Spa Francorchamps, Belgium - For all the cynics who said the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign was just a design exercise…

Enjoy this footage of the €900 000 (R14 million) bespoke supercar on a hot lap of the historic Spa Francorchamps circuit, just before the start of the 2018 Spa 24 Hours.

This very special coachbuilt Gran Turismo is based on the 2018 GT-R Nismo but, in a complete reversal of the time-honoured ‘carrozzeria’ show special tradition, the body was styled by Nissan’s London design studio and the interior by its San Diego centre - and then the actual car was developed, engineered and built in the Italdesign workshop in Turin.

The big power bulge on the bonnet, ‘stretched’ headlights, lowered roofline and big adjustable wing give it more of a muscle car look, but there’s a Japanese flavour to the cooling outlets behind the front wheels and the dark metallic grey finish with gold accents.

The cabin is an intriguing mix of American ‘neo deco’ styling and seriously upmarket Italian materials and finishes, with two differents style of carbon-fibre trim elements contrasted against alcantara and fine black Italian leather upholstery. Even the steering wheel is a bespoke creation by Italdesign in carbon fibre and alcantara, specially for this car.

The running gear has also been been given an Italian boost - the ECU now speaks fluent Piedmontese, and the GTR-50’s handbuilt 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 delivers an estimated 530kW at 6800 revs - up 88kW on the standard Nismo trim - with 780Nm on tap from 3600-5600rpm, compared to the Nismo version’s 654Nm.

Bilstein Damptronic adaptive suspension and Brembo monobloc callipers on 390mm front and 380mm rear ventilated discs complete the package, behind bespoke 21 inch forged alloy rims shod with 255/35 front and 285/30 rear Michelin Pilot Super Sport radials.

Nissan and Carrozzeria Italdesign plan to make 50 replicas of the GT-R50 by Italdesign, sprayed, trimmed and fitted out to customer requirements - so their final prices are likely to be considerably in excess of the €900 000 it cost to build this one.

IOL Motoring