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Nissan GT-R supercar axed in Australia

One of the most recognisable cars on the road is in a race against time as new crash rules force manufacturers to end sales of several models.

Having beaten the competition at race tracks in Bathurst and beyond, the Nissan GT-R will no longer be imported locally from November.

A new safety rule coming into effect on November 1 requires all cars on sale to meet strict side impact protection requirements. Originally introduced in 2015, Australian Design Rule 85 came into effect for newly introduced models in 2017 but will apply to existing models from November.

Nissan spokeswoman Emily Fadeyev says the change will prevent Nissan from selling the GT-R in local showrooms.

“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,” she said.

The car will continue to be built and sold overseas.

The last batch of GT-R models sold in Australia could take the form of limited edition models unveiled in Japan this week.

The new cars have carbon ceramic brakes, carbon spoilers, wider tyres and reworked suspension.

Importantly for enthusiasts, the last GT-Rs could be available in classic colours from the GT-R palette including millennium jade and midnight purple.

Nissan Australia is racing to import the GT-R into Australia ahead of the November 1 deadline.

The change affects models from other brands including Lexus’ dated RC coupe and CT hatch, as well as its relatively new IS sedan.

Design rules state that the function of ADR 85 is “to reduce the risk of serious and fatal injury of vehicle occupants in side impact crashes by limiting the forces, accelerations and deflections measured by anthropomorphic test devices in pole side impact crash tests and by other means”.

Minister for Major Projects Paul Fletcher said in 2015 that “it is estimated that this measure will save 128 lives and avoid 195 severe or moderate brain injuries over 15 years”.

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