It's no secret that us Outsiders get a rap for not having a GTR. However there are also many who just don't know the difference. Nowadays, almost every non GTR model has been fitted with a GTR kit, so sometimes, to the uneducated eye, it can be difficult to tell. So what exactly are the differences between a GTR and a non GTR model? For the purpose of this article I'll just focus on outwards physical appearance.
The biggest physical difference in the body style between GTR and non GTR is the width of the body. GTRs have much wider front and rear fenders to accommodate larger width wheels. The front fenders are also made from aluminum making them lighter than the non GTR models' steel fenders. These lightened front fenders also protrude further in the front and have GTR specific side markers which are also wider than the non GTR models.
In the front of the car, the GTR has an aluminum hood that does not protrude downwards in the front center like the GTST. Instead, it lines up even with the top of the headlights and has a grill that provides additional air flow. The headlights have tabs that allow the grill to mount in between them, right under the center of the hood. The GTR also has a very distinguishable front bumper with much more room cutout to flow air to the intercooler and radiator than the non GTR models. Some models known as the "N1" also had additional rectangular vents mounted to the left and right of the top of the intercooler opening.
GTR wheels look very similar to non GTR wheels however they are quite a bit different. For starters, they are wider (16x8 +30) vs the GTS-T (16x6.5 +40). They are also a slightly darker color than the non GTR variant. The manufacturing process was also different where the GTR wheels are forged aluminum/magnesium alloy (Stronger) and the non GTR are cast.
Moving to the rear of the car, the GTR has the obvious "GTR" badge mounted on the trunk adjacent to the driver side tail light. The GTR also came with a specific rear wing that stood considerably higher than the non GTR models.
Now, almost all of the above GTR specific details can be applied to a non GTR model, and some have done it, making it nearly impossible to tell based on outward appearance. But using the info above should give you a few tools to determine what's going on when you see a R32 Coupe up close. Next article we'll focus on what's under the hood and the GTR drivetrain.