Nissan GT-R: To Electrify or Not to Electrify

The current Nissan GT-R, while old as hell at this point, is still one dominating car, the likes of which very few cars from mainstream automakers can touch. With the reveal of the Z Proto and the 400Z’s impending launch in 2022 or 2023, Nissan also has to plan out the next GT-R, which is allegedly scheduled to launch in 2023. How does an automaker push a car that’s already over the top – one that can lay waste to an icon like the Porsche 911 – even higher? Well, as it turns out, Nissan’s looking at any and all technology to ensure that the R36 GT-R will be one of the complete and capable performance cars on the planet.

Anything Can Happen With the Next-Gen Nissan GT-R

Nissan Is Still On the Fence About What the 2023 Nissan GT-R R36 Will Be
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After the Nissan Z Proto was revealed, Nissan’s Senior CP of global product planning, Ivan Espinosa, spoke with a handful of journalists. He couldn’t be coaxed into diving too deep into the next-gen GT-R, but he was willing to enlighten the world at least a little bit. He admitted that, in order to give the next GT-R the performance edge and raise the bar even higher, anything and everything was being considered.

“At this moment, it’s very open, many things can happen, we are exploring different things, and we will come back to you guys when we are ready to tell you what we have chosen with the next GT-R.”

That doesn’t tell us a whole lot, outside of the fact that we can assume electrification isn’t off the table, nor is anything else. But, what’s is really important is what he said next when he expressed that the R36 GT-R will remain true to its roots and will maintain its credibility as an amazing performance machine.

2019 Nissan GT-R Exclusive Renderings
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“What will be the goal of the next GT-R is to again be a very credible performance machine, the way the current GT-R is even after some years on the market. It’s still very credible, super-fast, super great car to drive, and we will remain true to that.”

These words are very important. The most important aspect is that the Nissan GT-R hasn’t been scrapped, something that was suggested by a rumor back in May when word had it that both the GT-R and Nissan Z could be shelved as Nissan navigates turbulent waters. There were also rumors that the next-gen GT-R could be all-electric or could be built in collaboration with another automaker, and it looks like neither of these things are going to happen either, at least not right now. Looking at any and all technology, however, means the next-gen GT-R could be hybridized, and that would open the door to some serious performance gains. It would even benefit from some true racing technology, such as kinetic energy recovery.

Nissan Is Still On the Fence About What the 2023 Nissan GT-R R36 Will Be
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With all of this in mind, perhaps Nissan isn’t prolonging the life of the Nissan GT-R in order to keep it affordable. But, instead, the company is holding off on introducing a new model because it wants to get that model right. Obviously, even going the route of hybridization will add some considerable weight to a car that’s already quite heavy. And, if the Nissan Z Proto (and future 400Z) are any indication of what we can expect, the next GT-R will ride upon a tweaked version of the current model’s platform. So, that raises one big question – how can Nissan improve upon the current GT-R, integrate hybridization, and keep weight in check? It looks like we’ll just have to wait and see, but you can bet Nissan won’t rush anything to production without being sure it’s right in every regard – the GT-R is a halo car and the next-gen model has some big shoes to fill.

Nissan Is Still On the Fence About What the 2023 Nissan GT-R R36 Will Be
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Nissan GT-R Nismo vs Nissan GT-R
2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo 2020 Nissan GT-R
Engine 3.8-Liter V-6 3.8-Liter V-6
Transmission 6-Speed Automated Manual 6-Speed Automated Manual
Power Output 600 HP @ 6,800 RPM 565 @ 6,800 RPM
Torque 481 lb-ft @ 3,600 – 5,600 RPM 467 lb-ft @ 3,300 – 5,800 RPM
0-60 mph 2.5 Seconds 2.9 seconds
Top Speed 205 MPH 196 MPH
Weight 3,865 LBS 3,933 LBS

Source: Car Guides

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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