When Italdesign and the Nissan GT-R both hit their 50th anniversary this year, the two brands joined forces for a special celebration.
Together they created the Nissan GT-R50, a golden homage to the Japanese performance icon. Following the car’s unveiling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June, Italdesign has now released a video showing how it built the vehicle.
Nissan’s contribution to the project is both the base car — a GT-R NISMO — and the engineering beneath it. The GT-R50 still uses the NISMO’s 3.8-liter V6, but tuned up to around 710hp. Along with a substantial number of engine revisions, the GT-R50’s enhanced poke comes courtesy of new GT3-spec turbochargers and larger intercoolers.
In order to channel that to the road, the GT-R50 still uses a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, but with substantial changes. The gearbox itself is reinforced, as are the rear differentials and drive shafts. There’s a new active damping “DampTronic” system from Bilstein too.
Where Nissan’s role is under the skin, Italdesign’s is very much on the surface. Although still recognizable as a GT-R, the Italians left almost no visible part untouched. Furthermore, it built the entire body by hand.
The most significant alteration, although you may not spot it at first, is the roofline. Italdesign chopped two inches out of the coupe’s tin top and replaced it. The workshop team involved not only hand-formed these panels, they did it with tools they’d made themselves.
If this sounds a little old school, you’d be right. These are techniques the craftsmen learned from the artisans before them, and have been using for decades. But there’s more than a hint of new technology involved too. Italdesign scanned the car to ensure a proper fit for its new panels. It even used 3D printing, for those very distinctive tail lights.
You can watch the whole, fascinating build process in the video below: