Nissan and Italdesign have created a new prototype vehicle – the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign – in their first-ever collaboration. Based on a production 2018 Nissan GT-R NISMO model, the unique car commemorates the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and Italdesign and will make its debut in Europe next month.
“How often do you get to ask, ‘What if we created a GT-R without limits,’ and then actually get to build it?” said Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s senior vice president for global design. “This is a rare window in time when two big moments intersect: 50 years of Italdesign shaping the automotive world and 50 years of Nissan generating excitement through our iconic GT-R. So to celebrate this convergence, Nissan and Italdesign created this custom GT-R to mark 50 years of engineering leadership.”
Italdesign developed, engineered and built the car. The distinctive, crisp exterior and interior designs were created by the teams at Nissan Design Europe in London and Nissan Design America.
Design at its best
Starting at the front, the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign features a distinct golden inner element that stretches across almost the full width of the vehicle. The hood has a more pronounced power bulge, and the thin LED headlights stretch from the wheel arch to the lip above the outer cooling intakes.
Dominating the side view, the distinctive roofline has been lowered by 54 millimeters and features a lower center section, while the slightly raised outer portions give the roof profile a muscular look. The signature GT-R “samurai blade” cooling outlets behind the front wheels have gained more prominence with a gold inlay and extends from the bottom of the doors to the shoulder line.
The rear highlights the car’s wide track with taut, muscular flares around the wheels. The shoulder line tapers around the base of the rear window and draws toward the center of the trunk lid. In a dramatic fashion, the rear window line descends longer and deeper than on the standard car. Combined with more gold elements, it appears as a separate modular element of the rear structure.
The GT-R’s twin round taillights have been reimagined as a separate “floating” feature with thin light rings and hollow centers, mounted so as to join the outer buttress and the central portion of the trunk structure. A large, adjustable rear wing, mounted with two uprights, completes the overall look. Custom wheels – 21 x 10 inches in front and 21 x 10.5 inches at the rear – accentuate the car’s bold stance. The exterior is finished in Liquid Kinetic Gray paint with distinctive Energetic Sigma Gold anniversary accents.
Inside, the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign reflects its modern, high-performance pedigree. Two different carbon fiber finishes are extensively used across the center console, instrument panel and door linings, along with black Alcantara® and fine black Italian leather on the seats. Gold accents echo the exterior treatment across the instrument panel, doors and the futuristic race car-inspired switchgear. The bespoke steering wheel’s central hub and spokes are made of carbon fiber, while the rim features a flat bottom and matching Alcantara trim.
Pure performance plus
Underneath the new shape, the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign is all business. Drawing on Nissan’s GT3 racing experience, the NISMO organization enhanced the hand-assembled 3.8-liter V6 VR38DETT engine to produce an estimated 720ps and 780 Nm of torque.
Changes to the power plant include optimized twin high-flow, large-diameter GT3 competition-spec turbochargers and larger intercoolers; heavy-duty crankshaft, pistons, connecting rods and bearings; high-flow piston oil jets; revised camshaft profiles; higher-flow fuel injectors; and optimized ignition, intake and exhaust systems. A reinforced dual-clutch sequential six-speed rear transaxle and stronger differentials and drive shafts direct the power to the wheels.
A revised suspension has been developed, featuring the BILSTEIN DampTronic® I continuously adjustable damping system. For braking, the Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes feature bright red, clearly visible calipers. Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, sized 255/35 R21 in the front and 285/30 R21 in the rear, add a level of grip needed to harness the engine’s power.
“Although this is not the next-generation GT-R, it is an exciting celebration of two anniversaries in a provocative and creative way – wrapping one of Nissan’s best engineering platforms and Japanese design with Italian coachbuilding,” said Albaisa.