Nissan taps history for 50th anniversary GT-R

2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition comes in three heritage colours

Published: April 20, 2019, 5:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 2:54 PM

Nissan GT-R 50 anniversary

Nissan is celebrating the 50th birthday of its high-performance coupe with a special 2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition.

As with the original Skyline GT-R introduced in 1969, engineers were challenged to find undiscovered performance potential in a car that could be enjoyed by drivers or any driving level.

“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.”

The special edition car will come in three heritage-era exterior colours, meant to represent liveries from the Japan GP series, which the original car was created to dominate. Bayside (Wangan) Blue hasn’t been seen on a GT-R since the R34 of 2002 but makes a return to the colour palette finished off with white racing stripes and blue accents on the wheel spokes. The GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition also comes in Pearl White (with red stripes) and Super Silver (with white stripes).

The interior is done up in grey to provide a sense of luxury, reportedly reminiscent of the colour of the sky after the twilight hour. Notable features include unique steering wheel and shift knob, seat embossing, Alcantara headliner with unique stitching, and Alcantara sun visors, among others.

“A GT-R is about total balance management,” said Hiroshi Tamura, Nissan’s 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.”

While sceptics doubted the ability to improve on the superb performance and refinement of the 3.8-litre twin-turbo engine, technicians swapped in new turbochargers to improve the engine response at lower rpm, provide tighter clearances and improve efficiency by 5%.

The car also features a revised 6-speed dual-clutch automatic with an improved R-mode. It provides more aggressive downshifts. It also features adaptive shift control, which seamlessly changes shift profiles according to the driving style at the moment, meaning it can go from feathery economy mode in traffic to full-on brute force mode on the track, without the driver needing to physically change shift modes.

The electronically controlled suspension has been further tuned to provide better stability in corners and maintain a smoother ride. The steering Is more linear and precise, and a new brake booster increases initial braking response with less pedal travel.

A Track Edition adds a carbon-fibre roof, the GT-R Nismo engine (with newly redesigned turbochargers from the latest GT3 race car to boost horsepower from 565 to 600 and torque from 467 lb-ft to 481). It can be further enhanced with Brembo carbon-ceramic rotors and calipers, and performance brake pads.