Nissan and Italdesign have confirmed that the special-edition GT-R50 will make its official world debut at this month's Goodwood Festival of Speed. Working together for the first time, the two companies are also considering building up to 50 examples of the partially gilded GT-R custom, each available to a buyer willing to part with $1 million for a fiercer version of Godzilla with prettier makeup.
Nissan was a little vague in its initial GT-R50 announcement, but we figured that a European debut in July meant that Goodwood would be the spot. What better place for an extra-spicy GT-R than a festival of speed?
No surprise on the location, but more surprising is that Nissan is already accepting expressions of interest for a possible limited-edition production version of the "GT-R without limits." The automaker falls short of unequivocal confirmation in this week's announcement but mentions the possibility several times, saying that, pending the GT-R50's reception at Goodwood and other global events, a customer version could follow.
If the GT-R50 does move forward, Italdesign would build no more than 50 models, each one tailored to its individual buyer for an estimated starting price of €900,000 (approx. US$1.06 million). Prospective buyers, or those that just want future updates about the project, can register interest at www.gt-r50.nissan.
The Nissan GT-R has always packed an extremely attractive performance/price ratio, but it hasn't necessarily had the looks to match. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but we don't think it's a stretch to question whether the GT-R's rough-edged styling is really on the same plane as the Ferraris and Aston Martins of the world.
A little Italian fusion certainly helps. The GT-R50 is a fun look at what happens when one of the most famous Italian design houses softens Godzilla up with coach-built bodywork. The GT-R50 started life as a 2018 GT-R Nismo, and it's not a complete ground-up redesign, but we'd say Nissan and Italdesign have been successful in giving it a smoother, more natural look more in line with its performance peers.
Speaking of performance, the GT-R50 has more than ever. Nismo pitched in with some GT3-derived engine upgrades, giving the GT-R50 a full 110 hp over top the GT-R Nismo, for a total of 710 hp and 575 lb-ft of torque (529 kW and 780 Nm). Accompanying performance upgrades include a reinforced transmission, revised suspension damping and upgraded Brembo braking system.
Still, at $1 million, the GT-R gives up its claim on a high performance/price ratio. But the new project should appeal to buyers less interested in a bang-for-buck supercar and more interested in buying a fashionable bespoke build from one of the most revered names in Italian design, complete with Japanese-developed bones below.
Sadly, Nissan's new announcement sticks with the same shadowy preview pictures it already released last time, so we'll still have to wait for the full Goodwood reveal later this week to see how the GT-R50 looks bathing in full, shining light. The Festival of Speed gets underway on Thursday, July 12.
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