Nissan and the VW Group’s Italdesign design house might seem unlikely bedfellows, but both have their 50th anniversaries in 2018 and that is cause for a celebration. The Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign is that celebration, a heavily upgraded and re-bodied prototype based on the 2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo.

The car is described by Nissan as ‘ultra-limited’ and we’re told that it will make its public debut in Europe within weeks. There’s no information as yet on whether it will be made available to customers or if elements of the dramatic restyle and engineering upgrades will filter through to future production cars. Best to just enjoy it for what it is, an incredible new take on the GT-R formula.

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Engineered and built by Italdesign, but designed by the Nissan Design centres in London and America, the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign gets striking Liquid Kinetic Grey paintwork, but it’s the gold highlights that really help the car make an impact.

The roof is 54mm lower than on a standard GT-R and it drops away at the rear down a more gently angled rear window to create a far sleeker profile for the car. The gold finish picks out the central area of the car’s rear end with a large adjustable rear wing and a new take on the GT-R’s trademark quartet of round taillights as finishing touches.

Around the front, more pronounced “samurai blade” cooling ducts sit behind the wheels and LED headlights extend up the wings. There’s also a bigger power dome in the GT-R’s prodigious bonnet, and you’ll forgive Nissan for that excess when you learn what’s beneath.

Nissan has applied knowledge gained from its GT3 race car to thoroughly overhaul the GT-R’s 3.8-litre turbocharged engine. While a standard 2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo generates 592bhp, the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign has 710bhp and 780Nm of torque. Larger turbos and intercoolers as well as upgrades the the fuel injectors and pistons help here, while the six-speed twin-clutch gearbox and differentials have also been tweaked to cope with the extra loads. There’s also a new suspension system based on BILSTEIN DampTronic adjustable damping and six-pot Brembo brakes to lock on to the 21-inch custom made wheels.

Inside, the standard GT-R cabin gets a carbon fibre, leather and Alcantara injection with more gold highlights to mirror the ones on the exterior.

What do you think of the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign? Let us know in the comments…

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