Celebrating 50 years of Datsun and Nissan performance cars, along with the 50th anniversary of famed design house Italdesign, the GT-R50 by Italdesign concept hints at a possible bespoke limited-run model, with 50 examples set to be produced at $1.3 million (£1m) each.
Driving a one-off concept is always a special experience and our first drive of the GT-R50 is no exception. The first thing that jumps out at you on approach to the car is the striking dual-colour scheme. Nissan calls it Liquid Kinetic Gray with Energetic Sigma Gold accents.
The design was a collaboration between Nissan’s in-house design teams in Europe and the US, with the engineering and final build handled by Italdesign. It is a fully road-legal car, a proof-of-production concept. The design starts with a 2018 Nissan GT-R Nismo that made its way from Japan to Turin, Italy, where it went from initial conception at the 2017 Geneva motor show to the hill climb at Goodwood in June this year.
Following its appearance at Goodwood, the GT-R50 made a cameo appearance at Spa in Belgium before it was shipped to the US to be displayed during Monterey Car Week to gauge interest for a production version. Global product communications manager Neil Reeve says if Nissan finds 50 “hand-raisers" among the world’s elite car collectors, he’s optimistic that it can reach production in 2019. Next, the GT-R50 is headed to Japan, where potential buyers in Asia will be canvassed.
The exterior of the current GT-R is dominated by its front fascia. That gets toned down a bit in this version, but it is fashion-forward with its Energetic Sigma Gold accents. Looking at the car’s side profile view, something appears a bit different. That’s because the roof has been treated to a subtle 2.1in height drop. The car also features the most unique centre third brake light we've ever seen — a translucent fin on top of the roof that is hard to miss when the brakes are applied.
The rear quarters are dominated by the deck painted in Energetic Sigma Gold, while a new pop-up spoiler has been installed. We asked the representatives from Italdesign to raise the bonnet — something that's a two-person job.