new GT-R or a new Z at the 2019 New York Auto Show. After more than a decade of continuous improvements, the gained knowledge has resulted in the GT3-inspired 2020 Nismo.

Like the 50th Anniversary Edition Nissan 370Z that was also unveiled in NY, the commemorative GT-R amounts to an appearance package, with color schemes inspired by Japan's GP racing series.

Much like the king of monsters it was named after, the Nissan GT-R is an incredibly powerful beast capable of destroying its toughest foes.

The dash of the GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition is wrapped in a seamless piece of Nappa leather. Finally, a new brake booster improves brake response by making the brakes engage with less pedal stroke. A revised titanium exhaust now wears blue tips.

The engine is mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission mounted at the rear for better weight distribution and drives all four wheels via a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system. The Nismo should handle a little sharper, not only as a result of the weight reduction, but also because it gets some suspension tweaks meant to improve ride and handling.

The Dunlops are working with a newly revised suspension for claimed smoother ride quality, and increased cornering stability. Likewise, the steering and braking systems have been optimized to be more responsive.

The Nismo gets a new turbocharger design that's been pulled straight from the GT-R GT3 race vehicle, resulting in improved engine response. Carbon-fiber body parts and lightweighting elsewhere have led to a near-70-pound weight loss. The NISMO's front fenders in particular now feature scalloped vents as seen on the GT-R GT3 race vehicle that aid aerodynamics and engine cooling and add downforce. The ultimate street-legal GT-R also gets lighter 20-inch wheels with a new nine-spoke design.

The more substantial changes concern the more extreme GT-R Track Edition and GT-R Nismo models, but the base vehicle, known as the Premium, benefits from a special 50th anniversary package that's available with the GT-R's iconic Bayside Blue paint. Nissan says the contact patch has been boosted by 11%. The vehicle's three heritage-era paint jobs point to the GT-R's liveries from the Japan GP series, presented in Bayside (Wangan) Blue with white racing stripes, Pearl White with red stripes, and Super Silver with white stripes.

Nissan's also put the top GT-R on a bit of a diet.

The 50th Anniversary Edition GT-R is also sportier, with upgrades including a refined "R" mode designed for exiting corners more quickly on the road or on track days, plus gear shift paddles so you can keep your hands on the wheel.

Regardless of the exterior, all 50th Anniversary GT-Rs come with a gray interior featuring embossed seats and an Alcantara headliner. While official pricing on the 2020 GT-R hasn't been released yet, we expect that to be announced before it goes on sale this summer.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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