New Model News

These are the limited edition Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign models you've been waiting to see

A limited number of these high-end GT-R models will be for sale in 2020.

Photo courtesy of Italdesign

The Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign customer model won't be displayed in public at an auto show until March but Nissan is giving enthusiasts a look at the prototype at, 2019 NISMO Festival, Nissan Crossing in Tokyo's Ginza district in December, and at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January. Ahead of those events, the Japanese automaker has released new photography of the sports car.

"Designers dream of creating from a blank canvas, but with GT-R, it is a canvas that has been shaped by an adventurous history, a heart powered by NISMO, and a soul reflecting 50 years of dreams of engineers, designers, artisans, developers, racers and leaders," said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president of global design at Nissan. "The best of Japan and Italy combined with help from our California and London studios are painting on the best canvas any designer can possibly have!"

Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign

Photo courtesy of Nissan

Nissan is currently accepting orders for the limited edition model.

Nissan collaborated with Turin, Italy-based Italdesign to create the model, which is based on the latest Nissan GT-R NISMO. Each of the GT-R50 by Italdesign models has a NISMO-tuned, hand-built, 720-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6.

Nissan reports that customer demand for the production version of the car has been strong, with a number of deposits already taken across the globe. Just 50 reservations will be taken.

In Japan, customers can now purchase a GT-R50 by Italdesign through SCI Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of VT Holdings, which has been appointed official importer and distributor for these exclusive cars in the country.

Those interested in the GT-R50 by Italdesign can visit www.GT-R50.nissan or contact Italdesign directly at aporta.gtr50@italdesign.com.

For inquiries in Japan, contact justin.gtr50@vt-holdings.co.jp.

Deliveries of the car begin in late 2020. Subject to certification and homologation, customers can expect to get behind the wheel of their personalized Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign sometime between late 2020 and the end of 2021.

The Mercedes-Benz EQC was originally slated to make its way to the U.S. early this year.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Manager Magazin is reporting that Mercedes-Benz is cutting production plans for its EQC electric SUV by half. The German magazine cites a shortage of battery cells from LG Chem. The South Korean battery maker is in the midst of acquiring a Quebec lithium mine from Nemaska Lithium Inc. That timeline is taking longer than expected.

Mercedes had originally planned on producing 60,000 EQC models in 2020 but is now planning on producing 30,000. The shift comes as Audi is adjusting from stumbling out of the blocks with an EQC competitor, the Audi e-Tron.

The new Mercedes-Benz EQC has a 80 kWh lithium ion battery. Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

In 2019, Mercedes had planned on selling 25,000 EQC but was only able to get 7,000 sales on the books allegedly because of the same problem.

Daimler is pushing back on the report saying that it will be producing 50,00 EQC models this year, which is still down from the 60,000 originally projected but not as few as the initial report indicated.

The EQC is a two-row luxury SUV. It features all-wheel drive and delivers 402 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque. The model is powered by a 80kWh lithium ion battery with standard DC Fast Charging for a 40-minute charge from 10 to 80 percent at a 110 kW DC charging station.

Mercedes has debuted the launch date of the model in the U.S. until 2021 after originally planning on having it arrive stateside in early 2020.

The EQ family of vehicles will include additional electric models in the coming years.

Lincoln has made two pickup trucks but neither reached any level of tremendous commercial success.

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

Before luxury pickup trucks became the staple that they are today on America's roadways, there was one company willing to attempt to capitalize on the premium buyer. Unfortunately for that company, they were too early. But they had the right concept. That company is Lincoln.

The Lincoln Blackwood was the company's first attempt at a proper luxury pickup. It was built for the 2002 model year and was based on Ford's F-150 platform. It shared the F-150's 5.4-liter V8 that made 300 horsepower and was only available in rear-wheel drive. It had luxury features like a power tonneau cover and a wood-lined bed.

2006 Lincoln Mark LT The Mark LT was a luxury level take on a traditional pickup but it may have been a little ahead of its time.Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

That truck made the way for the company's second attempt; the Lincoln Mark LT. That truck received the updated Triton V8 and was available with four-wheel drive. It was also a more practical truck, having a useful bed and other amenities. It was in production from 2005 until 2008 in the United States (yet carried on until 2014 in Mexico).

Nowadays, the F-150 Limited is nearly a $70,000 USD pickup truck – more than the Mark LT ever was – and people are buying them at a steady pace. It begs the question; is the Mark LT or other Lincoln pickup truck ready to make a return to the United States?

The answer is complicated. Officially, Lincoln is leaving the pickup trucks to Ford. They have their own things to worry about, such as a completely refreshed product line and paying Matthew McConaughey to not say his trademark phrase in commercials.

Unofficially sources have told AutomotiveMap that they aren't sure what a Lincoln pickup truck would even look like. How do you get more luxurious than the F-150 Limited that is already on sale?

That is, indeed, a fair question. The F-150 Limited has premium seats that are both heated and cooled. They have a massage function. The only thing that Lincoln offers above that in their vehicles is something they call "Perfect Position" front seats in the Navigator with dozens of different adjustment options.

The F-150 would benefit from a larger infotainment screen and a more attractive instrument cluster, which Lincoln could offer. But these upgrades are also likely to be attached to a refreshed F-150 that might debut as early as this year for the 2021 model year. That would negate the Lincoln benefit.

Lincoln could offer the truck with a plug-in hybrid, and we know Ford is working on electrification options for the F-150. Combine that with some other unique Lincoln features, like the Revel audio system and Phone as a Key and you might have something that stands out from the best Ford offering.

But would it be enough? The price ceiling on pickup trucks hasn't been reached, which is why manufacturers are able to charge $70,000 for a full-size, half-ton pickup truck. Globally, Mercedes-Benz built a luxury-minded pickup on the Nissan Navara platform but didn't see any sales success. Though the rest of the world does view the pickup truck differently than the United States. What we consider a midsize truck is about as large as they sell globally.

Ultimately, a Lincoln pickup truck revival is unlikely to happen due to differentiation. It's important for Lincoln to set itself from Ford, and like the Mark LT that came before, that is unlikely to happen. Yes, it'd be a different truck, but it wouldn't be different enough. Nor would it be a compelling enough reason for loyal truck buyers to buy a Lincoln instead of a Ford, even if they'd be built on the same assembly line.

There's space in the market for even more expensive trucks, but from Ford they'll likely carry the Ford Blue Oval on them.