First drive: Nissan G-TR and 370Z 2019 anniversary editions

Moving Well | Tim Nicholson | Posted on 04 September 2019

Tim Nicholson takes the 2019 Nissan G-TR and 370Z for a spin.

First impressions:

Nissan’s ageing GT-R and 370Z sportscars still have some life left in them.

Nissan has a long history of building fun-to-drive sportscars, including under its old name Datsun, with two of its most iconic models undoubtedly being the GT-R and the Z. Both models are well known to Australians, particularly the GT-R, thanks largely to its success in the touring car championship in the 1990s when it regularly beat parochial favourites Ford and Holden.

The Japanese car-maker is marking the 50th year of both nameplates by introducing limited-edition 50th-anniversary versions of the GT-R and the 370Z.

The 50th-anniversary 370Z is priced from $53,490 before on-road costs for the six-speed manual, increasing to $55,990 for the seven-speed automatic, which represents a $3000 premium over the standard 370Z. The special edition is not available with the 370Z convertible.

Over the regular 370Z it adds 50th-anniversary badging, unique dual-tone paint – white body with a red bonnet, A-pillars and mirrors or silver body with a black bonnet, A-pillars and mirrors – and new 19-inch wheels with red accents, while the cabin gets red stitching and red leather mesh as well as more badges.

Under the bonnet of the 370Z is Nissan’s tried and tested 3.7-litre naturally aspirated V6 engine delivering 245kW/363Nm.

There is no doubting the 370Z is an old car. It arrived in Australia in current-generation guise back in 2009, with a number of updates along the way. But it has an analogue and old-school feel about it that no other sportscar on the market has. It might not come with the latest driver-assistance technology or infotainment features, but therein lies its charm. There’s more of a connection with the car because of it.

The V6 engine is still an impressive powertrain but the steering feels a little too heavy and it’s a noisy beast on any road surface. You’ll need to speak up when talking with your passenger.

It is, however, surprisingly nimble, as was proven on our test route around the twisty roads of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. 

Close up of Nissan GT-R gears
Interior of Nissan G-TR passenger and driver seats

The 50th-anniversary GT-R requires deeper pockets, starting at $209,300. On top of the Premium variant it is based on, the GT-R gains special badging, two-tone grey leather trim and special heritage paint options including ‘super silver’ with white stripes, ‘ivory pearl’ with red stripes and ‘bayside blue’ with white stripes. The latter is a throwback to the R34 GT-R from 1999-2002. 

Nissan has also made some mechanical tweaks to the 2020 GT-R for improved performance. It has updated the turbochargers, made refinements to the six-speed dual-clutch transmission, and made other adjustments to the suspension and braking systems to boost handling performance.

With its 419kW/632Nm 3.8-litre V6 engine, the GT-R still packs a brutal punch and more than lives up to its Godzilla nickname. The power on tap when it comes to overtaking is jaw-dropping and the connection to the road is like few other cars’.

With a kerb weight of 1765 kilograms, it is a weighty car and feels it on narrow winding roads, particularly after jumping out of the 370Z.

Despite its flaws and age, the GT-R is still an incredibly impressive performance car that has few peers.

Close up of 50th anniversary Nissan G-TR badge
Top view of electric blue Nissan GT-R with white stripe

Nissan GT-R 50th-anniversary edition

Nissan 370Z 50th-anniversary edition


Price as tested: $209,300 plus on-road costs.
Model range: $193,800-$247,000 plus on-road costs.

Price as tested: $53,490 plus on-road costs.
Model range: $50,490-$64,490 plus on-road costs. 


3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V6, six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, all-wheel drive.
Power: 419kW@6800rpm.
Torque: 632Nm@3300-5800rpm.
Tyres: 255/40ZRF20 front and 285/35ZRF20 rear.

3.7-litre naturally aspirated V6, six-speed manual/seven-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive.
Power: 245kW@7000rpm.
Torque: 363Nm@5200rpm.
Tyres: 245/40R19 front and 275/35R19 rear.


98 RON petrol, 74-litre tank. 
Consumption: 11.7/100km (government test).
Emissions: 278g/km CO2.

95 RON petrol, 72-litre tank
Consumption: 10.6L/100km.
Emissions: 249g/km CO2


Tyre-pressure monitoring, reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, energy-absorbing steering column, six airbags.

Six airbags, reversing camera, brake assist, energy-absorbing steering column.


Bluetooth connectivity, heated front seats, 11-speaker Bose audio system, dual-zone climate control air-conditioning, keyless start.

Keyless entry, leather seats, power-adjustable driver and passenger seats, aluminium-finish pedals, rear cargo blind, 12-volt power outlets.


Five years/unlimited kilometre warranty, capped-price servicing. 

Five years/unlimited kilometre warranty, capped-price servicing.