Who killed the GT-R?

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The most legendary car ever is back for one last roar. Due to strict new noise laws set to take effect later this year, the Nissan GT-R, one of the longest-serving production cars on the market today, will be phased out of Europe.

The announcement comes 13 years after the GT-R was first sold in Europe and just months after Nissan withdrew its supercar from the Australian market due to anticipated tighter side-impact accident standards.

In a declaration sent out to Autocar: “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).”

Yes, we understand, but is this actually the case? Is this the real reason? Why in Europe, precisely?

There is some background here: excessive noise rules were imposed in the United Kingdom in 1929, one year after the decibel was invented. With time, the standards became more stringent, and in 1978, a new level was established: 82 decibels. In 2016, the noise level was eventually reduced to 72 decibels.

However, the new European rule 540.2014 is constantly changing and evolving, intending to reach a decibel level of 68 dB by 2026, effectively silence.

Imagine a Lamborghini or a Ferrari that can’t make much more noise than this. Well, that’s no fun anymore.

However, the engine isn’t the only source of the noise. The tyres and wheels are also to blame, according to AutoTrader’s Rory Reid, as even A-class tyres exceed the actual limit of 72 dB. And we’re simply talking about regular driving here, not squealing tyres or sports driving.

This indicates that the future of the majority of today’s sports cars has already been set. After that, they either evolve and become quiet or remain a good memory.

Unfortunately, this is the future, and roaring V8 sounds and beautiful exhaust noises will become increasingly rare. A distant memory, I can add…

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