The Nissan GT-R is by far Japan’s longest-running and most-talked-about supercar. Even in the face of an all-new hybrid NSX and the shrieking Lexus LF-A ’s V-10, the magic of the GT-R formula continues to fascinate and captivate car guys and gals across the world.
The latest R35 Nissan GT-R is the most accomplished in the family lineage by not only dominating the press in Asia and Australia — where the previous-gen cars were sold — but also taking headlines across America and Europe.
And the headlines are good. Not the standard "newcomer tries to beat Porsche , loses" we are all so familiar with. The GT-R is a machine that wins objective and subjective comparison tests against some of the absolute quickest and highest-tech machines in the world.
So where to go with this legend of a race car? Keep the world-beating pace and all the latest component upgrades from the forthcoming GT-R Nismo , but improve the weight balance, center of gravity, aerodynamics and style.
A daunting task, to say the least. Luckily, the TopSpeed artists and graphic design team have created a few exclusive previews of where the GT-R’s styling will go in the next generations.
Tagged a 2016 Nissan GT-R, these renderings are purely speculative design studies. The ideas presented here are still quite interesting, with two distinct flavors of modern GT-R from which to select your favorite.
Click past the jump for a closer look at these TopSpeed exclusive previous of the next-gen Nissan GT-R.
Update 3/13/2014: A possible leaked image and insider information puts the 2016 GT-R at over 800 horsepower and gives it a whole new look. See more after the jump.
Gallery Nissan GT-R
Is it a leak or just an artist’s rendering? We don’t know, but the consensus seems to agree that this is actually a leaked image of the 2016 GT-R. What’s more, the awesomely restyled body isn’t the big news. Nope, the big news is the new hybrid powertrain that company insiders are putting at more than 800 ponies, thanks to the same 3.8-liter V-6 tuned to 580 horsepower and a KERS system that adds 250 more horses.
2016 Nissan GT-R - Speculative Preview
These renderings are pretty outstanding and well-executed considering the fact that Nissan has said virtually nothing about a replacement for this R35 GT-R . Traditionally a very long model cycle, the Nismo engineers have been unable to leave well enough alone over the current car’s four-year tenure on the market.
Most of the extra detail tweaks to the GT-R have been under the skin, however. Only the LED running lights that joined the bumper in year two were added to the hot and technical beauty of the GT-R.
BMW ’s "Evo/Revo" logic is the most rational when predicting how all carmakers will replace their lineups. What we dubbed Evo/Revo refers to the way BMW revamps their models. An all-new car is on market for four years, then gets a superficial update for another four years on the same platform. That is the ’Evolution’ part. Then after eight years, the ’Revolution’ brings a new chassis.
By this logic, the new GT-R is most likely be an "Evolution" and not "Revolution" of a totally new chassis.
To accomplish this, the car must be totally revamped and restyled outside as a way to draw in the trendiest shoppers, and keep the previous loyal buyers when they are trading up.
2016 Nissan GT-R Speculative Preview - Nose Renderings
The new GT-R’s nose is one of its most remodeled and repackaged features. A much lower hood height is visible in these renderings, with an even more extreme expression of the latest boomerang headlamps. The V-bar grille from the TopSpeed 2016 Nissan Maxima Nismo rendering is present in shape, but not in chrome finish.
The nose of the GT-R looks far meaner with visible-weave carbon-fiber forming its lower structure on a contrast black versus the white paint of these renderings.
The air intake setup looks very similar to the current GT-R, but adds a slim hood scoop just above the grille. Whether feeding the intake or serving an active aero function, a scoop like this could replace the current car’s NACA ducts higher in the hood.
The biggest change from rendering number one to number two is the lower side sill. The second rendering finishes this piece on contrasting black carbon-fiber, helping the GT-R to look leaner and meaner that the body-color scoop.
These sills appear to channel air into the rear brake ducts, but such a detail remains unconfirmed.
Original Nose Sketches
2016 Nissan GT-R Speculative Preview - Profile Renderings
The side view of the forthcoming F36 GT-R is arguably the most refined versus the nose and tail, which are expected to keep the familiar cues from today.
The roofline appears dramatically lowered from even the current GT-R’s (very low) 54-inch height, but the blacked-out front fenders and glasshouse continue to the new generation of models.
The daylight opening, or window line, appears to be carved lower into the door frame than today, while the rear three-quarter glass arcs upward instead of downward on the current car.
The anchor point for the whole floating roof is the C-pillar, with a pinched and layered surface that is also expected on the next Maxima and 370Z. The curved and sensual buttress just below the C-pillar is very attractive and unique, adding some premium feel to the functional surfaces of today’s car.
This design cues for the roof up the drama and supercar stance of the GT-R, and also makes it easier to share the new look with other body styles. In profile, the main difference between the two renderings is the treatment of the rear side lights. The second rendering features more of a flow and C-shaped brake light visible from the side.
Original Profile Sketches
2016 Nissan GT-R Speculative Preview - Tail Renderings
The tail is also two steps of potential style makeovers. One could be thought of as the ’Evo’ concept, and another the ’Revo.’ The Evo idea keeps the giant four exhaust pipes down below and the four-pack of round brake lights near the top corners of the trunk. Additional venting and aero detailing is visible near the lower diffuser areas, where the GT-R will need to increase its down force and stability to reach higher top speeds than the current car.
Chiseled edges are kept for the rear corners because it is the cleanest treatment for aerodynamic smoothness.
The choices regarding he taillights are tricky because round brake lights have been a GT-R styling theme since the beginning. Even so, to move the car forward the LED shape is likely to be inside the trunk metal or ditched altogether.
The C-shaped scratch of LED lights is another area that will allow better transfer of this look to the 370Z and Maxima . While the round likes work on the GT-R, they would look too much like a Chevrolet Monte Carlo on the Maxima .
So, a longer wheelbase and more centrally-mounted engine are the only details known so far about the next-generation Nissan GT-R. Light electrification was once thought to be likely, but now seems to off stage in favor of even higher states of tune for the current car’s racing-level engine.
More aggressive active aerodynamics and rear steering are expected, which will hopefully maintain or enhance the current car’s take-no-prisoners attitude when beating all others in the drag races and around race tracks.
All these tweaks and a body that is sexier than the $400,000 LF-A? The R36 GT-R looks set to keep all its best traits, but this time wrapped in more elegant bodywork that will directly influence the next Maxima and Z-car.
- GT-R is a hero car even today
- Improved looks and even the same performance would create a very desirable package
- New styling of roof and rear end will also improve performance
- Competition is heating up, with even the Corvette Stingray benchmarking and trying to topple the GT-R
- R35 price is creeping up pretty drastically since launch
- The legend continues...