2020 Nissan GTR 50th Anniversary Edition Review

Nissan GTR Anniversary Road Test Review


The current Nissan R35 GTR has been around since 2007 (Japan) evolving along the way from a super-fast 2+2 sports coupe into one of the quickest and fastest  petrol powered cars on the road.

Available in a number of variants including the fully bombed Nismo and this one, the 50th Anniversary model, it’s one hell of a car in any flavour. A new generation GTR can’t be far away.

Meticulous attention from a whole department of technicians and engineers has refined the Nissan GTR to its current level.

Changes this time around have been made to the twin turbos for quicker spool with adjustments to brakes, suspension and steering. The suspension gives a more linear response for improved comfort in everyday driving and now, there’s a bigger brake booster and sharper steering turn in along with a rev matching function that blips the throttle on down changes.

Put it up against any number of competitor cars, some at twice, three times the price, and the GTR will keep them honest or blow them away. You can forget about cars like the C63 Coupe, M4 BMW, Toyota Supra and Lexus RCF being in the same performance league as the GTR… they aren’t.

Though direct fuel injection isn’t used, it’s a high tech piece of work with some 419kW and 632Nm output from a “mere” 3.8-litre V6 engine. Admittedly, two turbochargers boosting at up to 14psi (1.0 bar) help matters along but the GTR is no snorting beast, unless you want it to be.

It has a lumpy rear diff, now a sports oriented 1.5 way limited slip unit and all-wheel drive apportioning torque to the front and rear axles. The 6-speed dual clutch transmission is at the back transaxle style giving the GTR excellent weight distribution compared to a conventional layout.

The engine is hand built and signed by the builder.

All components are from the top shelf…. Brembo brakes, Rays light alloys, Bilstein shock absorbers, premium Dunlop rubber, and inside, Nappa leather and Bose audio.

It’s $209,300 for the 50th, a premium of about nine grand on the donor Premium Luxury GTR.


Not what you’d call pretty, the GTR exudes machismo that screams get out of my face. And so you should as this is a car with legendary performance status.

It’s a low slung two door with a style harking back to the noughties. The long nose is wide and rounded at the front and the headlights follow the tapering profile. There’s a big front skirt hanging low to aid aero.

Heat dissipation from the car’s mechanicals dictates six vents in front of the windscreen to flow air through the engine bay, past the brakes and presumably around the transaxle at the back.

All helping to keep this missile-fast 1750kg coupe tracking true.

It has a mish-mash of curves and angles particularly when viewed from the rear three quarter position but the big bum with characteristic round tail lights looks imposing and would no doubt aid aerodynamics.

Large doors allow easy access and the low roofline is acceptable for taller drivers.

Love the graphics on the 50th and the new blue duco and those Rays 20-inch gloss black alloys look the biz’

It sits low at the front which can be a clearance problem when parking.  But for a car capable of 300kmh plus you need low aero devices to make it stick to the road.

The R35 is a distinctive shape that can’t be mistaken for anything else on the road. That’s precisely what you want when you put down $200k plus.



Inside reflects the era this car was designed but progressive updates keep it looking good.  There’s a large centre screen with multiple virtual dials providing info on, among other things, critical powertrain temperatures and pressures, g-forces and turbo boost. Five different screen selections keep you well informed.

It’s a relatively conventional instrument pod in front of the driver that you can change to various formats and the multi-function sports wheel has gear change paddles fixed, not mounted to the column.

The compact interior has seats for four but the rears are for kids. I would be happy to see Nissan delete them for some more storage space though the boot is plenty big as is.

Two-tone grey Nappa leather is used along with selective use of carbon fibre fascia and some metallic surfaces.

Driver’s side window controls are difficult to reach.

The gear selector only releases when the car is ready so you can’t whack it in R straight after you start.

Headroom is tight but there’s enough seat adjustment to compensate. Love the stitched design in the middle of the roof liner.  Awesome audio.



As this is based on the Premium Luxury GTR, there isn’t much left off the features list with goodies including:

  • Blue exhaust tips
  • Some high performance Nismo technology
  • Recaro seats
  • LED headlights
  • Dual zone climate control
  • Aluminium bonnet, door skins and boot lid
  • Bose 11 speaker audio


Drive and Engine

Just wow, what a brute but on the other side of the coin, what an easy thing to drive in everyday mode apart from the lumpy rear diff when turning slowly.

Acceleration is brutal from any speed and stays that way to redline at about 7000rpm. Put in in full R mode and everything sharpens up if that was possible, the suspension gets stiffer, steering quicker and exhaust note louder with plenty of bangs out the back.

There’s a pleasing V6 wail from the engine and at lower speeds with the windows down you can hear a symphony or whirring machine noises underneath.

Coupled with this is a version of Nissan’s clever all-wheel drive system that modulates power to each axle according to available traction, along with a launch control function for maximum off the line acceleration.

And believe me, it gets going real quick…. in a blink.

Sometimes you have to chase the paddles around the wheel particularly in tight switchback corners.

Ride quality in normal mode is comfortable enough thanks to the suspension changes this time around. In R-Mode is pretty stiff as you’d expect. The steering is firm all the time and the brakes bite hard. They’re huge 6-piston Brembos on the front, smaller units at the rear.

Though 1750kg, the GTR feels lithe and certainly nimble thanks in part to all the technology controlling every dynamic aspect of the car. Response is rapid and the drive feel is amazing. Imagine if you could get one at say 1300kg……



GTR isn’t rated by ANCAP and it doesn’t have any advanced driver assist features however, as most dynamic functions are modulated by the car, it will potentially allow you to avoid a collision in the first place.

I am OK with not having AEB, BSM and other stuff on this car because it’s all about the drive and those features take “the drive” away from you.

There are a bunch of air bags, the chassis is rigid as a steel girder and the wheels, tyres and brakes are among the biggest in the business with all that brings in grip and control.

Good Bits

  • Brutal performance
  • Razor sharp handling
  • Sounds amazing

Not So Good Bits

  • Can be thirsty
  • Tight cabin
  • Getting up there in price



I want one of these but need a house to live in. Though the GTR isn’t as sleek as some, it makes up for it in overall competence at going fast clinically and safely. It makes mug drivers look good and provides a heightened level of driver satisfaction few other cars can deliver.

Then there’s the street presence, the sound, the sheer imposing nature of this kick arse, sledgehammer of a car. Woo Hoo get me outa here.

Facts and Figures: 2019 Nissan GTR 50th Edition

  • Engine: 3.8L V6 twin-turbo petrol producing 419kW/632Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed sports automatic
  • Warranty: 5 years/ unlimited km
  • Safety: Not tested
  • Origin: Japan
  • Price: from $209,300 MLP*

*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.

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Nissan GTR Review


Nissan GTR – I want one of these but need a house to live in. Though the GTR isn’t as sleek as some, it makes up for it in overall competence at going fast clinically and safely. It makes mug drivers look good and provides a heightened level of driver satisfaction few other cars can deliver.

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