The return of Bayside Blue to the GT-R.
Twelve model years is a long time for a car to be on the market. Back in 2008, the Nissan GT-R only had to deal with the 911 Turbo making a mere 473 horsepower and having a conventional automatic transmission and the then-new Audi R8 having a single-clutch automated transmission and making just 414 horsepower. Now though, both of the latter cars have upped the ante with more power, stiffer unibodies and faster dual-clutch gearboxes, not to mention competition from all the new big players to the game like the C7 Corvette ZR1 and the new Acura NSX. Thankfully, Nissan has kept the GT-R fresh with little updates almost every year, and this year’s updates could be some of the most enticing yet.
The 2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition marks the first time since the R34 that a GT-R is available in Bayside Blue. On the R35 GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition it’s applied using a special four-coat double-heat treatment to make it the best factory rendition of Bayside Blue ever and is paired with blue accents on the wheels and white racing stripes. The two other available colour combinations are Pearl White with red stripes and Super Silver with white stripes. No matter which colour is chosen, each GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition comes with 50th Anniversary Edition finishers on the rear fascia including a subtle emblem with beveling similar to that on the GT fender emblems on the original Hakosuka Skyline GT-Rs.
Inside, all 50th Anniversary Edition GT-Rs come with a grey leather interior with unique steering wheel and shift knob trim, alcantara headliner and sun visors, embossed leather seats and a handful of other tasteful touches that are special to the 50th Anniversary Edition cars.
While output remains steady at 565 horsepower for both Premium and 50th Anniversary Edition GT-Rs that doesn’t mean that Nissan’s engineers haven’t been busy at work for the 2020 model year. More efficient turbochargers for sharper engine response, optimized exhaust manifolds, new titanium mufflers, an enhanced R mode for the six-speed dual-clutch transmission, re-tuned suspension and steering and a new brake booster to enhance both stopping power and pedal feel. 2020 Nissan GT-R Track Edition models gain the engine from the GT-R Nismo with enhanced turbochargers for 20 per cent better engine response and a boost in output to 600 horsepower. They also gain a carbon fibre roof that sports an incredibly tight weave that’s made possible by a new construction process.
When we drove the 2018 Nissan GT-R Premium last year we appreciated the warp-speed acceleration, the surprising suspension compliance given its hardcore disposition, the handsome interior and the way the GT-R just seems to slingshot out of corners. One thing we didn’t like as much was the somewhat clunky transmission that sometimes ignored low-RPM paddle shifter inputs completely and often had quite the paddle lag at normal speeds when not in R mode.
There’s no word yet on pricing for the 2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition, nor for the updated 2020 Nissan GT-R Track Edition, but expect them to roll into showrooms by the end of the year with price tags reasonably similar to those of the 2019 Nissan GT-R.