Few sports car platforms have the longevity that the Nissan R35 GT-R has. This is symptomatic of a few things, including but not limited to how far ahead of the game it was at launch, Nissan’s recent financial woes, and a shrinking sports car market.
Nevertheless, we welcome the return of the GT-R via two new models; a standard Nismo and a ‘special edition’ Nismo.
Unsurprisingly, Nissan hasn’t reinvented the wheel here. Both versions look much the same as the last one, and still come with a 441kW VR38DETT 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 under its hulking bonnet. That’s the same power as in the outgoing Nismo.
The standard iteration doesn’t appear to have any changes other than the availability of a new Nismo-exclusive colour (Stealth Grey), more red accenting, and the use of Nissan’s new corporate logo throughout. Thankfully, the special edition gets a few notable changes.
The limited edition variant’s tweaks are of a more micro nature. It gets more precise and weight-balanced piston rings, connecting rods, crankshaft, flywheel, crank pulley, and valve springs. Each supposedly brings tighter tolerances, allowing for more refined power delivery, quicker gearshifts, and quicker reaction from those two GT3-derived turbos.
A cynic would suggest that these parts are also potentially derived from Nissan’s GT3 motorsport programme, which continues to run concurrently alongside its GT500 campaign in Japan’s SuperGT tin-top class.
Other changes for the special edition include exclusive 20-inch Rays wheels, and an exposed carbon fibre bonnet which trims 100g from the GT-R Nismo’s outright weight.
“The GT-R Nismo has always been an ongoing pursuit of ultimate driving pleasure,” said Hiroshi Tamura, chief product specialist of the GT-R.
“We take a holistic approach, seeking precision performance through a meticulous balance of engine components and shaving weight, and incrementally evolving the GT-R’s appearance to deliver the ultimate balance of power, performance and excitement to our customers.”
It’s been reported that Nissan is currently developing an R35 GT-R ‘Final Edition’ variant to launch in 2022. Speculation suggests it will be the VR38’s swansong, and could see the six-cylinder engine get paired with some form of mild hybrid system.
This comes as the brand prepares to also launch its next-gen Z car in production specifications. According to leaked images and information, the model will come with a 289kW VR30DDTT.
A large recent reported leak claims that the model won’t be known as the ‘400Z’, and may pair the aforementioned powertrain with either a 6-speed manual or a 9G-Tronic auto sourced from Mercedes-Benz.