Nissan GT-R gets retro looks and over 1,000PS

22nd December 2023
Russell Campbell

Nissan’s R35 GT-R’s made its bread and butter dishing out E. Honda-style slaps in the face to Porsche 911s and now it’s looking to take a chunk out of the restomod end of Stuttgart’s market. London-based Artisan Vehicle Design (AVD) provides the goods, serving up the chiselled good looks of an R33 GT-R but with the phenomenal performance that only an R35 can bring.


As always with a well-executed resto, the beauty is in the details. So, while Artisan Vehicle Design’s body styling screams R33, period-correct steel panels go out the window in favour of lightweight and lovingly crafted carbon fibre. 

Artisan’s car looks most R33-y from the front, where you get rectangular headlights with a hint of stretch – like a Hawkeye Subaru Impreza. The straight lines of the front splitter emphasise the old-school look, and the bonnet gets NACA ducts with an additional vent that runs across the lower centre section.


The boxy theme continues in profile with distinctive side skirts and six-spoke alloy wheels that are more JDM than eating sushi in a Kei car parked in Tokyo’s Yanaka district. Around the back, you’ll find heavy R34 undertones in the form of Artisan’s staggered circular tail lights and flat-faced bodywork. The two-exit exhaust system finds a happy medium between the single-pipe modesty of the R33 and the flamboyant quad exhausts of the R35: a biplane wing and F1-style centre light round off the changes.

Naturally, you can have the whole lot finished in your choice of retro paint jobs, including Bayside Blue, Silica Brass and Midnight Purple.


AVD also goes to work on the interior, draping the cabin in carbon fibre and Alcantara, giving a high-quality look that you won’t find on any OEM GT-R, along with a huge infotainment display and a retro competition-style steering wheel you will find on most tuned versions. 

One thing that isn’t retro is the performance AVD can coax out of the Nissan’s venerable 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V6. You get two flavours to choose from – 811PS (596kW) Track or 1,014PS (746kW) Ultimate packs, which come with upgraded suspension, brakes, a gearbox rebuild and a new exhaust system.


Sadly, AVD’s fettled machines won’t arrive in time for Christmas, but they will be available for summer 2024 before appearing at SEMA in November. Of course, with the restomod looks, performance and luxury-laden interior comes a hefty price tag with conversions starting from a shade under £370,000. Still, if you want to swat a restomod Porsche away from the lights, there can be few better choices.

  • Artisan Vehicle Design

  • Nissan

  • GT-R

  • Road

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