Nissan GT-R

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Editors' First Take

Not many things have enough draw to get me out of bed at 4:15 a.m. on a Sunday. But as Nissan representatives unload the one-of-one, $1.5-million Italdesign GT-R50 concept out of an enclosed trailer and onto my street, something tells me the lack of sleep will be worth it.

Both the Nissan GT-R and Italian styling house Italdesign celebrate their 50th anniversaries this year, and the GT-R50 is the result of a sort of ceremonious collaboration between the two companies. It officially debuted in Europe this summer, and following a number of media test drive opportunities and several appearances during Monterey Car Week in California, the GT-R50 would make its final US appearance, not at an auto show or other major event, but at a Sunday morning cars-and-coffee meetup in Woodland Hills, California. That's where I come in.

Godzilla in an Italian suit

A lot of cars don't photograph well, and the GT-R50 is one of them. It's hard to get a sense of just how long and low the concept car is, and how the new bodywork creates a new silhouette that's totally unique, yet at the same time, distinctively GT-R. Gold brightwork accents the hand-built, gunmetal body panels, outlining the new nose and sweeping down the car's liftback and rear fascia. The hood's prominent power bulge retains the GT-R's nostrils. The 21-inch wheels are borderline comically oversized. And those floating taillights are some of the coolest lamps fitted to any car, production or otherwise, ever.

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