The Auto Channel Enjoy The Drive: Nissan GT-R50 Debuts at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
Exclusive GT-R50 by Italdesign set for featured role during Nissan motorsports celebration at famed Laguna Seca racetrack Aug. 23-26
PEBBLE BEACH, CA August 22, 2018: As the first-ever Japanese featured marque in the 44-year history of the annual Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Nissan is bringing a starting grid of some of the most significant race cars in company and motorsports history. Along with legendary championship machines, such as the BRE Datsun 510 and GTP ZX-Turbo, will be one of Nissan's newest ultra-supercars – the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign.
Nissan collaborated with Italdesign to design and create the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign, the ultimate expression of the current GT-R supercar. With a projected 720 horsepower, it delivers extraordinary dynamic performance, while its exterior and interior styling reflect the very best bespoke Italian craftsmanship.
Laguna Seca is the latest stop in the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign world tour, following the world debut at 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed, UK, and a parade lap at the Spa 24 Hours race in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. Following its North American debut, the GT-R50 by Italdesign will return to the home of Nissan in Japan.
Among the special events planned for the GT-R50 by Italdesign will be demonstration laps on the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca circuit throughout the weekend and participation in a planned race car caravan from the track through the streets of Monterey and Carmel, California to a gathering at the Quail Lodge on Friday, August 24. Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan's global design chief, will be riding in the GT-R50 by Italdesign during the drive, providing commentary on its design and performance.
The first-ever collaboration between Nissan and Italdesign, the Nissan GT-R by Italdesign prototype could become the blueprint for an extremely limited run of hand-built production vehicles. The vehicle commemorates the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R, in 2019, and Italdesign, in 2018.
If sufficient concrete customer interest is registered, a customer version inspired by the prototype may be created. No more than 50 units would be produced by Italdesign – with each car tailored for each customer – with a price estimated to start at around $1.2 million.
Nissan at the 2018 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
The organizers of the 2018 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion (RMMR) are recognizing Nissan this year as the first-ever Japanese featured marque. Held annually during Monterey Car Week, which features the world-renowned Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance®, the RMMR is one of the most prestigious vintage racing events in North America.
More than 50 Nissan/Datsun race cars have registered to compete on track at RMMR this year. These include IMSA champion Steve Millen in his Daytona and Le Mans-winning Nissan 300ZX Turbo and Hall of Fame racer John Morton driving the BRE Datsun 240Z. Comedian and vintage car collector Adam Carolla will drive his SCCA National GT-1 Championship 300ZX Turbo, originally raced by Paul Newman.
A variety of historic Nissans also will be on display, including the original BRE Datsun 510 John Morton drove to the 1971 and 1972 SCCA titles, the GTP ZX-Turbo Geoff Brabham piloted to eight consecutive wins and an International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) driver's championship in 1988 and Bob Sharp's four-time SCCA C-Production Champion 240Z.
Nissan North America has curated a special collection of 14 cars in its paddock area display, three of which are making U.S. debuts: the 1969 Japan Grand Prix winning Nissan R382 and the one-of-a kind Nissan R390 GT1 road car.
In addition, Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the brand's vision for bringing leading technologies to the market, will be on display through the 2019 Altima and the 2018 Nissan LEAF, featuring ProPILOT Assist, and the all-new Nissan Formula E race car, which previews the next generation of Nissan motorsports.
In addition to the collection of special cars, Nissan's large paddock display will host Adam Carolla's popular "CarCast" podcast live from noon to 1 p.m. PDT, Saturday, August 25. Legendary driver, designer and car builder Peter Brock will join Carolla to talk about the beginning of BRE and the team's run to history more than 50 years ago.