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Nissan unveils new GT-R that looks a lot like the old one

The updated GT-R Nismo features a nose that some think looks a little like the R34's.

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The updated GT-R Nismo features a nose that some think looks a little like the R34’s.

The Nissan R35 GT-R is such an old model and platform that pointing out the mere fact feels a little tired and cliché. Yes, the Japanese marque has debuted a new facelifted GT-R. And yes, inevitably it looks a lot like the last one, and the one before that.

Revealed at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon event, the updated GT-R features incremental improvements to aero and performance, with no electrification in sight.

The iconic nameplate was shown off in two different forms; the Nismo and the T-Spec. The former is instantly recognizable via its imposing rear wing, front splitter, and rear diffuser. The latter, meanwhile, is a more restrained affair. If you can call a GT-R restrained.

The Nismo's new rear end features side extensions that look like they've been ripped off a GT500 Super GT racer.

Supplied

The Nismo’s new rear end features side extensions that look like they’ve been ripped off a GT500 Super GT racer.

Both models get arguably the most notable cosmetic change, in the form of a tweaked front fascia that many seem to believe makes the R35 look a little more like its R34 predecessor. Gone is the blacked-out central grille section; replaced by a body-colored bar that spans the width of the car and a smaller primary grille.

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Beyond the nose job, other visual tweaks are harder to spot. But they’re there. The rear fascia has been updated, too. The Nismo gets a new ‘swan neck’-style rear wing. The mesh in the grills has been made thinner to reduce drag. And the Nismo’s bonnet is made out of carbon fibre.

Carbon buckets are among the few changes inside.

Supplied

Carbon buckets are among the few changes inside.

The carbon theme extends to the Nismo’s interior, too, via a pair of carbon fiber Recaro bucket seats. And that’s about it for changes inside the GT-R, with Nissan opting for the ‘if it ain’t broke’ method… again.

Under the bonnet sits the brand’s familiar V38DETT 3.8-litre twin-turbo six, producing 421kW/632Nm in the T-Spec and 447kW/651Nm in the Nismo. Both get the same six-speed dual-clutch box and all-wheel drive.

Mechanical updates include a new limited-slip differential, revised suspension geometry, and a handful of weight-balanced engine components. Obviously none of these elements reinvent the wheel, but that clearly wasn’t what Nissan was gunning for regardless.

DAMIEN O’CARROLL/FOOTAGE SUPPLIED

Meet Nissan’s latest concept EVs, including a ute, a sports car, an SUV and what is probably the next Leaf.

While it’s nice to close our eyes and imagine what an all-new GT-R might look like, the cold reality (at least if you’re a wool-dyed Nissan tragic) is that the next GT-R could well be fully electric.

There’s also the possibility of hybrid and plug-in hybrid options too, of course. But with a good number of countries in Europe set to phase out the sale of internal combustion engines from the end of the decade onwards, if Nissan wants the GT-R to be a global product it seems the fully electric route is the only option.

For now, this updated R35 has been confirmed for Asia and North America. With the likes of Europe and Australia already confirming that the model is off the menu, don’t expect to see either of these Japanese beasts on Kiwi soil any time soon.

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