Nis­san’s 50th birth­day GT‰R

With a cou­ple of birthdays to cel­e­brate, Italde­sign and Nis­san have cre­ated a mon­strous an­niver­sary present to them­selves, the 710bhp GTR50.

CAR (UK) - - News - By Ben Miller

THE NIS­SAN GT R has spent much of the last decade or so mor­ph­ing from blue col­lar per­for­mance hero to star­tlingly ex­pen­sive su­per­car in its own right – wit­ness the £150k Nismo ver­sion. Now, to cel­e­brate the 50th an­niver­sary of both GT-R and Italde­sign, Nis­san’s all-wheeldrive su­per­car’s gone su­per­nova with this ex­clu­sive (50 units) and as­ton­ish­ingly ex­pen­sive (€900,000) GT-R50.

While Nis­san hasn’t of­fi­cially yet con­firmed a pro­duc­tion run, such was the level of in­ter­est at the Good­wood Fes­ti­val of Speed that 50 GT-R50s will reach cus­tomers. For their money, the lucky few will get an ex­ot­i­cally re-bod­ied Nismo GT-R with an up­rated chas­sis and pow­er­train, a be­spoke in­te­rior and ex­ten­sive use of alu­minium and car­bon­fi­bre in the Italde­sign-sculpted body­work.

Here’s your guided tour from Nis­san se­nior vice pres­i­dent of global de­sign Al­fonso Al­baisa (right).

1. ‘Italde­sign ap­proached us’

‘Italde­sign called me over to their stand at the 2017 Geneva show – they made the ini­tial ap­proach. Then they called again and came to Tokyo with some draw­ings, which were nice but they weren’t GTR. It all clicked when I saw a list of up­com­ing Nis­san an­niver­saries, in­clud­ing GTR at 50 – I loved the idea of these two an­niver­saries and 50 cus­tom cars by Italde­sign. We started sketch­ing last sum­mer, and the hus­tle re­ally be­gan when the de­ci­sion was made to bring the car to Good­wood. We had six months to make the car, and this is not a nor­mal con­cept car – it’s eƒffec­tively pro­duc­tion car num­ber zero.’

2. ‘A labour of love’

‘For a long time Italde­sign has been cre­at­ing show cars for the VW Group that feel like real cars; they’re un­der­pinned by proper struc­tures – Italde­sign can do this bet­ter than any­one. And the GTR50 is hap­pen­ing; it’s go. The re­sponse, with peo­ple or­der­ing al­ready, has been amaz­ing; very im­pres­sive. And it’s only 50 cars – it’s not like we’re build­ing 1000 of them! It’s a labour of love.’

3. ‘The con­trast of grey and gold’

‘For me the con­trast is re­ally in­ter­est­ing between the grey sur­faces and this tech­ni­cal gold ‹in­ish, in­spired by the heat-re­sis­tant foils used in mo­tor­sport. At the rear it’s like the ar­mour of a Ja­pa­nese war­rior has parted and you can see the mus­cle be­neath. I like this mix of the grand tra­di­tion of Ital­ian coach­build­ing mixed with mad-sci­en­tist Nismo tech­nol­ogy.’ (The GTR50’s en­gine is a hand-built ver­sion of the Nismo GTR’s V6 with 710bhp and 575lb ft of torque.)

4. ‘The body is Ital­ian artistry’

‘It’s easy to de­sign a show car – we do them all the time – but this is pro­duc­tion ready. The in­ner body is the cur­rent GTR Nismo – the artistry of Italde­sign is how they work with this to cre­ate the new car. With it we’ve sub­tly re-pro­por­tioned GTR. The roof is dropped 40mm. It’s a one-piece alu­minium roof, in­vis­i­bly welded to the alu­minium rear quar­ter pan­els, and we’ve deep­ened the body a lit­tle. Much of the rest of the body­work is car­bon‹ibre. The pro­por­tions are still this high cowl and a cabin that’s quite for­ward for a front-en­gined car. Vis­ually the mes­sage is still “I’m a very fast brick – catch me if you can”.’

High-tech gold in­ish in­tended to evoke mo­tor­sport­spec heat-proo ing

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