Next-Gen Nissan GT-R Confirmed To Use a Hybrid Powertrain
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the means of propulsion for the next-generation GT-R, with plenty of reports suggesting that a hybrid powetrain may be in the works. As it happens, Nissan’s Chief Creative Officer Shiro Nakamura recently confirmed what a lot of people had feared. In an interview given to the folks at Top Gear, he said that the upcoming all-new Nissan GT-R will indeed be a high-performance hybrid. Fret not though, as the days of "hybrid equals boring" have been over for a long time, with all that extra torque given by the electric motor being mainly used for creating extra oomph and not primarily to bring mileage figures up. (Witness the Porsche 918 Spyder.)
On top of that, Nakamura also said that he has seen each and every speculative rendering of the new GT-R on the Internet and is confident that "not one of them is close [to how the car will look]." With that being said, Nissan’s long-time creative wizard disparaged reports that the model may switch to a mid-engine design, as the GT-R has always been envisioned as "a front-engine, 2+2-seater coupe" and that it will remain that way in the future.
Another interesting fact in the discussion that Nakamura had with Top Gear concerns the date at which the next GT-R is supposed to be launched, and believe it or not the current model is here to stay until at least 2018, with a number of updated versions to arrive until then. Since Nissan will also invest in a full Le Mans program from the 2015 endurance season onward, where they currently use hybrid powertrains in the LMP1, it is expected that some of the technology used there may end up on the production model in the future.
Click past the jump to read more about the next Nissan GT-R.
Why it matters
Even though the current GT-R generation is already over seven years old, it seems that Nissan is in no hurry to introduce its replacement. While there isn’t anything fundamentally wrong with the model, and Nissan has vowed to unveil yearly upgrades for the car instead of a large, mid-cycle facelift, the 2018 "at the earliest" launch of the second generation seems a bit too far away. On the other hand, if the extra time until then is put to good use in terms of hybrid research, the 2019 model will probably be a beast in just about every way imaginable. The only bickering I have with it is the fact that its hybrid powertrain will probably increase the car’s weight even more, and while the yearly upgrades are all fine and dandy, they have also brought a hefty price increase compared with the 2008 model.