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What is the Nissan GT-R50?

Tyler Heatley

22 Sep 2020

The Nissan GT-R50 made its global debut in production form back in 2018, but now the very first examples of this rarified supercar is reaching 50 lucky owners. With dramatic Italdesign coachwork, it’s as dramatic as it is fast.

The is no denying that the Nissan GT-R is an incredible machine. The all-wheel drive performance car is often referred to as ‘Godzilla’ for the monstrous way in which it shames exotic supercars costing double or triple its own price tag. The Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign builds on that legacy in the most artistic of ways, something that will be seen by many at the Beijing Motor Show.

What’s in a name?

Most special edition cars get a unique shade of paint, some stickers and the obligatory badging smattered all over the body, but the GT-R50 is far beyond that. A collaboration between Nissan and famed coachbuilder Italdesign, the R50 represents 50 years of the Italian design house. This is a company that has been responsible for styling legends such as the original Volkswagen Golf, BMW M1 and DeLorean DMC-12 to namedrop a few star cars.

The latest example of Italdesign’s handiwork is this very special GT-R, hence why the car’s official nameplate is GT-R50 by Italdesign. Every artist signed their painting after all.

What makes it special?

While it might appear ultra-modern, and something fresh of the set of Tron, this model actually harks back to the grand days of coach building. Once upon a time, car buyers would select their chosen engine and chassis manufacturer, but then have the car delivered to a favoured design house to create a bespoke body. This lead to beautiful and incredibly rare derivatives of desirable vehicles.

Italdesign and Nissan’s European design department got to work sketching a timeless design for the GT-R, one that incorporates some pretty unique character traits. This limitless form is far sleeker than standard, hosting rakish lines, slimline headlights and a roof lowered by 54mm. The rear is presented in a two-tone scheme and almost appears as a cutaway from the main design. Its dramatic appearance is concluded with a set of glowing red halos that enhance the original twilight signature.

The interior has also been modified and is now bathed in Alcantara and carbonfibre. In many ways the cabin his been simplified with an old-school digital instrument cluster and no distracting infotainment screen.

Under the skin

The theatrical nature of the GT-R50 is more than skin-deep, with engineers working hard to create the ultimate GT-R. It is based on the most hardcore GT-R Nismo, but the turbocharged 3.8-litre V6 engine now produces 710bhp and 575lb ft of torque. That colossal output comes thanks to a pair of motorsport derived turbochargers and almost every component of the engine being upgraded.

Adjustable Bilstein DampTronic dampers are now homed in each corner, along with a set of six-piston Brembo brakes. The car has also been fitted with stickier Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres to deliver even more of the GT-R’s signature lateral grip.

Official performance figures have yet to be announced, but expect an improvement over the already blisteringly fast Nissan GT-R Nismo.

Want one?

Usually this is the point where we say ‘sorry, sold out’, but apparently there are still a few build slots available for the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign. The bad news is that this car carries a price tag of £885,000.

Should you find the correct amount of change down the back of the sofa, Italdesign will happily customise the car to your exacting specifications. You will also join a very small club of just 50 people possessing a set of keys to a GT-R50.

Tyler Heatley

22 Sep 2020