Long-serving supercar falls victim to strict new engine noise limits; still no word on a replacement
The Nissan GT-R, one of the longest-serving production cars on sale today, will finally go off sale in Europe in light of strict new noise regulations coming into effect later this year.
Official confirmation of the move comes some 13 years after the GT-R first went on sale in Europe, and a few months after Nissan withdrew its supercar from the Australian market due to impending stricter side-impact crash regulations.
In an official statement sent to Autocar, Nissan said: “13 years after its European introduction as the icon of accessible automotive high performance, we can confirm that European GT-R production will end in March, 2022 due to the new EU & UK drive by noise regulations starting 1st of July 2021 (No. 540.2014).”
The new regulations are aimed at reducing road noise with a view to mitigating sound-induced stress for pedestrians and people who live near roads. They will be tightened further in 2026 when the legal limit for engine noises will be reduced to just 68dB – which could have heavy implications for sports car and performance exhaust system manufacturers.
The final examples of the GT-R will arrive in the UK in summer, and Nissan has yet to officially detail plans for a replacement.
The hardcore GT-R Nismo, which Autocar revisited earlier this month – 15 years since the GT-R was revealed, most recently topped out the line-up with 592bhp and a £180,000 price tag, but the 523bhp standard car could be purchased for around half that.
Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida recently hinted to Autocar that electrification could provide the means for the Porsche 911 rival to survive into a new ‘R36’ generation: “We are looking at how we can do it electrified. It’s something that’s a really professional sports vehicle with no compromise.
“The Z is for someone like me who enjoys sports cars. The GT-R is a professional machine and we need to work it out for the future.”
With the GT-R leaving the market, Nissan will no longer have a performance offering on sale in Europe. The new Z sports coupé uses a non-hybridised V6 which would have an adverse impact on Nissan’s fleet emissions, and so will not be sold here.
Intriguingly, the brand did recently reveal a futuristic convertible concept which hinted at the potential for its next-generation EV architecture to accommodate performance models.
Called the Max-Out, the concept clearly looked well beyond the coming years in terms of its styling and technology, but promised characteristics such as ‘superlative stability and comfort’, tight handling and limited body roll suggest it took at least some inspiration from the GT-R.