Nissan GT-R axed in Australia due to side impact regs

We may have been in awe over the new special editions of the Nissan GT-R yesterday, but those Down Under might have shed a fair few tears. That’s because the Godzilla is being discontinued in Australia after October 31 in the face of impending safety regulations, which will apply to all vehicles starting November.

Specifically, the GT-R falls foul of Australia Design Rules 85/00 (ADR 85), according to multiple news sources including Drive. The regulations are “designed to reduce serious injuries and fatalities from side-impact crashes with poles, trees and other narrow road objects,” said the publication.

The laws actually came into effect in November 2017 for new vehicles, but since the GT-R has been on sale in Australia since 2009, it was granted a stay of execution until this year – the deadline for all vehicles sold there to meet the regulations.

CarExpert reported that just 937 units of the GT-R have been sold in Australia over the past 12 years, with Drive adding that 2021 sales up to August have amounted to only 19 examples – far lower than the number of Ferraris sold during the same period (115). As such, Nissan decided not to reengineer a low-volume sports car for such a small market.

The R35 is due to be replaced anyway, with a new R36 reportedly set to be revealed sometime within the next two years. That car is rumoured to feature an updated version of the existing VR38DETT 3.8 litre twin-turbocharged V6, six-speed dual-clutch transmission and trick all-wheel-drive system, but it will likely be redesigned to pass the new safety regulations, required for new vehicles in Japan since 2018.

In the meantime, Nissan Australia will reportedly send off the GT-R with 50 units of the T-spec and Nismo. The former adds some cosmetic and mechanical goodies and marks the return of the iconic Midnight Purple and Millennium Jade as colour options. The Nismo has also been updated for the 2022 model year and adds a new Stealth Grey hue and a special edition with a visible carbon fibre bonnet and red-accented wheels.

The GT-R isn’t the only car affected by the new regulations, of course. Lexus has also announced the discontinuation of the IS, RC and CT in Australia, while the ageing Mitsubishi Mirage will also bid farewell. Alpine will also be shuttering its doors as its sole model, the A110, won’t be reengineered to meet ADR 85.

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