Earlier today, Nissan unveiled the latest variant of the R35 GT-R called the ‘T-Spec’ and to be honest I’m not amused by this at all. This may have been the worst attempt at milking the GT-R brand over the course of it’s 13 year run. The worst part of all, they tried to make it seem like it’s okay by painting it in nostalgic colours from the BNR34 and BCNR33 such as the Millennium Jade and the Midnight Purple.

I’ve never been a Nissan GT-R fanboy however it was a car I massively respected. It lapped the Nurburgring faster than a Porsche 911 Turbo back in 2007 and let’s not forget that the Porsche is still a very fast car even by today’s standard and I still turn my head around whenever I see a 997 Porsche 911 Turbo. But the GT-R has lost it’s soul in my opinion but that is largely due to the fact that the GT-R has been watered down way too much.

I get it, most people would say “oh, the 911 looks exactly the same since the 60s”. Yeah that is technically true but Porsche has gone through multiple updates as well as three model changes within the same duration of the Nissan GT-R. And it’s not like Porsche uses the same chassis for each of the models but that being said, Porsche is owned by the VW Group, with money being the least of issues.

But this isn’t a rant about Porsches, this is about the GT-R. I’m inclined to believe that Nissan does not have the required funds to proceed with the successor of the GT-R. Heck, even the 400Z is based on the 370Z chassis as well as getting an engine from a JDM-spec Nissan Skyline. I think it’s fine that certain cars are made with random bits and bobs from different models because they tend to end up as very interesting and unique cars. For example, the BMW 1M Coupe.

So, the GT-R, what has it turned into in 2021?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a fast machine and I doubt that Nissan will give a damn about my rant. But I think that the GT-R has been turned into a fashion statement or a status icon for the “entrepreneurs” of social media, especially the earlier generation of the R35. Bought by the same type of people who buy a 2.3-litre EcoBoost Ford Mustang ‘for the gram’. See, this absolute monster of a car is no longer purchased by car enthusiasts because it has lost it’s personality.

And it’s not like Nissan has helped with keeping the car special. If the GT-R was a cow, Nissan has milked the teat dry. And even if there’s any powder left, Nissan will still sell that as a ‘Special Edition’. The exclusivity is no longer there with the GT-R as there are more than 30,000 units made. No matter how you put it, the car is just another sports car nowadays and it won’t end until Nissan stops the production line.

Currently, the only special GT-R around that is available is the Nismo GT-R and that itself is a rather hard purchase to make. With the cheapest units floating around RM700,000, that is nearly 991 Porsche Carrera GTS money and I doubt most people would end up with the Nissan. The car may be impressive but it’s the type of car that you have to explain the purchase with “Oh actually this is a Nismo which is more…” and people will think you’re pretentious.

Is the T-Spec any special?

There really isn’t a noticeable difference from the standard variant apart from the colours and a few borrowed bits from Nismo. That is what grinds my gears. They keep selling it and when the future looks bleak, they mess with our nostalgia and paint it in colours that reminds us of how special the Skyline GT-R used to be. The colours offered on this are the Millennium Jade and the Midnight Purple. I gotta say that the Millennium Jade looks excellent with those Rays wheels but it’s still a lame attempt by Nissan.

And the press conference made it seem pointless as well. For 30 mins, they keep on talking about the new colours of the GT-R. If I downed a shot of alcohol every time they said ‘colours’ during the press conference, I might have ended up in the hospital. The speaker was also talking about how the colours needed to be sensitive to Japanese people as well as “people with a woman’s brain can identify the emotions of 30 colours” or whatever that means.

Will The T-Spec Be The Last Hurrah Of The R35?

Nissan did not mention anything about the T-Spec being the last spec of this R35 generation but it will be upsetting if they introduce another variant of the R35 anytime soon, as if 23 variants wasn’t enough. It has been said that the R36 is on the horizon but I doubt that it will be out anytime soon. That is also another problem that the R35 has created for Nissan, it has raised the bar too high that the R36 needs to be better than the predecessor in every single way.

This is exactly what Lamborghini does as well with their Aventador. They’ve been milking the model from year to year and give it some extreme styling elements. SVJ, SVJ 63, Centenario and Sian just to name a few. It’s also like how Pagani says they will retire the Zonda but keeps on making them as long as someone is willing to pay them for it.  

I doubt that Nissan cares about the crying of all the fanboys or any criticism as long as people keep on buying their cars. Which honestly makes me kinda sad because they made interesting cars once upon a time. Who knows? Maybe the R36 is a love letter to car enthusiasts. Well, one can hope.

Written by | Danial Malek

Photos by | Nissan