Nissan, Italdesign unveil commemorative GT-R50 concept

Could this preview the next-gen GT-R?

Nissan, Nismo, and Volkswagen's Italdesign styling house have teamed up to create a one-of-a-kind GT-R. It celebrates the nameplate's 50th anniversary and five decades of Italdesign.

Called GT-R50, the coupe started life as a standard GT-R Nismo. It's shorter, narrower, and a little bit lower than its regular-production counterpart and it wears a sharper design that takes the model's basic lines in a more futuristic direction without straying too far from tradition.

Nissan swathed the interior in leather, Alcantara, and two types of carbon fiber. Most of it is custom-made, including the race-inspired digital instrument cluster that replaces the analog unit found in the regular-production model. Nissan notably tossed out the screen for the infotainment system.

There are more changes under the hood. Power comes from an evolution of the GT-R's twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine tuned to make 720 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 575 pound-feet of torque between 3,600 and 5,600 rpm. The six-cylinder spins the four wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The modifications include GT3-spec turbochargers, bigger intercoolers, high-flow fuel-injectors, and revised cams. Engineers also strengthened key internal components like the pistons, the connecting rods, and the crankshaft to cope with the 155 extra horses they massaged out of the engine. Performance specifications haven't been announced yet.

Nissan explains its design studios in the United States and England are responsible for drawing the GT-R50 inside and out. Italdesign, on the other hand, developed, engineered, and built the car. It's a one-off right now, albeit one that looks ready for production.

There's no word yet on what the future holds. It could spawn a limited-edition model. It could preview the next-generation GT-R. Or, it could quite simply remain what Nissan presents it as: a commemorative concept car.

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