Build this Nissan GT-R NISMO yourself (at LEGO scale)

There’s some big news for folks who like to build little cars. For the first time, LEGO is teaming up with Nissan. The first LEGO Speed Champions Nissan will be a scaled-down GT-R NISMO. That’s not all of the “big” news, as brick builders will likely be pleased that the 2020 Speed Champions aren’t going to be quite so scaled-down. This year’s releases will be 25 percent larger than previous Speed Champions cars, allowing for more authentic detailing of the vehicles’ intricacies.

The new 298-part kit was big enough news that it was introduced at Nissan’s global headquarters in Yokohama, accompanied by LEGO design chief Christopher Stamp and Hiroshi Tamura, current chief product specialist for the GT-R at Nissan, who discussed some of those intricacies.

“In LEGO Speed Champions, we 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,” said Stamp, in a statement. “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 recognizable details on the car. I am really happy with the end result!”

Tamura, known by NISMO fans as “Mr. GT-R,” was pleased with the results. “The GT-R has been part of my life since I was 10 years old. Working with the LEGO Group was like awakening my inner 10-year-old self to rediscover what makes the GT-R so special to me. It’s amazing how much the LEGO Group’s attention to detail reminds me of our own craftsmen.”

Lego gt-r nismo set

Lego gt-r nismo set

The introduction also brought out some big guns in addition to the creative talents behind the GT-R and its little replica.

On introducing the new model car kit, LEGO Group CEO Niels B. Christiansen said, “In addition to offering a wonderful and fun building and play experience, we hope the model will also inspire children to learn more about engineering and how to create things in real life. Just as engineers across decades have improved the design and performance of this car, children build, unbuild and rebuild during play – stimulating and developing crucial skills, such as creativity, resilience, problem-solving and critical thinking. Inspiring them to become the builders of tomorrow is our mission.”

For comparison (and promotional) purposes, Nissan had an actual 2020 GT-R NISMO on hand. For 2020, the GT-R NISMO now comes with a number of carbon-fiber body panels, including the front and rear bumpers, roof, trunk lid, rear spoiler, and front fenders with new, scalloped vents. The CFRP body parts are joined by new lightweight alloy wheels. Mechanical upgrades on the NISMO GT-R variant include Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, new lightweight alloy wheels, different turbochargers on the twin-turbo V-6, and revised suspension and transmission calibrations.

No pricing information has been released yet, but the LEGO Speed Champions 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO will go on sale in the first half of next year.

LEGO and Nissan even provided a handy comparison chart for the two GT-Rs.

 Development time  10-plus years  Approximately 12 months
 Parts  More than 90,000  298
 Assembly time  Approximately 8 hours for the vehicle, plus additional hours for the “takumi” hand-built engine  Expert LEGO builder: 20 minutes Normal LEGO builder: 1 hour
 Top speed  315+ kph  Hand-driven
 Gears  6-speed dual-clutch  1 forward, 1 backward
 Weight  1720 kg  193 g
 Building instructions  Not included  Included
 Fuel  Premium gasoline  Creativity
 Range  550+ km  Unlimited
 Hours of fun  Endless  Endless
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