'This is not the next-gen GT-R', says Nissan. It really should be though, says TopGear...
This gorgeous, outlandish, stunning 720hp 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…
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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