Nissan's first production GT-R 50 roars down a track for the first time

Ronan Glon

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Nissan and Italdesign teamed up for the first time when they unveiled the GT-R 50 in 2018. Nearly two years later, the limited-edition coupe has entered pre-production and it's undergoing shakedown testing in Italy.

Images showing the coupe giving it all on the Tazio Nuvolari circuit confirm it hasn't significantly changed as it transitioned from a futuristic concept to a low-volume production car. That's good news, because the head-turning, straight-off-the-drawing-board design was a big part of its appeal. The GT-R 50 is based on the regular-production GT-R, but Nismo tuned its twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine to 710 horsepower.

2020 has been a rough year for Nissan. In addition to the obvious coronavirus-related shutdowns, the Japanese company is in the midst of a tumultuous restructuring that's forcing it to make $2.8 billion in cuts and deep-six the Datsun brand for the second time. In this context, a car like the GT-R 50 could have easily ended up on the back burner, yet Nissan remained fully committed to it and stressed the project remains on track.

Enthusiasts who have already placed a deposit on the GT-R 50 are starting to configure their cars. Many visual parts  are customizable, but buyers can also choose one of several heritage-laced liveries inspired by historic GT-R models. These haven't been shown to the public yet. We won't have to wait too long to see them because, in spite of the aforementioned setbacks, deliveries are still scheduled to start in early 2021 at the latest.

Nissan and Italdesign will build 50 units of the GT-R 50, and you're in luck if you want to add one to your collection. Although one- and few-off projects have been improbably popular in recent years, there are still a handful of build slots available, though neither party revealed how many cars are spoken for. Pricing starts at €990,000, which represents about $1 million. For context, the regular GT-R carries a base price of $113,540.

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