THEY famously designed and put their name to one of Britain's worst cars of the late 20 century, but one of Italy's best respected design houses has put all that behind them.
And Italdesign's latest creation couldn't be further removed from the Morris Ital which its designers helped pen for long-defunct British Leyland back in 1980 and which was generally recognised as a lemon by the drivers of the day.
For the Italian company, which was founded by Giorgetto Giugiaro and Aldo Mantovani back in 1968, has joined forces with Nissan to create the ultimate Nissan GT-R.
The Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign is the first-ever collaboration between the two companies and has been built to celebrate the 50 anniversaries of both the GT-R and Italdesign.
Based on a production 2018 Nissan GT-R NISMO model it is, says Nissan, a pototype but the company insists it is not the next generation GT-R.
"How often do you get to ask, 'What if we created a GT-R without limits,' and then actually get to build it?" asks Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan's senior vice president for global design.
"Although this is not the next-generation GT-R, it is an exciting celebration of two anniversaries in a provocative and creative way - wrapping one of Nissan's best engineering platforms and Japanese design with Italian coachbuilding," said Albaisa
Italdesign developed, engineered and built the car although, perhaps strangely, the dramatic changes to both the exterior and interior styling were put in the hands of Nissan's own design teams in London and the USA.
Distinctive features include vivid golden elements at the front and back. The bonnet has a more pronounced power bulge and thin LED headlights stretch from the wheel arch to the lip above the outer cooling intakes.
There's a large, adjustable rear wing and custom 21 inch wheels sit beneath muscular flared wheel arches.
Inside there's extensive use of carbon fibre along with black Alcantara and fine Italian leather on the seats. Gold accents echo the exterior treatment across the instrument panel, doors and the futuristic race car-inspired switchgear. The bespoke steering wheel features a flat bottom and matching Alcantara trim.
The prototype is more than just a design study, however. Underneath the dramatic exterior, the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign is all business. Drawing on Nissan's GT3 racing experience, the NISMO organization has enhanced the hand-assembled 3.8-liter V6 engine to produce an estimated 720ps and 780 Nm of torque.
A revised Bilstein suspension system has been developed with a continuously adjustable damping system while the Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes feature bright red, clearly visible calipers.