Sunday, April 11, 2021
Godzillas wilde party
Nissan GT-R50 – from beast to beast
There are sports cars that are more powerful than Japan and some are faster. But nobody is as reputable as the Nissan GT-R. Since Godzilla is equally feared and loved, he went wild on his fiftieth birthday.
No, Nissan fans should wait for the hottest news. Because even if there is indeed something new to report about the GT-R, there is still no new GT-R. Although the current version of what may be the most important, but above all, the longest-running Japanese sports car, has already passed 14 years, there is still no talk of the long-awaited successor. But the Japanese now face another crack in the current chain.
Just in time to celebrate Godzilla’s fiftieth birthday, which is as revered as it is feared, they launched an impressive anniversary edition with Turin-based engineering and design services provider Italdesign – especially since Italians are only half a century old. Rebuilt in several months, completely re-covered with a carbon body, equipped with a lot of racing technology and designed for – surprisingly – a maximum of 50 copies, the GT-R50 with its base price of 1.2 million euros has become the most expensive Nissan in automobile history. No wonder not all copies were sold out in a long time.
Designed as a super sports car
The GT-R in Turin looks just like a super sports car: the front becomes more aggressive, the wings get more powerful, the roof curves more flatly and a hydraulically adjustable one sits above the rounded stern with a lower spoiler that could serve as a bar for some owners. Plus, there are LED headlights in the front with a glance like laser cannons and glowing rings of light in the back that seem to literally float – so it’s sure to grab attention.
But they also helped inside, stitching up neat leather or installing carbon consoles wherever plastic was cheaper. You really owe that price. But since the cockpit has not changed and with it the huge touchscreen that contains quite a large number of screens, the GT-R still feels like a driving simulator for the PlayStation. At least until you start the engine, the rumble of the thick exhaust pipes is calling for you to the here and now.
It is true that the big Christmas was three years ago. But first of all, the Italians did a very thorough job, developing the car from scratch and testing it accordingly. Secondly, this cooperation also suffered from Corona and thus took a little longer. But all this is now forgotten, and these days, the first donor vehicles arrive in Moncalieri at the gates of Turin.
Godzilla is serious about the frenzy
While new cars from Japan are hand-disassembled and reassembled together like a giant PS puzzle with hundreds of new parts, one of the two prototypes awaits in front of the hall for the first exit. Even the regular GT-R is a true super sports car that looks amazing, strong as a bear and drives at breakneck speed. But while the base model still looks a bit as though it was born on Playstation and has an almost virtual character, Italdesign proves just how seriously Godzilla took the frenzy: the developers fought for every gram and used a similar amount of carbon, they actually even have the steel bodywork done. Tuned more tightly and tires optimized, the electronics and trimmings of the car have been reprogrammed for maximum performance with every screw, every bit, and every byte.
The focus is on the well-known 3.8-liter V6 Turbo engine. But since Italdesign sees itself not only as a design studio, but as a comprehensive development service provider, the Italians have also improved the engine a bit, reprogramming the software and the larger charger lip of the GT3 racing car. While the production model in its most powerful version is 600 hp, the vehicle registration document is 720 hp and maximum torque mounts from 652 to 780 Nm.
A true super athlete at the age of fifty
It works this: When the specially developed Michelin Pilot Super Sport reaches 255 mm in the front and 285 mm in the rear, the GT-R on its impressive 21-inch wheels can accelerate to 100 km / h in under three seconds – just like That feeling during a short ride on the Alpine highway – enough power for more than 315 km / h in which electronic devices pull the rip wire. Add to that a new all-wheel-drive setup, more sting for the massive rails and double-clutch on the staccato, then the GT-R can’t roll back and sweep the Turin mountains until the snow melts everything in itself, that’s just how hot the drive is. Due to retirees – even at 50, the GT-R is such a fast car that will make you want to hit the racetrack right away.
While you can literally hear the massive air-sucking cooler, the turbocharger starts singing their hottest song and the exhaust pipes blow their march so loud that the spectators’ trousers are flapping, and the GT-R breaks into the pole site. The tires squeak for only a moment, a minute jerk penetrates the body, as if from a distant earthquake, and it seems that time stands still for a few moments. Then all hell explodes: eyes seek to dominate the horizon, ears hear the soundtrack of Dante’s Inferno Inferno and hands firmly grip the steering wheel as he drives a flat-pitched as if there is no more tomorrow.
But the impressive longitudinal acceleration alone would be like salt without pepper. With only the outlet getting the flavor it needed in conjunction with the proper lateral acceleration, Italdesign balanced the car well, tuned it tightly and installed an extremely precise steering. Once the ESP’s all-wheel drive, chassis and tolerance range are programmed on the racetrack, the GT-R will have no stopping even in curves. As if walking on the rails, it pierces the edges of the ring with precision and accuracy. You can only steer the car with the accelerator pedal when it gets wet.
When the regular GT-R is a monster, in the Christmas version it becomes a monster that eats corners and competitors without ever hitting an eyelid. At least in theory. However, in practice, no customer will ever try it. As a frantic rarity, you are more likely to see the GT-R50 in air-conditioned garages than in the express driveway or even in the pit lane, and only Nissan fans will likely see it at fairs or auctions.
Herein lies a big problem for a retired race tracker. Because it might look amazing and drive that way. But while the GT-R50 has been successful as a birthday present for its most loyal fans, it’s only a temporary hiatus. What the two-footed faction actually expects from the Japanese is not uncommon for wealthy speedsters. But nearly 15 years after the current GT-R debuted, it was time for a successor.