The king of monsters is getting special digs for a special occasion

The year was 1969. The “Skyline” name had already been introduced 12 years prior, first by Prince Motor Company, and then by Nissan in 1967 after the two companies merged. Two years after the merger, Nissan introduced a sports car based on the Skyline, and, among other things, it carried a three-letter nomenclature that has arguably become one of the most famous names in the entire industry: the GT-R. Fifty years later, the GT-R is still used today as the name of Nissan’s all-conquering supercar. It’s fitting then that the Japanese automaker that created the line of performance cars wearing the GT-R name is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the model with a special edition version, appropriately called the Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition. In line with its stature, Nissan debuted the GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition at the 2019 New York Auto Show.

  • 2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition
  • Year:
    2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    565
  • Torque @ RPM:
    481
  • Displacement:
    3.8 L
  • 0-60 time:
    2.9 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    195 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    150000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition Exterior

  • Three two-tone color schemes
  • Bayside Blue color returns after 17 years
  • 50th anniversary badge in the rear section of the car
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Before you get a bit too excited for your own good, it’s important to set some parameters surrounding the Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition. The important disclaimer is that it isn’t a special edition model in the traditional sense.

Instead, the GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition comes equipped with an appearance package and a cheeky power upgrade that adds more muscle to Godzilla’s already menacing performance credentials. But before we get into that, let’s dive deep into that appearance package first.

2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition
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Nissan is offering three two-tone color options for the Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition. The first two — Pearl White with red stripes and Super Silver with white stripes — are pretty cool, but they don’t quite tickle the senses compared to the other two-tone color that’s available.

The Bayside Blue with the white stripes is the one you want, not only because it’s the most natural-looking color on the GT-R, but, more importantly, it has a real history behind it.

See, Bayside Blue isn’t just a bright shade of blue. It’s an iconic color because of its association to the R34 Skyline GT-R, the last version of the GT-R that wore this exact color. Yep, the Japanese automaker hasn’t used the Bayside Blue shade since it retired the R34 Skyline GT-R back in 2002. Now, it’s making a comeback specifically for the Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition. How cool is that? Even cooler is the process behind creating this specific color, something Nissan achieved through what it describes as a “fur-coat, double-heat treatment process.” It sounds like a complicated process, and while digging into how the process is done ended up being a futile exercise, I trust that Nissan knows what it’s talking about.

2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition
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Outside of the three color options, the only other notable additions to the appearance package are the 50th Anniversary badges scattered around the body, including one at the rear end of the supercar.

It’s also important to note that the GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition is available only on the 2020 model year of the supercar. That comes with its own set of changes and updates, though most of them can be found in the interior of the vehicle.

2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition Interior

  • Gray and white color scheme
  • Unique steering wheel and gear shift knob
  • Alcantara headliner and sun visor
2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition
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Somewhat surprisingly, the Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition’s interior is rather subdued, at least relative to our expectations.

While we certainly weren’t expecting anything close to a Bentley-styled cabin, we did expect a few bits of luxury thrown in to give the special edition a balanced visual appeal. Instead, the cabin is finished in a special gray and white interior color scheme. Nissan describes this combination as “reminiscent of the atmosphere of the night sky after the twilight hour.”

2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition
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Nice try, Nissan, but I don’t see it. It’s a safe touch, almost bordering on dull.

In the grand scheme of things, it is. That’s especially the case if you avail the Bayside Blue and white stripes color scheme. It would’ve been nice to at least see a semblance of blue trim in the cabin — even blue stitching would’ve helped — but there’s none of it in the cabin of the GT-R. You’d have to come to grips with the gray and white two-tone look. It’s not visually pleasing, but we always don’t get what we want, right?

Fortunately, the seats are of the special embossed variety, which should increase your level of comfort, even if it’s incremental. Nissan also makes use of Alcantara for the headliner, and that too comes with its own unique stitching to go with sun visors that are also wrapped in Alcantara. The 50th Anniversary package also includes a unique steering wheel, though the definition of “unique” escapes us in this instance.

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We compared the steering wheel of the GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition with the standard 2019 GT-R, and, well, they look exactly the same, other than the shift paddles moving from the column to the steering wheel itself.

That’s nothing to get excited about. Presumably, the unique aspect of the wheel falls on the functions of all the buttons on it. That or Nissan has lost its sensibilities on the real definition of unique.

2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition
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If anything, the real important updates to the GT-R’s interior aren’t featured in the 50th Anniversary Package.

There’s a new 8.0-inch touchscreen that isn’t at all groundbreaking unless you consider its triple control redundancy feature — touchpoint on the screen, buttons adjacent to the display, and a console-mounted controller — as something that’s worth it's updated billing.

If there is one improvement in the GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition’s interior, it’s the cleaner-looking center console that takes advantage of the fewer switch counts — 27 switches to just 11 — that it comes with. For the most part, this is what awaits you inside the Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition. It’s not an ideal update given the significance of the model as a tribute to the iconic GT-R, but should be more than enough for those who have been waiting to get their hands on the special edition 2020 MY GT-R.

2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition Drivetrain

  • 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine
  • 565 horsepower and 481 pound-feet of torque
  • 2.9-second 0 to 60 mph time
  • Improved suspension and retuned chassis
  • New exhaust system
2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition
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The Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition does not receive any special power and performance upgrades. There are improvements on both ends, but those gains are products of systematic changes Nissan made to the coupe’s engine and chassis.

The GT-R’s 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine, for example, comes with a pair of new turbochargers that help make the engine more efficient and, just as important, more responsive at low revs. This translates to a faster acceleration time for the GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition compared to past versions of the model. The power figures remain the same at 565 horsepower, though there is a slight bump in torque to 481 pound-feet.

2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition
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A six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission comes standard and is responsible for sending power to all four wheels.

The GT-R’s track-ready R drive mode offers more thrills - a welcome treat for those who want to maximize Godzilla’s wrath — largely due to a different transmission programming wherein the gearbox downshifts more aggressively than in any other setting. This setup reduces the need to switch back and forth from or to the tamer A drive mode. This setup works in concert with an enhanced chassis and a retuned suspension, all in the name of a smoother ride and improved cornering abilities. Steering and braking are improved, as well, in order to make the GT-R more responsive during your drives. There’s a fair argument that making the GT-R more “manageable” to drive cuts down on the challenge of driving it, but don’t tell that to the people who end up buying the 50th Anniversary Edition. If you’re one of these people, chances are that you don’t care about that, too.

2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition
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The last bit is the titanium exhaust with slick-looking blue exhaust tips.

Not only do they look in the Bayside Blue version of the GT-R, but it also provides sharper exhaust notes, the kind that makes Godzilla unique among all of its peers.

2020 Nissan GT-R drivetrain specifications
Engine 3.8-liter V-6
Horsepower 565 HP @ 6,800 RPM
Torque 467 LB-FT @ 3,300 –5,800 RPM
Bore & stroke (mm) 95.5 x 88.4 (Plasma sprayed bore)
Compression ratio (:1) 9.0
0 to 60 mph 2.9 seconds

2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition Pricing

2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition
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Nissan has yet to release pricing details for the GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition. It’s also not clear if Nissan is offering the special edition GT-R as a complete model or if it offers the 50th Anniversary Edition package as a separate cost to buying the GT-R.

Either way, don’t expect it to be cheap. My best guess is that the GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition, with all its special edition bells and whistles, will cost somewhere around $150,000, putting its price square in the middle of the GT-R Track Edition and the range-topping GT-R NISMO. Don’t take my word for it, though. Nissan will release pricing and availability details soon. For now, cross your fingers that the GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition finds its way to American soil.

Final Thoughts

2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition
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There aren’t that many performance cars that excite the senses quite like the Nissan GT-R.

As arguably the most revered Japanese performance car in history — the Mazda MX-5 is still more popular — the GT-R deserves all the adulation and praise it has received in the 50 years that it has been around. It has an untouchable legacy that’s bolstered by a five-decade run of sustained excellence. That said, I do think that Nissan could have done more to really set the 50th Anniversary Edition apart. Bringing back the Bayside Blue paint finish is a nice touch, but it’s really just that and the performance tweaks that really are more about the 2020 GT-R than the special edition model. Something, or some things, that are a bit more personalized to the GT-R’s identity and stature would have been nice. Don’t get me wrong; the GT-R deserves to be celebrated for its 50-year-and-counting run. But for a model that has built a legacy of no f’s given, the GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition looks rather tame.

  • Leave it
    • Interior updates are severely lacking
    • Nissan could’ve played around with the SE a bit more
    • Price and availability are dark clouds that hang over all of us

Further Reading

2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Nissan GT-R Nismo.

2017 Nissan GT-R High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 670401

Read our full review on the 2019 Nissan GT-R.

2018 Nissan GT-R Naomi Osaka Edition
- image 810885

Read our full review on the 2018 Nissan GT-R Naomi Osaka Edition.

1972 Nissan Skyline GT-R Hakosuka High Resolution Exterior
- image 684292

Read our full review on the 1972 Nissan Skyline GT-R Hakosuka.

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