Happy birthday, Godzilla

Nissan has created a special 50th anniversary edition of its iconic GT-R.

Presented in three striking liveries, the limited-edition GT-R is offered in Super Silver with white stripes, Ivory Pearl with red stripes and the new Bayside Blue with white stripes.

Inspiration for the 50th anniversary paint scheme comes from the race livery designs for the 1971 Japan Grand prix. The stripes are applied to the bonnet, roof and boot lid while 50th anniversary badging adorns the boot lid, underneath the GT-R logo on the car’s rear and on the alloy wheels.

Nissan has also introduced an exclusive cool grey two-tone leather trim called Twilight Grey. This features throughout the cabin, particularly on the doors, seats, front fascia and dash panels, plus the steering wheel and shift knob. Coordinating the interior with the exterior, there is also 50th anniversary badging on the seats, centre console, tachometer and kick plates.

Costing $209,300 (plus on-road costs), the 50th anniversary edition is part of a revamped 2020 range which ushers in improvements to the GT-R’s acceleration, braking and handling performance by way of turbocharger, transmission and suspension modifications.

The turbo tweak involves adapting an abradable seal (technology primarily used for racing engines which reduces compressor housing-blade clearance) to reduce air leakage and improve response at low revs.

R-mode has been refined, making for more aggressive downshifts in the six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The electronically controlled suspension has been tuned to provide better cornering and a smoother ride. There is also an improved steering angle and a new booster - within the updated steel brakes - increases the initial response by engaging with less pedal stroke, resulting in enhanced stopping power and feel.

We’ve long been fans of Nissan’s halo car and the way it operates at a rarefied level inhabited by only supercars costing three and four times more.  

All-wheel-drive, fat rubber, electronic ‘smarts’ such as switchable drive modes and race car-like suspension plus limited-slip diff enables the GT-R to unleash and put to optimum use an avalanche of performance from its twin-turbo, 3.8-litre V6.

It launches like a Saturn rocket (0-100km/h in a claimed, ballistic 2.7 seconds) and demolishes a racing circuit like few others. Six-piston front and four-piston rear Brembos bring it back to earth in a flash.

It’s been called the all-conditions supercar, suitable for anyone, anywhere, any time. But, we beg to disagree  Sure, it has a usable boot, and the rear seat can fit two short passengers (read as primary school children), but the ride is uncompromising as an everyday drive – even with dampers set to the optional COMF (comfort) setting.

That is until now. The earlier-mentioned suspension tuning has worked, with improved ride compliance making the GT-R noticeably more agreeable to live with out in the real world of Queensland’s coarse-chip back roads.  And the best thing is, the civility has come with no trade-off in what makes it so great – a virtual race car with number plates.