Saturday, January 23, 2021

GT-R50 Test Car

Yesterday I stopped by Nissan Crossing on my way to the gym and managed to have a look at the GT-R50 Test Car. As always I ended up taking a few photos, so why not sharing them? 

The car looks a lot closer to something representative of a final production vehicle although, besides a few tweaks, the design remains largely unchanged and is still very much a love-or-hate affair.  

It’s very edgy, with lines suddenly cutting off at the rear and an overall slightly boxy look. The roundness and flare of the fenders and rear quarter panels found on the base R35 have been replaced by sharper lines that in this fantastic pearl white look very Gundam-esque. The quality of the paint is absolutely fantastic. 

Surprisingly it still retains the 390mm steel discs and brake calipers of the standard model; it will be interesting to see if these will be upgraded to the carbon-ceramic setup found on the latest GT-R Nismo.

This project hits close to home (literally) as Italdesign is based in Torino and I have both family and university friends involved in its development. Cool to see the Italian license plate, but I’m not so sure about the oversized GT-R logo with gold accents.

The interior saw probably the biggest change from the concept car and is essentially a re-upholstered version of the MY17 model. Perhaps it was the mix of grey and black Alcantara with white stitching, but I really didn’t like it too much.

The passion and craftsmanship behind this project are undeniable and it really is a special machine, but I’m not sure it delivers the “once in a generation” experience that one would expect from a million dollar car. Does it look and drive better than a R35 Nismo fitted with the N-attack Package? I’m not so sure...

Performance-wise it’s hard to ignore that is based on a now 14 years old platform. Aesthetically it promises virtually unlimited trim options, but I struggle to unsee the DNA of the car it’s based on, which also happens to be a globally available one at that, thus lacking the aura and uniqueness of its predecessors.

Will the GT-R50 go down as one of the greats in the history of the brand? Only time will tell, but I do look forward to seeing the final product and first customer cars. 

Thank you for stopping by today.

Until next time.

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