Turin, Italy - Ever wondered what you’d get if you could combine Japanese precision engineering and Italian styling flair in one gorgeous supercar? Well, wonder no more; say hello to the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign.
It’s Nissan’s first collaboration with the iconic Turin design studio, commemorating the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and Italdesign, and will make its debut in Europe in August.
But here’s the kicker: the conventional roles of Italian and Japanese car cultures were reversed: the car is based on a production 2018 GT-R Nismo, but the achingly beautiful, sex-on-wheels body was designed as joint effort by the Nissan design centres in London and San Diego.
Then their vision was developed, engineered and built at the Italdesign coachbuilding shop in Turin, not as a concept but as a completely developed, one-off road car - and what a road car!
Before the body-shell went to Italy, the Nismo petrolheads gave it a hand-built 3.8-litre VR38DETT V6 with twin high-flow, large-diameter GT3 competition-spec turbos and bigger intercoolers, heavy-duty crankshaft, connecting rods and bearings, and special pistons with high-flow oil jets.
Revised camshafts, higher-flow fuel injectors, remapped ignition and fuel-injection profiles, plus free-flow intake and exhaust systems give it an estimated 530kW at 7100 revs and 780Nm from 3600-5600rpm, which goes via a reinforced dual-clutch sequential six-speed rear transaxle, beefed-up differentials and drive shafts to all four wheels.
The suspension has also been upgraded with Bilstein DampTronic I continuously adjustable dampers, Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear callipers take care of slowing down while 255/35 R21 front and 285/30 R21 rear Michelin Pilot Super Sports provide the necessary grip.
But this car is really all about the looks.
The GT-R50 by Italdesign is finished in dark metallic grey with a distinctive power bulge on the bonnet, thin LED headlights stretching from the wheel arch to the lip above the outer cooling intakes, and a gold-inlaid inner element right across the front of the car.
The roofline has been lowered by 54mm, with a very Euro-look lowered centre section, firmed up with crisp fold lines in the Italian ‘piega’ (crease) tradition, while gold inlaid edges from the bottom of the doors to the shoulder lines emphasise the ‘samurai blade’ cooling outlets behind the front wheels.
The California car culture comes out in the tapered shoulder line around the base of the rear window, which has been dramatically extended longer and deeper than on the standard car and trimmed with gold inlays to become a separate modular element of the rear structure.
The GT-R’s twin round tail-lights are now a separate “floating” feature with thin light rings and hollow centres, below a large, adjustable rear wing on two uprights.
Two contrasting carbon-fibre finishes lend definition to the center console, instrument panel and door linings, along with black Alcantara and Italian leather on the seats and gold accents on the instrument panel, doors and the futuristic racing-inspired switchgear. The bespoke flat-bottomed steering wheel is trimmed in alcantara, with a carbon-fibre central hub and spokes.
Nissan emphasises that this is not the next-generation GT-R, but rather “an exciting celebration of two anniversaries in a provocative and creative way”. Be nice though, if it was…