Nissan first introduced the 2020 GT-R Nismo in April last year, which came with a number of enhancements to make it even more capable than before. However, when the time came to film the sports car on the track, it apparently faced a problem: how to get it done?
Well, the carmaker employed the services of Mauro Calo, a professional precision driver who once set the world record for the longest car drift in W204 Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG. He is also an automotive video expert known for his work on big-budget blockbuster movies and automotive TV shows, the latter including Top Gear and The Grand Tour.
While this type of filming would typically require a high-performance SUV to be used, they lack the speed or agility to follow the world’s fastest performance cars on track. As a result, Calo’s preferred camera car is a bespoke GT-R, which fits the bill with its adjustable sports suspension, low centre of gravity and capable powertrain featuring a 3.8 litre twin-turbo V6 and all-wheel drive.
“When I started to think about developing a high-performance camera car, I quickly realized that the Nissan GT-R was the only car that would meet my criteria. It has supercar performance, with outstanding all-wheel drive handling and stability. It’s famously reliable, and it can seat the team I need to operate the camera system. There were no other contenders,” said Calo.
In order to ensure the GT-R camera car meets the demands of keeping up with a Nismo version on the track, the vehicle’s body was first removed, and aluminium supports were added. Next, a tubular frame that supports a bespoke carbon-fibre camera gimbal was added to the chassis, while a matte black finish prevents glare or other lighting issues.
Nissan admits that not many GT-R customers regularly use all four seats inside its sports car, but they certainly to come in handy to accommodate a full camera crew, which includes Calo at the wheel, a gimbal operator, a focus puller and a director.
“I knew already, from driving it on photo and video shoots, what a great car the Nissan GT-R is. But since I adapted my Nissan GT-R to be a high-speed camera car and have been using it to film some of the world’s fastest cars on track, my respect and appreciation of its performance, reliability and stability has only increased. It amazes me and the teams I work with every time we use it,” noted Calo.