2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary & GT-R NISMO: Godzilla Gets Bigger Teeth & New Clothes

  • New for 2020 are the Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition and GT-R NISMO.
  • The GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition harks back to the Nissan GT-R Skyline R34.
  • The 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO receives carbon fiber body panels to save weight.

Nissan fans rejoice! The Japanese car maker has something good in store for the 2020 Nissan GT-R supercar. Making its debut at the New York International Auto Show is the Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition, and alongside it, the new GT-R NISMO. But for the new variants, Nissan didn’t want to tamper with the GT-R’s proven racing formula.

“The GT-R is about total balance management,” said Hiroshi Tamura, Chief Product Specialist for the GT-R. “It is not about chasing power figures, but creating a new GT-R where no aspect has been overlooked.”

The Nissan GT-R has always been the quintessential Japanese supercar. It gave the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 quite a scare when it graced the market in 2008. And even though the 2020 model is still part of the first-generation, Nissan saw it fit to equip Godzilla with bigger teeth and new clothes.

Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition

Commemorating 50 glorious years of racing heritage is the 2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition. This is purely an appearance package that pays homage to the dominance of the original R34 Skyline GT-R. The car receives a new Bayside Wangan Blue paint job with white racing stripes. If this color looks familiar, you’re right. It’s the same color of Paul Walker’s original right-hand drive R34 Skyline in the 2 Fast 2 Furious movie.

“The Nissan GT-R has been the icon of our company’s driving performance for the past half century,” explained Shinichiro Irie, GT-R Program Design Director. “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 paint job consists of a four-coat, double-heat treatment process to achieve a genuine old-school feel. The wheels also get blue accents on the spokes to complete the new look. But if you don’t like this color, don’t fret. The 50th Anniversary Edition GT-R is also available in pearl white with red stripes, and silver with white stripes.

In the meantime, the interior also receives numerous updates including a special gray color scheme along with exclusive trim for the steering wheel and shift knob. The dashboard and the seats are covered in hand-selected Nappa leather to exude a premium vibe. The center console houses an eight-inch touchscreen monitor with NissanConnect, an integrated navigation and communications system. This feature allows potential owners to lock and unlock the doors remotely or summon emergency services using an app. The car also gets special embossed seats, and an Alcantara-covered headliner and sun visors.

2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition in classic Bayside Wangan Blue with white stripes. Photo: Nissan North America.

Refined Performance (With A Little Growl)

Who could forget the mighty RB26DETT straight-six motor in the original R34 Skyline GT-R? Nissan outdid themselves with the VR38DETT V6 motor in the current-generation GT-R. But for 2020, Nissan’s engineers went for subtle upgrades to further improve the performance and efficiency of the raucous V6 motor.

The 2020 Nissan GT-R receives new turbochargers to improve the low rpm response of the V6 motor. New exhaust manifolds and optimized turbo flange attachment points are in the mix. The result is the same 565 horsepower and 467 lb-ft. of torque, but the 3.8-liter V6 is now more responsive and engaging. The six-speed dual-clutch automatic features a new adaptive shift control algorithm too. This means more aggressive downshifts with better gear selections on both the street and racetrack.

Rounding up the performance-enhancing mods is a retuned, electronically-controlled suspension to provide the right balance between handling prowess and ride comfort; along with new steering calibrations and a new brake booster. Also new is a titanium muffler with burnished blue titanium tips to produce the signature GT-R exhaust growl.

2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition. Photo: Nissan North America.

2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO

The 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO remains an absolute beauty among high-performance street and track machines. This hardcore version of the GT-R is nearly 44 lbs. lighter, courtesy of carbon fiber components like the hood, roof, trunk, front and rear bumpers, and the rear spoiler.

The front fenders now come with scalloped vents directly from the GT3 GT-R race car. More than just an aesthetic piece, these vents serve multiple purposes. Besides channeling hot air away from the engine bay, they also provide more downforce over the front tires for better handling and agility.

“The 2020 GT-R NISMO has evolved into a balanced, yet extreme, performance car,” Tamura said. “Pursuing driving pleasure is the most important concept behind GT-R.”

Lacing Up The New Shoes

The 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO comes with lightweight 20-inch RAYS forged aluminum wheels with a nine-spoke design. The car also receives newly-designed Dunlop tires with wider tread and fewer grooves to increase the contact patch by 11 percent. The semi-slick tires enable the GT-R NISMO to achieve higher cornering forces with better steering response.

Of course, what good is going fast if you can’t stop on a dime? Thankfully the GT-R NISMO comes with larger Brembo calipers and carbon ceramic brake rotors (16.1 inches front, 15.3 inches rear). The rotors, in particular, were crafted using a carbon and silica carbide structure. When paired with the new racing-derived brake pads, the brakes generate more friction, but also greater resistance to high temperatures; temperatures of more than 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit!

“Brembo and Nissan have a rich performance history,” said Dan Sandberg, Brembo North America President and CEO. “Our engineers worked in concert with the Nissan team to take data from the track, and combined that with lessons learned on the previous generation GT-R, to design the next evolution stopping package for this road-going supercar.”

The 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO features carbon fiber bumpers and body panels to cut weight. Photo: Nissan North America.

Blistering Performance

The 2020 GT-R NISMO receives a 600 horsepower version of the 3.8-liter V6. The hike in power is courtesy of a turbocharger inspired by no less than the GT3 race car. The turbo comes with fewer blades and a modified turbine shape to optimize the flow rate. With 481 lb-ft. of torque available from 3,600 to 5,600 rpm, the new turbocharger improves acceleration response by 20 percent without compromising horsepower.

Pricing & Availability

With all these performance merits and go-fast mods, the 2020 Nissan GT-R won’t come cheap. In fact, the GT-R Nismo is now $35,000 dearer than last year’s model.

The base GT-R Premium goes on sale July 25th and starts at $113,450. Meanwhile, the GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition is priced at $122,040. The GT-R Track Edition with a carbon fiber roof and 600 horsepower V6 is scheduled to go on sale by August 25th, with prices starting at $145,540. The GT-R Nismo starts at $210,740 and should be available by July 12th.

Alvin Reyes is the Associate Editor of Automoblog. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine. 

2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition Gallery

2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO Gallery

Photos & Source: Nissan North America.

No Comments on "2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary & GT-R NISMO: Godzilla Gets Bigger Teeth & New Clothes"

Leave a Reply