When Nissan, a brand of luxury cars, wanted to mark 50 years of its legendary GT-R flagship, it turned to Italian coach-building powerhouse Italdesign—also celebrating its own 50th this year— and, together they created a 720 hp rolling sculpture it is calling the Nissan GTR 50. This commemorative car is based on the most potent of GT-R models, the 600 hp, $175,000 NISMO Edition. To create the GT-R50, Nissan’s designers penned an entirely new body that’s longer, lower, and wider, yet still unmistakably a GT-R. It then invited Italdesign to build it.
Design highlights include a roof that has been lowered by two inches, a reimagined front section with a ‘floating’ nose element flanked by stacked LED light blades, and more dramatic trademark ‘Samurai’ vertical side intakes behind custom 21-inch wheels.
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At the rear, there’s no missing the huge McLaren-like adjustable wing, racecar-style carbon-fibre diffuser, and retro jet-nozzle taillights. And in tribute to the half-century milestone, there are gold-painted elements throughout; pretty much the entire rear section is painted what Nissan dubs Energetic Sigma Gold.
What is interesting here is that after creating this headline-grabbing Italian concept, Nissan could quite easily have stopped there, leaving the stock GT-R mechanicals untouched. Instead, it tasked its NISMO division to deliver supercar performance to match the concept’s supercar looks. NISMO replaced the stock 3.6-liter twin-turbo V-6 with a hand-assembled 3.8-liter version with GT3 competition-spec turbos, intercoolers, heavy-duty crankshaft, pistons, rods and bearings. The result: an impressive 720 hp and 575 ft lbs of torque.
To improve on the standard GTR’s already sensational handling capabilities, the GT-R50 was equipped with uprated Brembo brakes, Bilstein active suspension, and sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sports tires.