When it comes to automotive icons, the name “GT-R” is one that is easily identifiable, and has remained synonymous with Nissan for several decades. Some brands have tried to shake things up by adopting the same three letters sans the hyphen, but enthusiasts still associate the GT-R with the Hakosuka, Kenmeri and the king of the monsters, Godzilla.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the GT-R story, which began with the first Skyline GT-R, the KPGC10 that was released in 1969. This was followed by the KPGC110, although the model’s existence was short lived due to a fuel crisis in the 1970s, making it incredibly rare among the models in the range.

By the end of 1973, Nissan cancelled the Skyline GT-R but would later revive it more than a decade later in 1989 with the Godzilla that everyone knows as the R32. The R33 and well-known R34 (RIP Paul Walker) continued the legacy before an all-new model – the R35 – arrived in 2007 to take the lead, albeit without the “Skyline” in its name.

To celebrate half a century of the GT-R, Nissan has wheeled out something special at this year’s New York International Auto Show, the 2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition.

The special edition model is available in three two-tone exterior colour schemes, each meant to represent the GT-R’s liveries from the Japan GP Series. The first two – Pearl White with red stripes and Super Silver with white stripes – are rather rudimentary, and Nissan did little to explain them.

However, the paintjob that will likely attract (and was given) the most attention is the return of Bayside (Wangan) Blue used on the R34 model. To ensure a vivid shade of blue is presetned with striking highlights and deep shadows, a four-coat, double-heat treatment process was used. This was complemented with white racing strips, along with blue accents on the wheel spokes.

On the inside, a grey interior colour scheme is applied instead, with unique steering wheel and shift knob trim, special embossed seats, an Alcantara headliner with unique stitching, Alcantara-wrapped sunvisors and a dedicated plaque on the centre console.

Beyond the asethetic improvements, the GT-R’s 3.8 litre turbocharged V6 remains as it, serving up 565 hp and 633 Nm of torque. A six-speed dual-clutch transmission, all-wheel drive and electronically controlled suspension are all standard.

Nissan’s commitment to the GT-R goes as far as offering new parts to customers through its Nismo Heritage Parts programme, with the R32, R33 and R34 listed as models being supported. The company has even gone as far as putting the RB26 2.6 litre twin-turbo straight-six back into production. Long live the GT-R!

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