Since its release in 2009, the R35 Nissan GT-R has been a relative success, given its niche and $90,000 price tag, as it has sold a total of 5,914 models in the U.S. For a while, it seemed as if the R36 GT-R, the replacement for the R35, was a near certainty to be produced. Well, we are getting mighty close to the fourth production year for the R35 and the fifth year is the typical redesign year for any model and according to reports, the R36 GT-R has yet to receive the green light.
Nissan has been pretty preoccupied lately with its development of electric and hybrid models, so we are not too surprised to see the R36 take a back seat. Add in the fact that sales have fallen to just 583 units, as of late July, and we are living with the possibility of Nissan axing the U.S. model altogether. At its current pace, the GT-R is only going to sell just over 1,100 GT-Rs this year, which is its lowest total since 2010 and over 600 units fewer than its debut year.
Nissan may also be worried about the CAFE changes in upcoming years and might be looking for a way to get a few more mpg from its sole sports car. A big possibility is the use of a hybrid drivetrain mated with a 4-cylinder engine to keep its horsepower near the 550 mark, but increase its overall mpg. With the near-$100K price point of the 2013 GT-R, it shouldn’t be too hard to fit a hybrid system somewhere near that price. This could explain the lack of approval, as Nissan would need a little extra time to develop a drivetrain suitable to replace the current twin-boosted 6-pot.
We’ll keep you updated on how things are progressing with the potential R36 GT-R just as soon as there is some information released.
gallery: Nissan GT-R