It's a big year for Nissan as its two sportiest models celebrate their 50th birthdays. One of those is the 370Z coupe, which you can read about elsewhere in this year's buyer's guide. The other middle-ager is the even more potent GT-R, a supercar born in 1969, when Nissan introduced as a high-performance variant of the Skyline range of sedans and coupes.
Nissan's not letting the GT-R's milestone go unnoticed. For the 2020 model year, the GT-R can be had in a 50th Anniversary Edition dressed up in three different two-tone paint schemes that recall those worn by the GT-R racecars that competed in the Japan GP series. Colour combos include blue with white racing stripes, white with red, and silver with white striping. This year's 50th Anniversary models also get wheels with blue accents.
Like last year, the 2020 GT-R comes in Premium and Track Edition trims. Both get birthday gifts in the form of engineering updates aimed at boosting the car's already prodigious performance.
The Track Edition gets an engine borrowed from the GT-R NISMO, complete with new turbochargers that improve throttle response and add 35 hp and 14 lb-ft of torque, for new totals of 600 hp and 481 lb-ft. Entry-level Premium models get new turbos too, which Nissan says boost the engine's low-rpm responses and efficiency. Power output matches last year's 565 hp and 467 lb-ft.
There's also a new titanium muffler with blue finishers, and Nissan has tweaked the GT-R's suspension for better cornering stability and a smooth ride. Meanwhile, a new brake booster means the brakes engage with less pedal movement to provide more confident stopping power.
Both trims carry forward a six-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive.
With the GT-R, Nissan competes with some really heavy hitters in the sports car arena. Most notably, perhaps, its power output challenges the Porsche 911 Turbo at about two-thirds the price. The GT-R also goes up against posh sportsters like the 575-hp Jaguar F-Type SVR. If you're after big power, you can get it from domestic brands too, in cars like the Dodge Challenger Hellcat (707 hp) and the Ford Mustang GT350 (526 hp).
Inside, the 50th Anniversary GT-R models get a specific grey colourway that's optional elsewhere in the 2020 model range. As before, the GT-R's dash is covered in a single swatch of leather and is fitted with navigation in an 8.0-inch touchscreen. There are also steering wheel-mounted shift paddles and the NissanConnect communication system, with which you can communicate with the car via a smartphone app.
As of this writing, Nissan hadn't published fuel consumption estimates for the revised GT-R. Last year's car was rated at 14.2/10.7 L/100 km (city/highway).