It's been worth the wait.
Originally scheduled to be unveiled at the 2020 Geneva International Motor Show earlier this year, we've had to wait a bit longer to see the Nissan GT-R 50 by Italdesign, which was given the green light to enter production in 2018. The wait has been worth it though, and the car you see here lives up to the hype; after all, it was built to commemorate the 50th anniversaries of the GT-R (Skyline) in 2019 as well as the Italdesign company in 2018.
The world debut took place at the Tazio Nuvolari circuit in Cervesina, Italy, and Italdesign CEO Jorg Astalosch was unsurprisingly excited about the delayed unveiling of the GT-R 50, which is based on the Nissan GT-R Nismo but will be limited to just 50 units.
"This is a very special day," he said. "[We] can confirm the delivery of the first cars between the end of this year and early 2021, as planned." This will follow further static and dynamic tests, which are said to be close to completion.
Those 50 lucky customers will be able to enjoy sensational performance thanks to the hand-built 3.8-liter V6 with twin turbochargers. The Nismo-tuned powerplant produces 710 horsepower, which is over 100 hp up on the GT-R Nismo - that car can already complete the zero-to-sixty run in a blazing 2.5 seconds.
As well as being one of the quickest cars on the planet, the GT-R 50 is also a properly menacing thing to look at. The GT-R has been around for ages, but the changes to this Italdesign version do much to modernize the shape. The slimmer headlights feature four horizontal LED DRLs, and the much more intricate rear-end features two large tailpipes that replace the quad outlets of the Nismo. The roof, with its lowered center section, is a distinctive styling cue, as are the "samurai blade" cooling outlets on the sides.
At around the 11:45 mark in the video below - which tells the story of how the GT-R 50 by Italdesign came to be - an example with a gold contrast body is an especially striking look.
Exclusivity is guaranteed not just by the limit of 50 examples, but because customers can also choose their own specifications, with various liveries available. "Our customers have relished the personalized experience provided by Italdesign," said Michael Carcamo, Nissan's Program Director of Sports Cars and Nismo. "Each car will certainly be a standalone masterpiece."
Italdesign says that a few reservations are still available, but we can't imagine that these will stick around much longer, even with a jaw-dropping price of around a million bucks. The GT-R 50 by Italdesign feels like the ideal send-off for this generation of Nissan's iconic sports car, and it comes amid the possibility that the GT-R will no longer be sold in Japan and Europe. Let's hope that's never the case stateside.