Deliveries of the Nissan GT-R 50, a limited edition sports car built in collaboration with Italdesign, will begin at the end of the year at a price starting at 990,000 euros ($1.09 million), the two companies said in an online launch of the production version.
A prototype of the GT-R 50 was shown at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Italdesign had intended to display the production version in March at the Geneva auto show, which was canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak. Instead, the car was revealed digitally on Wednesday.
Italdesign, a division of VW Group will build 50 of the cars at its production facility in Turin, Italy, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Nissan GT-R, one of Japan’s best-known sports-car nameplates, as well as the 50th anniversary of Italdesign in 2018.
The GT-R badge first appeared in 1969 on a performance version of the Japanese market Skyline sedan. It continued to be used on high-performance Skyline models until 2007, when the current standalone GT-R model was launched. News reports have suggested that Nissan will not replace the aging model as the automaker seeks to cut costs, meaning the GT-R 50 could become a swansong for the badge.
The GT-R 50 uses the same 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine in the regular model but upgrade by Nissan’s tuning arm Nismo to produce 720 hp. The GT-R has a base price of 103,000 euros, with a Nismo edition at 210,000 euros.
Nissan head of design Alfonso Albaisa hailed the link to historic Italian “carrozzeria” during the online launch at the Tazio Nuvolari racing circuit south of Milan. Coach builders such as Italdesign, Bertone and Pininfarina became famous for creating bespoke, often sporty cars based on production models from mainstream automakers.
Speaking from Japan, Albaisa said that Italdesign had approached Nissan in 2017 to do an undetermined project together. “We landed on the fact that what we should tackle a GT-R together, one that celebrates the history of the car,” he said. Design took place at Nissan in London, California and Japan. Italdesign carried out the engineering and development work in Italy.
“This is a completely custom car that is pure in its intention,” Albaisa added.
GT-R 50 customers are encouraged to choose liveries from famous racing GT-Rs of the past. Some buyers have gone for liveries from years that were personal to them, for example the year they started their company. There are still build slots available, Nissan said.