Nissan unwraps a 50th birthday present. ‘GT-R50 by Italdesign’ concept celebrates two significant automobile half-centuries.
‘This,’ says Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s design vice-president, ‘is not the new GT-R.’ Its purpose is to mark two 50th anniversaries: the launch of the first Nissan with a GT-R badge and performance to suit, and half a century of Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Ital Design company. It’s an unexpected collaboration, given that nowadays Italdesign belongs to the VW group, and equally unexpected is that the design house didn’t actually design the GT-R50. Instead it has built a design conceived by Nissan’s US and London studios.
The GT-R50 is based on a current GT-R Nismo, from which the design theme is clearly derived. The roof is lower, the arches are more muscular, the shoulder line tapers around the base of the rear window with each side meeting on the bootlid. Familiar elements are exaggerated with gold detailing, apart from the four round rear lights which are rendered as rings floating out of a tail recessed between the rear wings.
It’s a fully-functional prototype, whose 3.8-litre, twin-turbo V6 has been uprated to an estimated 710bhp. With current GT-R production due to end soon, it will be interesting to see how close a new one – if it happens – is to this one-off GT-R50.