Nissan has built a stunning 711bhp GT-R with Italdesign

ItaldesignGT R2

'This is not the next-gen GT-R', says Nissan. It really should be though, says TopGear...

This gorgeous, outlandish, stunning 720bhp Nissan is not - we repeat, NOT - the next-gen GT-R. But we really, really wish it was. Perhaps it gives some clues about what Nissan’s plotting to replace the R35-gen Godzilla with…

ItaldesignGT R1

This fabulous creation is in fact the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign. It’s a collaboration between the Japanese carmaker and the Italian coachbuilder, aiming to add some Italian flair and elegance to the brutal GT-R recipe, and celebrate two birthdays. Yes, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the GT-R name in Nissan history, and 50 years of Italdesign. This is much better than a cake with candles.

ItaldesignGT R3

Nissan’s design boss, Alfonso Albaisa, says the GT-R50 is the answer to the question: “What if we created a GT-R without limits,’ and then actually get to build it?” A designer’s dream, then. Though it’s still recognisably a GT-R, every feature has been exaggerated to create a machine with true supercar presence.

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Take the headlights, made up of multiple LED strips, bisecting a gaping front intake framed in gold. Yes, hope you like gold. There’s a lot of gold about the GT-R50.

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The car’s roofline stands a whopping 54mm lower than the standard GT-R’s, and features strakes molded into its surface that channel air to the huge, McLaren-style pop-up rear wing, which lives, as you can see, in a rear deck swathed in gold. Well, it is a golden jubilee of cars, so why not go all out?

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No modern GT-R would be complete without an iconic quartet of round taillights, and Italdesign has gone for a ‘3D’ design here, with hollow, Ford GT-style lamps ‘floating’ in the gold rear fascia. What a view to follow down the road.

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Mind you, it’d take a Ford GT or McLaren to stay on the GT-R50’s tail. It’s based on the underpinnings of a GT-R Nismo, but the 3.8-litre bi-turbo V6’s wick has been turned up from 592bhp to a staggering 711bhp, courtesy of racecar-spec mods.

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Nissan has added GT3 competition-spec turbochargers and beefier intercoolers, a heavy-duty crankshaft, reinforced pistons, connecting rods and bearings, a new exhaust, and upgraded the cooling and oil systems. The 6spd dual-clutch gearbox has been strengthened to cope with the forces generated by the 780Nm engine.

There’s also a revised Bilstein suspension set-up with adjustable dampers, 21-inch carbonfibre wheels, and a completely revised, Alcantara-covered cabin.

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Are you thinking what we’re thinking? Is it just us, or is that an incredibly thorough redesign, re-engineer and re-trim for what could just as easily be a one-off concept car made of papier-mâché and clay?

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Nissan and Italdesign have really gone to town on this thing. Lots of specs, lots of attention to detail, and an absolute insistence this isn’t anything to do with a new GT-R. Are you sure, Nissan? We’d humbly suggest you reconsider…

We’d even take it in gold.

STORY Ollie Kew

TopGear
Author: TopGear
Top Gear is a British television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars, and is the most widely watched factual television programme in the world.