What fate does Nissan have in store for the GT-R? No one really knows. Speculation is rampant, and for years now we’ve been hearing all sorts of rumors and seeing enthusiastic renderings pop up here and there. Will the next GT-R be hybrid? Will it go full electric? Will it be axed altogether? Right now, your guess is as good as anyone else’s.
What we do know, however, is that the 2022 Nissan GT-R has just been released, and with it a limited edition run of 100 ‘T-spec’ variants for the Japanese domestic market, all of which will be sold by ballot.
To get a real feel for the two T-spec models on offer, I took some time this past weekend to go and check them out in person. The reason for this is simple: I’m sure the T-spec is the final last iteration of the R35 GT-R, just like the the V-spec II Nür and M-spec Nür models were for the R34 Skyline GT-R 19 years ago.
If you’re wondering what ‘T-spec’ stands for, Nissan has this to offer: “The name T-spec represents the GT-R’s philosophy of leading and shaping the times and is inspired by the words trend and traction. As a trend maker, the GT-R is created to always be ahead of the times, and the car’s ability to drive with robust grip — a key characteristic engineers have always worked hard on — make it a traction master.”
After the official presentation of the new FY22 GT-Rs (which you can watch here) the first ‘Premium Edition’ T-spec was moved to the Nissan Boutique in the lower level of the automaker’s Yokohama headquarters, and it was here that I was able to take a closer look.
T-spec models come with the option of Millennium Jade or Midnight Purple paint, as a tip of the hat to the Skylines that set the foundations of the GT-R’s cult following. This one’s obviously in Millennium Jade, which in person looked a tad lighter than the same color used for the R34. Or at least I think it is; it’s hard to say with any certainty without having both cars side by side.
The T-spec models’ most significant upgrade over the regular MY22 R35 GT-R is a carbon-ceramic Brembo brake package from the Nismo GT-R (pictured above in Stealth Gray), which itself was unveiled earlier in the year. These are the biggest rotors ever fitted to a Japanese performance car from factory, measuring a whopping 410mm at the front and 390mm at the rear.
The 20-inch wheels too are borrowed from Nismo version, just in a different color and minus the Nismo logos and red pin-striping. You can see the new Nissan logo used on their center caps, though. The wheels are of course forged items manufactured by RAYS and they have a real Volk Racing ZE40 feel about them. The color even looks like Volk Racing’s signature bronze, but with a glossy finish.
Under the hood it’s all regular MY22 R35 GT-R fare, save for the plastic engine cover which has a gold center section. So the T-spec isn’t any more powerful.
Seeing as there’s a weight saving from the carbon brakes and lighter wheels, the stock R35 GT-R dampers have been re-calibrated to take this unsprung weight reduction into account.
Inside, the 100 T-specs also receive muted green leather for the seats, door cards and lower section of the dashboard. The top part of the dash is trimmed in Alcantara.
That gold detail on the engine cover is also found on the door scuff panels with their T-spec motif-etched metal inserts.
Around the back of the car you’ll find a carbon fiber spoiler with a nice semi-gloss finish that you just can’t help but run your fingers across, and a gold T-spec badge to match the one in the front grille. The rear also features Nissan’s new logo.
Seeing all this gold makes me wonder if there’ll be an optional Gold Pack offered, similar to that available for the R34, where you could have the Nissan and GT-R logos in gold. Seeing there’s an obvious gold thing happening here, it might actually be a nice match.
As for the cost, ¥16,000,000 (approximately US$146,000) is the buy-in for this Premium Edition T-spec. But if you’re going to spend that much, why not go the whole hog…
For this, I had to head all the way back to the center of Tokyo to see the other iteration of this limited edition model. The ‘GT-R Track Edition engineered by Nismo’ T-spec is currently on display at the Nissan Crossing gallery in Ginza.
Again, I had to see this take on Midnight Purple for myself, as the third version of this iconic Nissan color – the Midnight Purple III used on a very limited number of BNR34s – was my favorite after Bayside Blue.
I always thought the Midnight Purple used on the BCNR33 and Midnight Purple II available on the BNR34 were way too dark, and this fourth iteration of the color stays true to those first two versions. Unless you have strong spotlights (or the sun) it’s very difficult to get it to shift away from a deep, almost black purple. In fact, this color, which was said to be inspired by the aurora borealis, only really shows hints of green as it shifts. It was very hard to shoot.
This angle shows what it looks like most of the time. The titanium exhaust tips look very cool against the dark color, though.
Again, like the Premium Edition T-spec, the Engineered by Nismo T-spec receives a carbon rear spoiler, but adds a carbon fiber roof and trunk lid.
Those are the only two differentiators between the models, and for that you will have to add close to ¥2,000,000 (approximately US$18,250) on top of the the Premium Edition cost, bringing the total price just shy of ¥18,000,000 (approximately US$164,500). Again, ownership is not guaranteed, but you’ve got to be in to win.
This may well be the last embodiment of the R35 as we know it, and as I said, I think it will be. But what comes next nobody really knows. For a model that’s been around since 2007, the R35 GT-R has achieved so much and managed to stay relevant for far longer than anyone could have ever imagined. That’s both good and bad for Nissan. Simply put, they will have to come up with something equally as impressive to be a worthy successor. Whatever the next chapter for the GT-R will be, everyone knows it needs to disrupt.
What would you like to see the GT-R become? Let’s chat in the comments section below.
Dino Dalle Carbonare