The carmaker liked this design so much, they built a model of it.
Predicting the future of automobiles is a near-impossible task. But it is fun. As part of his student intern design thesis, future automotive designer Jaebum "JB" Choi envisioned what cars in the year 2050 would look like. Choi is a graduating senior at the ArtCenter College of Design in California, who also completed an internship at Nissan Design America (NDA).
As an avid fan of the 2021 Nissan GT-R and the original Skyline GT-R, Choi knew which vehicle he wanted to use as a basis for his study of a future autonomous era. Dubbed the Nissan GT-R(X) 2050, this design concept imagines a future supercar that can embody a driver's emotion through a physical connection. Nissan enjoyed Choi's design so much, it decided to build a 1:1 scale model.
"I started my internship at NDA in January and participated in company projects for about two months. Then, I started my 'vision humanoid' project for the rest of the internship, working from home because of Covid-19," Choi explained. "Little did I imagine then that the team at NDA would take me under their wings and help me create it as a full-size model."
Seeing Choi stand next to the GT-R(X) 2050 helps provide a better sense of its futuristic proportions. It sits just two feet high and stretches 10 feet long. The car is designed for a single driver resting in a "prone" position with their limbs in an X position. Rather than using conventional controls, a GT-R(X) 2050 drive will wear a form-fitting suit and helmet with a built-in brain-to-core transmitter. The car will essentially read the driver's mind and operate accordingly.
Although the GT-R(X) 2050 looks wildly different than anything on the road today, it keeps a hand full of GT-R styling details. The shape of the GT-R's iconic taillights is integrated into the rear bumper and the red-striped accents pay homage to the GT-R Nismo. Choi imagines that his creation will be all-electric with one-piece wheels and tires that allow the car to turn 360 degrees. The car would feature advanced aerodynamics like an active wing to add downforce and a special spoke pattern to keep the wheels cooled down.
"JB has essentially envisioned a new mode of transportation that people could experience like clothes, 'wearable,' instead of a traditional vehicle 'carriage.' It is the kind of breaking-the-mold thinking that has always been encouraged here at NDA. We've been honored to help bring JB's vision to life," says NDA Vice President David Woodhouse.