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Nissan's 2020 GT-R has "completely different concept"

Nissan's 2020 GT-R SUPER GT contender is based upon a "completely different concept" to its predecessor, according to Jann Mardenborough.

Nissan's 2020 GT-R has "completely different concept"

All three of SUPER GT's GT500 manufacturers are introducing all-new cars to coincide with the introduction of the Class One regulations next season.

While Toyota is introducing the GR Supra to replace the outgoing Lexus LC500, and Honda has produced a front-engined version of its hitherto mid-engined NSX-GT, Nissan is updating the GT-R model that it has used since 2008 as it bids for a first title since 2015.

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Mardenborough, who tested the new car in the wake of the Motegi season finale earlier this month, says that the 2020 Nissan's design philosophy is partly inspired by the Lexus LC500, which won two titles during its three years of service.

"If you look at the GT-Rs of the last eight years, they are on the deck, sparking constantly," the Briton told "If you look at a Lexus, it’s not on the deck at all. And if you look at the 2020 GT-R, the ride height is quite high, more in that direction.

"The platform is more stable for longer in the braking zone and mid-corner, which should make the car more consistent and give the tyre more consistent grip.

"The 2019 car has been quite a peaky car, and the Yokohama is quite a peaky tyre in terms of handling and grip. SUPER GT is endurance racing, and we don’t really have the monotonous slug of lap after lap of being consistent. We hope the 2020 car can give us that."

Mardenborough and his Kondo Racing teammate Mitsunori Takaboshi rounded off their 2019 SUPER GT campaign with a 10th-place finish at Motegi, leaving them down in 14th out of 15 GT500 crews in the standings.

Summarising his season, Mardenborough pointed out the disadvantage of being the only Nissan crew on Yokohama tyres and one of only three cars in the top class.

"You can see from the results in qualifying and testing," he said. "Everyone is improving. Yokohama is improving as well, but at the moment it’s not the tyre to be on.

"That’s not to say that won't change in the future, but the results are clear. You have the other manufacturers up the sharp end, the top six cars [at Motegi] were all on [Bridgestones].

"Yokohama have their strong points at some races, some tracks. Hopefully they can progress for 2020 and get an overall stronger tyre."

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#24 Kondo Racing Nissan GT-R: Mitsunori Takaboshi, Jann Mardenborough

#24 Kondo Racing Nissan GT-R: Mitsunori Takaboshi, Jann Mardenborough

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

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Series Super GT
Author Jamie Klein