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Nissan digs for gold with Italdesign GT-R prototype

Collaboration commemorates 50th anniversaries of both GT-R and Italdesign

Joe Duarte
Published: June 29, 2018, 10:30 PM
Updated: July 3, 2018, 4:39 PM

Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign - Based on the production 2018 Nissan GT-R NISMO model, the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign commemorates the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and Italdesign.

Nissan is providing a new spin on the GT-R with help from Italian design and engineering house Italdesign.

Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign - Based on the production 2018 Nissan GT-R NISMO model, the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign commemorates the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and Italdesign.

Created to commemorate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and Italdesign, the unique Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign prototype is based on the production 2018 GT-R Nismo’s crisp exterior and interior designs, and was then designed, engineered and built by Italdesign.

“How often do you get to ask, ‘What if we created a GT-R without limits,’ and then actually get to build it?” asked 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.”

The changes may not be readily apparent, but the prototype has a more pronounced power bulge, multiple layers of LEDs under the headlight bezels, a sweeping roofline that has been lowered by 54 mm, and more prominent “samurai blade” cooling vets behind the front wheels.

From the rear, the shoulder line tapers around the base of the rear window, drawing deeper into the centre of the trunk lid, making the drawn-in rear window appear like a separate element and creating the illusion of a StingRay-like rear-end. The twin taillights have been re-imagined as LED-light-rings around a hollow middle, and sit below a full-width adjustable wing.

Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign - Based on the production 2018 Nissan GT-R NISMO model, the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign commemorates the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and Italdesign.

The high-performance coupe rides on 21-inch wheels (10-inches wide at the front, 10.5 in the rear) exterior is finished in Liquid Kinetic Grey with twinges of Energetic Sigma Gold throughout to point to the Golden Anniversary for both companies.

The 2+2 interior is extensively finished in carbon fibre (two different presentations) surrounding black Alcantara and fine Italian leather seats. Gold accents splay across the instrument panel, doors and race-car-inspired switchgear

Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign interior - Based on the production 2018 Nissan GT-R NISMO model, the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign takes the crisp interior design of the GT-R and adapts it with items such as carbon fibre and Alcantara trim.

The awesome 3.8-litre twin-turbo VR V-6 is massaged by NISMO (Nissan’s motorsport division) to deliver 710 hp and 575 lb-ft of torque (up from the GT-R Nismo’s 600 and 481, respectively), by optimizing the ignition, intake and exhaust systems, and turbochargers and intercoolers. Other changes include heavy-duty crankshaft, pistons, connecting rods and bearings, and revised fuel injectors.

Power delivery has also been adjusted by reinforcing the rear-mounted 6-speed dual-clutch automatic and replacing the differentials and drive shafts with more robust parts. Other changes include a suspension with Bilstein DampTronic I continuously-adjustable damping, and Brembo brakes with red callipers (6-piston in front, 4-piston at the rear).

Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign - Based on the production 2018 Nissan GT-R NISMO model, the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign takes the Nissan GT-R Nismo and transforms it with such features as a deployable full-width rear wing.

Nissan did point out that this is not the next-generation GT-R.