Nissan GT-R Reimagined by Italdesign
Since 2018, Nissan and Italdesign have been working on the fastest, most powerful, and intelligently designed GT-R to date. For 2020 the Italdesign GTR50 is now available to the public. By “public” I mean the wealthiest car collectors on the planet. Based on the 2018 Nismo chassis, the Italdesign GTR50 is breath of fresh air as well as look into the future of this beloved super car.
Much Welcomed Redesign
A vast majority of GT-R fans, including myself, have grown tired of the aging design of the R35 generation of this Nissan halo car. A decade has passed since the debut of the R35 and there has been only one refresh of the current car, along with the introduction of the Nismo edition. As far as styling, this is a huge step in the right direction. The collaboration between Nissan and Italdesign will be an unforgettable mark in the car’s 50 year history. The Italian design company approached Nissan with the plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the shared birthday of both corporations with a radical approach to the already incredible GT-R. Nissan agreed without hesitation and Italdesign went to work. With the help from studios in London, the US, Japan, and Turin the first prototype was unveiled 18 months later.
As I said before the GTR50 is based on the 2018 Nismo chassis. A majority of the components remain the same; however, fine tuned. Most of the changes lie in the engine bay. Upgraded high-flow turbos were added on top of bigger injectors and reinforced internals to handle the extra boost. After the custom tune, the updated engine puts out 710 horsepower and 575 ft-lbs of torque. That’s 100+ over the stock Nismo platform it’s built on.
A True Performance Car
The focus of this particular edition of the familiar super car draws back on amenities and doubles down on track performance. Italdesign and Nissan decided to strip the interior down to the seats and the A/C while maintaining quality materials for a driver-focused feel in the cabin. Suede leather and body colored accents can be found throughout the interior which further the intelligent design of this vehicle. Upgraded Brembo brakes where added to increasing braking power to compensate for faster not to 60. To stay true the GT-R’s roots of performance, every body panel was designed with airflow and aerodynamics in mind. As a result you’re left with an insanely aggressive look. Lastly, a large on-the-fly adjusting wing protrudes from the rear of this vehicle like a true performance car. The idea behind these performance design choices is to emulate the experience of a GT3 race car. They nailed it in my opinion.
A Hefty Price Tag
What we have here is true innovation. Something Nissan has been lacking behind on when it comes to the GT-R specifically. As a result of all this new engineering, design, and performance there comes a hefty price tag. Everyone of these limited edition GTR50’s will be hand-crafted to order and Italdesign won’t even pick up the phone for under $1 million. These cars are created to be marketed to those with the deepest of pockets. The cost is projected to be around $1.12 million. Like the new Ford GT, the buyer must apply to be considered for ownership of this million dollar super car. Needless to say I won’t be in line to buy one of these beasts anytime soon.
Italdesign Got It Right
This world class design company pulled out all the stops on the hand-built GTR50. They maintained the intimidating angular design language of the R35 without over populating the body with nonsensical lines and edges. It looks as though it is moving at 200mph while standing completely still. The amazing part of the design is that it’s feasible for implementation in a production car in the future. For now, however, components such as the tail lights and various others are individually 3D printed. Trim pieces and accents on the #0 model or first edition are adorned in gold to symbolize the 50th anniversary of the two companies. Unfortunately, this exact model will only be available to one lucky millionaire unless either Nissan or Italdesign keeps it for themselves. There will only be 50 of these special edition cars produced. Additionally, those 50 models will all be 1 of 1 designs and will not be reproduce for any other buyer.
This particular model has carbon fiber everywhere it counts and isn’t overdone in the slightest. I can appreciate this choice due to the overuse of artificial and utterly pointless use of carbon in most production vehicles. The hood and large rear wing are entirely made of carbon fiber with accents on the wheels, various trim pieces, and mirrors. The GTR50 pays homage to the GTR’s of the past along with subtle references to Le Mans throughout the new design.
The Future of the GT-R (R36?)
It wouldn’t be far fetched to say that a lot of enthusiasts are concerned that the end of the GT-R is near. At the very least, another hibernation period for the legendary brand is to be expected. Part of me thinks this extravigant project will ignite a fire in Nissan to begin developing the R36. The cynic in me is saying that it’s over when the unattainable special editions start rolling out. Developers from both Italdesign and Nissan appear to be just as unsure about what comes next. All we know is that they want an R36 just as bad as we do. The head of the GT-R division has already stated at the 50th anniversary event that they will let the buyer decide what happens next. Sounds like corporate bull to me. “Let the market decide” seems to be the approach. There has been talk of the implementation of automation and current Nissan technologies being tossed around. Fully electric GT-R maybe?
In the end, no matter what the fate of the GT-R, this historic collaboration is a remarkable reminder of what can be achieved. Above all, this has revived the brand and brought this topic to the forefront of the car community. Plus the GTR50 is a damn good looking car!
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