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50 years on: The Nissan GT-R era of perfection speeds on

  • Five decades’ experience goes into new GT-R
  • Several versions of anniversary driving gem
  • Two spec levels – with multi-million prices
2019 PIECE OF HISTORY: The 50th Anniversary Nissan GT-R – Image: Nissan Motor

ROSSLYN, South Africa – Few vehicles in the world can be instantly identified by just three letters but to motoring enthusiasts everywhere GT-R has its own exalted space that involves excitement, high-performance and refinement.

So, making its debut at the 2019 New York International Auto Show, the 2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition takes the nameplate to a level unimaginable five decades earlier. GT-R engineers, the automaker said, challenged themselves to find new performance potential while still making sure the car will be enjoyed by any driver.

2019 PIECE OF HISTORY: The 50th Anniversary Nissan GT-R – Image: Nissan Motor

Hiroshi Tamura, chief product specialist involved with the GT-R, told The Corner in a media release: “A GT-R is about total balance, not about chasing a power figure but instead creating a new GT-R in and on which no aspect has been overlooked.”


The 2020 Nissan GT-R will be available in South Africa with a choice of two spec levels: GT-R Premium and GT-R Black Edition. Some regions / countries will also stock Pure, Prestige and Nismo models but Nissan SA believes the 50th Anniversary Edition truly celebrates the GT-R’s rich heritage.

”Heritage-era” two-tone finishes are said to represent the GT-R’s liveries from the Japan GP series – which the GT-R was created to do,minate 50 years ago. Bayside (Wangan) Blue, retired since the GT-R “R34” model,  is back, with white race stripes. Blue wheel-rim spokes, Nissan says, are among several touches intended to celebrate the GT-R’s history: Pearl White with red stripes and Super Silver with white stripes.

The 50th Anniversary Edition has a specific grey interior which, Nissan believes, gives the cabin a sense of luxury. More ’50th’ features are a unique steering-wheel and gearshifter, embossed upholstery, and Alcantara roof lining and sun visors.

2019 PIECE OF HISTORY: The 50th Anniversary Nissan GT-R – Image: Nissan Motor

Shinichiro Irie, design director for the GT-R, had a few words, too…

“The Nissan GT-R has been the icon of our company’s driving performance for a half-century. We were highly motivated to ensure that the 50th Anniversary Edition stood out. The exterior/interior changes may seem subtle but have impact, especially with the new paint schemes.”


Initial impressions for the anniversary cars  believed the GT-R’s 412kW, 3.8-litre, V6, quad-valve, twin-turbo engine were so high that there was no room for improvement… but the engineers had a few tricks in mind –  among them new turbochargers. Overall, Nissan says, they provide even sharper engine response into and out of curves.”

READ MORE Nissan features on Carman’s Corner

Standard is a six-speed, dual-clutch, transmission with a refined ‘R’ mode for road and track. The adaptive shift control, the automaker says, has been programmed to change shift schedules to fit the user’s driving style: according to the law on public roads, brute force on the racetrack, without  manually change shift modes.

2019 PIECE OF HISTORY: The 50th Anniversary Nissan GT-R – Image: Nissan Motor

The Anniversary GT-R’s exhaust note will come from a new titanium exhaust box bearing titanium finishers with burnished blue tips.

The electronic suspension has been tuned to provide better cornering and a smoother ride. The steering, Nissan says, is more precise, requiring minimal correction at up to 300km/h. A new brake booster will increase the initial braking response.


The GT-R’s cabin, Nissan says, offers an ”ideal blend of luxury and sport”. The seats are said to be ”comfortable yet supportive”, front and rear. The fascia is intended to convey a “horizontal flow” – a single, seamless, piece of hand-selected Nappa leather stitched, Nissan says, ”with takumi-style precision”.

The whole carries satnav and audio controls, a 20cm touch-panel monitor, and the large icons on the screen ”inform the driving experience without distracting from it”.

The steering-wheel carries shift paddles.


Premium Edition – R2 250 000
Black Edition – R2 360 000
GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition
Pearl White with Red Decals – R2 405 000
Ultimate Silver with White Decals – R2 405 000
Bayside Blue with White Decals – R2 415 000

2019 PIECE OF HISTORY: The 50th Anniversary Nissan GT-R – Image: Nissan Motor

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