Even though it's been around for about 14 years, the GT-R (R35) is showing no signs of slowing down. Nissan keeps updating its supercar almost on a yearly basis with numerous special editions to keep Godzilla relevant as it fights much newer performance machines. Case in point, there's a new T-Spec bringing an assortment of visual tweaks along with brake air ducts borrowed from the all-conquering Nismo variant.
In a rather shocking announcement, the T-Spec effectively marks the end of the road for the GT-R in Australia where Nissan won't be able to sell the car anymore from November 1, 2021. Why? Tougher side-impact crash test regulations (ADR 85) are coming into effect that day for vehicles launched before November 2017. The GT-R certainly fits that bill, having been introduced Down Under in April 2009.
Gallery: Nissan GT-R T-spec (Japan)
Truth be told, few people (those who can afford it) will actually miss it considering only 19 cars were sold in the first eight months of the year. Total sales of the R35 are unlikely to surpass 1,000 units by October 31 when the high-performance coupe will be retired from the Australian market after 12 years on sale. Interestingly, Aussie magazine Drive points out it carried an original sticker of 155,800 AUD or about as much as an M3 and cost a third of a Lamborghini Gallardo.
Fast forward to 2021, it kicks off from 193,800 AUD and rises to a massive 378,000 AUD for the range-topping Nismo. Given the declining sales and aging platform, it does not come as a surprise Nissan is not updating the GT-R in order to pass the upcoming side-impact crash test regulations.
"Due to the implementation of Australia's unique pole side impact design rules (ADR 85), the Nissan GT-R will not be imported into the Australian market after October 31, 2021. Note that this regulation does not apply to existing models in other markets."
It's worth mentioning the GT-R is not the only car to suffer the same fate in Australia as several Lexus models, including the CT compact hatchback (yes, it's still around), will be discontinued at the end of October.
It is believed a combined 50 T-Spec and Nismo special editions are earmarked for the local market, with details likely to be announced in the following weeks. The GT-R (R35) will continue outside of Australia for an unspecified amount of time, with rumors saying it will soldier on until 2024 and that it could get a mild-hybrid powertrain as well as a Final Edition with over 700 horsepower.