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.
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.
There's just the matter of figuring out what to do with them all.
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