When Nissan revealed the special edition GT-R T-spec yesterday, we noticed a strange discrepancy between the US and Japan versions. The US T-specs are officially labeled as 2021 models, while in Japan it’s called a 2022 model. We reached out to Nissan about this difference, and the response revealed that it’s almost certain that the current model year will be the R35 GT-R’s last in the US.
The statement we received from a Nissan spokesperson is as follows:
You are correct in the differences in the model years between regions and please find our official response below:
The U.S. and Canadian market will continue to sell the 2021MY GT-R Premium, the new 2021MY GT-R NISMO Special Edition and the 2021MY GT-R T-spec through 2022.
So it looks like you’ll technically be able to buy a GT-R from a Nissan dealer in 2022, it’ll officially say 2021 on the title. Nissan isn’t saying it’s officially dead, but it sure seems like the R35 as we know it isn’t surviving beyond model year 2021.
We can see only three possibilities. Either it’s some kind of certification issue that will miraculously be rectified for 2023, Nissan will discontinue the GT-R altogether after model year 2021, or there will be some kind of major change coming.
The first option seems incredibly unlikely. If certification’s the reason, there would have to some serious engineering work and testing done to comply, and at this late stage in the R35’s life it would be easier to do option number two, pull the plug.
Of course, we hope for what’s behind door number three. There have already been rumors from Japan’s Best Car magazine providing an unofficial near-future timeline for Godzilla. There’s supposedly a hard stop on GT-R production at the end of 2022. The next GT-R (which we don’t know if we can call the R36) will be a heavily reworked version of the R35. This part of the grapevine gossip seems possible.
The remainder of the Best Car report seems less solid. The article says that Nissan had been planning a mild hybrid version of the GT-R, and that could still be the case. Best Car believes that the current R35’s successor will come after the 2022 hard stop regardless, initially with an internal combustion drivetrain, and that the delayed hybrid will come later.
For now, though, the US-market Nissan GT-R appears to be headed for a drive into the sunset. As we predicted, the choice of Millennium Jade paint was no coincidence. After all, it was used to mark the end of the R34 Skyline GT-R’s production back in 2002 with a run of 1,000 Nür edition models.
The Nürs were factory tuned with an N1 race engine-based RB26DETT and improved turbochargers. The official Nissan line was that it made 276 horsepower based on the Gentlemen’s Agreement, but it definitely and intentionally had more, something to the tune of 330.
The choice of Millennium Jade at this moment seems intentional. But is it a nod to all the GT-R loyal enthusiasts that have supported the GT-R over the years, a nice send-off to the R35, or something more? The R35 didn’t appear in concept form until 2005 and in production form until late 2007 , so for all we knew the Millennium Jade Nürs were the GT-R’s final farewell.
After a years and generations as the perfect embodiment of the ultimate Japanese high performance car, the Skyline GT-R was saying goodbye. For the R35, maybe Nissan has a successor waiting in the wings ready to take over as soon as the R35 bows out. Maybe it’ll be a departure from the decades-old GT-R formula and take on a hybrid or electric from in its next incarnation. Or maybe this is a similar, R34-style goodbye from the humble world-beating supercar from Nissan.