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Nissan Pushes the Limits With Italdesign GT-R50

Concept marks twin 50th anniversaries.

by on Jun.29, 2018

The Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign commemorates the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and Italdesign.

Nissan is nothing, if not proud of its affordable supercar, the GT-R. It’s stretched the boundaries with a number of variants, in recent years, including the 2018 Nismo edition. Now, it is teaming up with the legendary Italdesign to come up with it calls a GT-R “without limits.”

Somewhat surprisingly, it marks the first time Nissan and the Italian design house have worked together, and they clearly wanted to put pedal to the metal.The newly revealed take on the GT-R pushes the boundaries from a design standpoint, with its distinctive gold and gray color scheme enhancing a variety revisions to the exterior of the latest-generation GT-R.

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“How often do you get to ask, ‘What if we created a GT-R without limits,’ and then actually get to build it?” said Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s senior vice president for global design.

The decision to work with Italdesign on this particular project marks what Albaisa calls “a rare window in time. It turns out to be the 50th anniversary of both the GT-R and the Italian design house. So, he added, “To celebrate this convergence, Nissan and Italdesign created this custom GT-R to mark 50 years of engineering leadership.”

(Ghost dismisses speculation of a Renault takeover of alliance. Click Here for the story.)

The new GT-R50 isn't a redesign as much as its an upgrade to the existing GT-R.

The result of the collaboration isn’t a complete makeover. See the GT-R50 racing down a freeway and you’ll likely recognize key design cues, including the distinctive kink to its roofline and the pop-up rear wing, among other features.

But you’ll also note the dramatic new gold surround framing the GT-R50’s massive grille – that being being the appropriate color for celebrating a 50th anniversary. There’s more gold in the “samurai blade” air extractors behind the front wheels, and the noble element is again used for the sideview mirror casings and for the rear deck surrounding that pop-up wing.

Italdesigners have done more than buy up a bucket of gold paint, however. They’ve added to the power bulge of the hood. There are slit-like, modified LED headlamps rising into that hood. And while the roof retains the basic shape of the familiar GT-R’s, it actually has been chopped by about two inches.

Italdesign also has tweaked the fenders to give the GT-R50 a more muscular look, framing new 21-inch rubber. The exterior revisions wrap up with modified twin-ring taillights.

The GT-R50 gets some upgrades on the inside of the car as well as the outside.

(Click Here for more about Nissan’s 20% production cut in North America.)

Inside of the “limitless” GT-R makeover, the concept continues with the gold accents on the instrument panel, door and instrument panel. There’s also plenty of black leather and Alcantara trim. The flat-bottomed wheel, meanwhile, is made of carbon fiber.

All look but no play just wouldn’t fit a GT-R, even in concept form, so working with Italdesign, Nissan has bumped up the muscle quotient of the supercar, taking the already beefy Nismo version of the 3.8-liter V-6 from 592 horsepower to 720 – a figure that manages to top the updated version of the Dodge Challenger Hellcat announced this week. (And no, it’s no match for the 797 hp Challenger Redeye, but GT-R is lighter and far more nimble.)

Credit the addition of GT3 competition-spec turbochargers and intercoolers, along with reinforced pistons and other engine components, as well as a performance exhaust and water and oil coolers. The six-speed dual-clutch transmission has also been beefed up to handle the added stresses.

(To see more about Nissan’s plans to add eight EVs, boost electrified sales to 1M annually, Click Here.)

Officially, the Nissan/Italdesign GT-R50 is just a concept vehicle, but it seems like a lot of work for a show car. Don’t be surprised to see at least some of the work that’s gone into the showy birthday cake translate into a future production model.

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