What better way to celebrate than with a one-off creation?
The Nissan GT-R (Skyline) is celebrating its 50th birthday this year. Design house Italdesign also turns 50. To celebrate these historic landmarks, Nissan teamed up with Giorgetto Giugiaro's design studio to create a new prototype vehicle called the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign. The "50" in the name obviously refers to the anniversary years of both the Skyline and the design house, and the car is based on a production 2018 Nissan GT-R Nismo model.
“How often do you get to ask, ‘What if we created a GT-R without limits,’ and then actually get to build it?” said Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s senior vice president for global design. “This is a rare window in time when two big moments intersect: 50 years of Italdesign shaping the automotive world and 50 years of Nissan generating excitement through our iconic GT-R. So to celebrate this convergence, Nissan and Italdesign created this custom GT-R to mark 50 years of engineering leadership.” In a unique roll reversal, Italdesign developed and engineered the car, while Nissan Design Europe in London and Nissan Design America worked on the interior and exterior designs.
At the front, the changes from a standard GT-R are very clear. The Nissan GT-R50 features a gold section across the length of the vehicle, with a pronounced hood and thinner headlights. Looking at the car from the side, you'll notice the roof has been lowered by 54 millimeters and the signature GT-R "samurai blades" behind the front wheels match the gold in the front fascia. Around back, the rear fascia highlights the car's width with muscular flared wheel arches and shoulder lines that taper around the base of the rear window. Even more gold elements are used to break up the rear structure.
The GT-R50 retains the classic twin round taillights, but reimagines them as a separate floating element with thin light rings and hollow centers. No GT-R would be complete without a rear wing, and the GT-R50 uses an adjustable unit mounted with two uprights.
Custom 21-inch wheels finish off the car’s bold stance, and the Liquid Kinetic Gray paint with distinctive Energetic Sigma Gold anniversary accents gives the car a unique flavor. Under the hood, Nismo took inspiration from GT3 racing, and pumped up the 3.8-liter V6 VR38DETT engine to 710 horsepower and 757 lb-ft of torque. Changes to the twin-turbo V6 engine include twin high-flow, large-diameter GT3-spec turbochargers, larger intercoolers, a heavy-duty crankshaft, pistons, connecting rods and bearings, high-flow piston oil jets, revised camshaft profiles, higher-flow fuel injectors, and optimized ignition, intake, and exhaust systems.
The six-speed dual-clutch transaxle has also been reinforced to handle the extra power. In addition to the added power, the GT-R50 will handle better thanks to a Bilstein DampTronic continuously adjustable damping system, Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes, and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. “Although this is not the next-generation GT-R, it is an exciting celebration of two anniversaries in a provocative and creative way – wrapping one of Nissan’s best engineering platforms and Japanese design with Italian coach building,” said Albaisa. While this may not be the R36 GT-R we've been waiting for, it may be a sign that the R35 generation is finally on its way out.