Nissan GT-R(X) 2050 Concept

When car designers are free to let their imagination run wild, some remarkable concepts can leap into life. And the GT-R(X) 2050 concept, is a fine example of that.

This particular effort comes from the mind of young designer Jaebum ‘JB’ Choi, an intern at Nissan Design America (NDA) in California.

His project – part of his college thesis and a design that riffs on ‘a future autonomous era when machines can embody a driver’s emotion through a physical connection’ – was interesting and innovative enough for NDA to take more than a passing interest and decide to build a full-size model of the concept.

So, what is it that we are looking at here?

Well, the completed GT-R(X) 2050 runs just over three metres long and sits at just over 0.6 metres high. There’s room only for the driver who lies on their front with limbs extended in an X-shape. The driver wears a form-fitting suit and virtual-reality helmet – that resembles a superbike riders’ protective helmet and leathers – with the helmet providing clear vision by plugging into and displaying the vision from a suite of cameras.

Taking a further leap into the future, and the technology that may await, the car is designed to be controlled via brain power. Choi says he envisioned a connection between the human brain and the vehicle’s computer that would provide better performance than ‘ordinary’ self-driving cars. The car is, in effect, a ‘wearable machine’.

“Exo-skeletons today make people stronger by wearing mechanical structures. I tried to fit the size of a person’s body as much as I could, as if I were wearing a car,” Choi explained about the vehicle’s compact layout. “I wanted to create a new form of machine that is not a vehicle to ride, it is the space where machine and the human become one.”

OK, so this may all sound a bit science fiction, but let’s not dismiss it out of hand. Let’s remember that a certain automotive business mogul (and recent claimant of the title of World’s Richest Person) is, through his company Neuralink, researching the potential of brain-machine interfacing, and if there’s one thing we have learned in the past couple of decades it’s that you can’t ignore the musings of one Elon Musk.

Anyway, if nothing else, the GT-R (X) 2050 Concept reveals just where the thinking of the next generation of car designers is headed. And it’s an interesting and pretty exciting direction.

Source: Motor Trader e-Magazine (February 2021)

26 February 2021

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