SINCE the introduction of the LEGO wheel in 1962, cars have played a central role in thousands of LEGO sets and in the hearts, minds and play of millions of children across the world.
Now, the LEGO Group and Nissan have revealed a model that pays tribute to one of the most iconic Japanese super cars ever, the Nissan GT-R NISMO, with the new model revealed at the auto maker’s headquarters in Yokohama.
On hand were the toy maker’s CEO Niels B. Christiansen and Asako Hoshino, executive VP at Nissan, with hope the new model will not only provide a fun building and play experience, but also inspire children to learn more about engineering.
Just as engineers across decades have improved the design and performance of this car, children build, un-build and rebuild during play, stimulating and developing crucial creativity, resilience, problem solving and critical thinking skills.
“Many Nissan customers can trace their automotive passion back to when they built LEGO cars as children. With this partnership, everyone can be a `takumi’ – the specialised craftsmen that build the GT-R,” Hoshino said.
“Nissan also celebrates the GT-R’s 50th anniversary this year, so what better way to celebrate than to share the GT-R with Nissan and LEGO fans around the world!”
The LEGO Speed Champions Nissan GT-R NISMO will be available globally in January 2020. It’s one of the first models in next year’s Speed Champions themed sets, which will be 25 per cent bigger than in previous years.
The GT-R NISMO model, made from 298 elements, captures the authentic and intricate details of the life size race car in a relatively small model. This posed an interesting challenge for LEGO design lead Chris Stamp.
“In LEGO Speed Champions, LEGO always aim to include new types of racing vehicles. And when we focused on drifting and racing, the record breaking Nissan GT-R, and especially the new GT-R NISMO, was at the top of our wish list” he said.
“Authenticity is always our main concern, and we spent a lot of time exploring different building techniques to correctly recreate the taillights, as they are one of the most recognisable details on the car.”
Even Hiroshi Tamura, Nissan’s chief product specialist for the GT-R, known informally as Mr. GT-R, has given the scaled down LEGO version his stamp of approval.
Appearing alongside the LEGO Speed Champions Nissan GT-R NISMO at the launch was the actual 2020 GT-R NISMO. Available now, the most extreme, most capable GT-R in history features lots of carbon fibre, including the front and rear bumpers.
The roof, trunk (boot) and rear spoiler are also carbon fibre, and the front fenders feature special scalloped vents, new lightweight wheels and new tires, tuned suspension and transmission, Brembo carbon brakes and new turbochargers.