Italdesign creates a wild new look for the Nissan GT-R's birthday
The GT-R50 commemorates the 50th anniversary of Nissan's performance car.
Jake HolmesReviews Editor
While studying traditional news journalism in college, Jake realized he was smitten by all things automotive and wound up with an internship at Car and Driver. That led to a career writing news, review and feature stories about all things automotive at Automobile Magazine, most recently at Motor1. When he's not driving, fixing or talking about cars, he's most often found on a bicycle.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of both the Nissan GT-R and Italian styling house Italdesign. So the two entities joined forces to build a completely reimagined
GT-R, with outlandish styling and, of course, even more power than normal.
The Nissan GT-R50 is based on a production GT-R NISMO but with totally new bodywork. The new, lower hood has a prominent power bulge, while the new front fascia features gold accents. The gold theme continues in an inset on the car's rear end. The roofline has been lowered by 2.1 inches, the rear fenders have been flared outward and the rear window now slopes down lower than on the regular car. "Floating" taillights complete the visual transformation at the rear of the car.
Italdesign and Nissan also reworked the car's cabin, eliminating the standard dashboard-mounted infotainment screen and refinishing the dash in Alcantara. Gold accents adorn the interior, while a new racy instrument cluster sits behind the carbon-fiber steering wheel.
"How often do you get to ask, 'What if we created a GT-R without limits,' and then actually get to build it?" Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan's senior vice president for global design, said in a statement. "Although this is not the next-generation GT-R, it is an exciting celebration of two anniversaries in a provocative and creative way."
Of course, Nissan's engineers also put the GT-R NISMO on a steroidal diet to get even more power out of its twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine. Among the changes: new turbochargers from the GT-R GT3 race car, larger intercoolers, tougher engine internals, stronger axles and a tougher dual-clutch transmission. The result is 710 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque. The Bilstein Damptronic adaptive suspension has been retuned, too, and the Brembo brake calipers are now painted red and sit behind 21-inch wheels.
The Nissan GT-R50 will make its public debut in Europe in July. It's characterized as a "prototype" which means the likelihood of a production model reaching showrooms is virtually nil. But there's no denying that Italdesign's work has made this the most eye-catching R35-generation GT-R to date.
Italdesign and Nissan team up to build a stylish new GT-R prototype