Last month, Nissan announced that the GT-R would be retired from the Super GT GT500 class after the 2021 season. With that, it bows out from the series after racing for 13 years. At the time of their announcement, they didn't name a replacement model, but we suspected it would be the all-new Z. The previous-generation Z did compete in Super GT before the GT-R's debut in 2008, after all.

Nissan Z GT500 is the GT-R

It seems our guess was spot on. Come the 2022 Super GT season, the GT-R will be passing the torch back to the Z car. Judging by the looks of the new Z GT500 racer, it looks mean. It's easily the wildest-looking Z model to come from Nissan yet. As with most GT500 cars, it sports a big wing and crazy aerodynamics to make it competitive in the class. While it may resemble the road-car, little to no parts are shared with the body.

Nissan Z GT500 is the GT-R

While the new-Z packs a 400 horsepower twin-turbo V6, the one competing in GT500 uses a smaller motor. Nissan did not disclose engine specifications, but the Z GT500 will use a 2.0-liter inline-four with a single turbocharger per series regulation. It might be a small displacement engine, but it does pack a serious punch. Competition rules say that the engine in these vehicles must be limited to a maximum of 650 horsepower.

Nissan Z GT500 is the GT-R

“The Nissan Z GT500 symbolizes Nissan’s spirit of taking on challenges and bringing excitement to life. Through our racing efforts we continue to innovate our cars and we race to win with the same daring we have displayed so many times over the years,” said Takao Katagiri, NISMO president and CEO.

Will the new Z live up to the GT-R's reputation in Super GT? We hope so, but it will be a tall order. In the GT500 class, the GT-R brought Nissan 5 championships and 41 race wins.