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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.

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Production of the Volkswagen ID.4 will mark the automaker's first all-electric SUV launch. The ID.4 will have about 310 miles of range, depending on the drive package.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen is investing heavily into electric vehicles (EVs), even in the U.S. where the models make up a smidgeon of the sales each year. The company has already begun expanding its Chattanooga, Tennessee factory to build a North American center for the engineering and assembly of EVs.

That doesn't mean that they're just working on cars. They're working on the design of the "things" that go into cars as well. Much of this will happen at the Engineering and Planning Center (EPC) in Chattanooga. Breaking ground on the center is set to happen soon with the expectation of it being fully operational by spring 2021.

Volkswagen Chattanooga plant Volkswagen is investing $800 million and adding 1,000 jobs at its Tennessee plant. Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The EPC will feature a unique, state-of-the-art high-voltage laboratory that is designed to develop and test electric vehicle cells and battery packs. These cells and packs are slated to be assembled in the U.S. before being inserted into vehicles.

"There are two ways that auto companies approach the development of electric vehicle batteries," said Wolfgang Maluche, Vice President of Engineering at Volkswagen of America. "A lot of them will farm out the development and testing of batteries to another company, and some will actually do the work of developing and testing in-house. We are doing the latter."

The lab will include pressure testers, explosion-rated climate chambers and – perhaps the most unique – a custom multi-axis shaker table (MAST), which is designed to test the integrity of vehicle components in some of the roughest conditions they might face on the road.

According to Volkswagen, most automotive labs have MASTs, "but almost none were designed for electric vehicle batteries". EV batteries present their own set of testing challenges because of their size and weight. They typically weight hundreds of pounds each, making them the heaviest component in an EV.

"The battery is not only shaking; it is going through a series of harsh conditions to test its durability in a variety of possible environments, from the South Pole to the Sahara," said Jason Swager, the Director of Electrical Development. "We needed to build a MAST that could withstand the immense force and frequency that we need to test these batteries."

Volkswagen describes the process:

"To run a MAST at such high frequencies, Volkswagen had to design its own tool rather than using an outside supplier. The supports for the MAST will be buried 12 feet under the lab's floor and buttressed with concrete to help withstand the forces in use. Volkswagen's new lab will be only the second location in the country with a MAST of this size."

Volkswagen is building the lab to LEED standards. "This lab was planned to be as sustainable as possible," said Maluche.

The production version of the Volkswagen ID.4 EV is expected to be revealed soon. It will be produced at the factory. The company recently celebrated the 1 millionth vehicle to roll off the line at the plant.

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