It’s safe to say Nissan and Italdesign took everyone by surprise when the two companies unveiled the GT-R50 at the end of June. For good reason, the concept made a big splash a couple of weeks ago when it was revealed to the public at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, thus allowing attendees to get up close and personal with the radically styled supercar.
Now, Italdesign has published on its YouTube account a video detailing how the car came into being to celebrate not only the GT-R’s 50th birthday but also the design house’s half a century of existence. The early days of the spectacular concept can be traced back to the 2017 Geneva Motor Show where Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President of Global Design at Nissan, was invited to Italdesign’s booth to talk about a potential tie-up for what was to become the GT-R50.
The proposal was without a shadow of a doubt very interesting: an Italian take on a Japanese supercar. The teams enjoyed “absolute freedom” when designing the car and toyed around with many ideas, such as “eccentric, highly novel designs” and “timeless beauty,” according to Nissan Design Europe’s Vice President, Mamoru Aoki.
The two themes proved to be compatible and formed a mélange applied onto what was originally a standard GT-R Nismo. Manually built, the GT-R50 was created by cutting the body panels of the donor car, inserting a different frame, and then modifying the chassis to accommodate the new shape.
Aside from the bespoke styling, Godzilla reinterpreted by Italdesign went through additional modifications as Nismo tweaked the biturbo 3.8-litre V6 engine to deliver an estimated 710 brake horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque. In addition, the suspension was further optimised with a continuously adjustable damping system, while the Brembo brakes with a six-piston front and four-piston rear configuration were also on the “to do” list.
In regards to availability, there’s both good news and bad news to share. On one hand, a maximum of 50 cars will be manufactured, but each will cost a little over $1 million. Those of us that can’t afford it will be able to check it out in the metal on July 28 and 29 at the Spa-Francorchamps race track in Belgium and from August 23 until 26 at Laguna Seca in the United States. After that, the GT-R50 will head home to where it belongs: Japan.