The R36 Nissan GT-R May Skip Electrification Altogether As the Twin-Turbo V-6 Lives On
Nissan isn’t sure about electrification yet, but a new platform and an evolved version of the twin-turbo V-6 will be in playby Robert Moore, on LISTEN 05:18
Back in April 2020, the Nissan GT-R’s fate hung in the balance as it looked like it would live on as it is until it was inevitably put to rest with no successor on the table. Nissan said it wouldn’t update the GT-R because it wanted to keep it affordable – if that’s what you call a car that is priced between $110,000 and $210,00, but I digress. In May of 2020, it was even rumored that Nissan could kill of the GT-R and the Z altogether to keep itself afloat. The good news is that this obviously didn’t happen and the R35 GT-R is still alive. Now, however, we’ve learned from a new report on Autocar that the R36 Nissan GT-R is, in fact, happening, and it might not go the route of electrification at all, if you can believe that.
3 Years Into Development, A New Platform For the GT-R Is Born
At this point, when the next-gen R36 GT-R will make its debut is a complete mystery. Rumor had it that the R35 would simply be hybridized as Nissan wanted to keep it alive for the foreseeable future. We’ve even covered what we know about the R36 GT-R so far, but now we’re learning things that are even more important. For starters, Nissan CEO, Makoto Uchida, has said that Nissan is considering electrification, but it that’s not a guarantee that there will be any form of electrification. When he does guarantee, though, is that it will be a professional sports vehicle with no compromise.
“We are looking at how we can do it electrified. It’s something that’s a really professional sports vehicle with no compromise. The Z is for someone like me who enjoys sports cars. The GT-R is a professional machine and we need to work it out for the future.”
Furthermore, Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s Design Boss, has been very clear that the No.1 priority for the next-gen GT-R is to be “the fastest super-sports car in the world.” That is apparently being achieved by means of an all-new platform. We don’t know much about it, but it has now been confirmed by Nissan, and there’s a good chance that it will allow for some form of electrification in the future. And whether or not it will be electrified still hangs in the balance, but if Nissan can make the R36 live up to high expectations without electrification it probably will skip it at least for the time being
“Whether we go to a lot of electrification or none at all, we can achieve a lot power-wise. But we’re definitely making a new platform, and our goal is clear: the GT-R has to be the quickest car of its kind. It has to own the track. And it has to play the advanced technology game. But that doesn’t mean it has to be electric.”
This is all good news, but will it really be that hard to make the Nissan GT-R live up to expectations? The current model, in Nismo form, delivers 600 horsepower and 481 pound-feet of torque from that twin-turbo V-6. It will warp you to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds and up to a top speed of 205 mph. As a frame of reference we can look to one of the greatest sports cars on the market today, the Porsche 911 Turbo S, which has 640 horsepower and 590 pound-feet – enough to get it up to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds and onto an identical top speed of 205 mph. So, it’s already one-tenth slower to 60 mph, and one could argue that beating the Porsche 911 Turbo S is more than enough, so Nissan really doesn’t have to do much on the performance front. Keeping the R36 GT-R within emissions regulations without electrification, however, is a completely different matter, and it seems hard to believe that Nissan can pull that off.
As far as looks will go, Nissan could go off the charts with some kind of crazy futuristic appearance, or it could follow the same path it too with the new Nissan Z – give it old-school DNA. The new Nissan Z harkens back to the old 240Z, and the R36 Nissan GT-R could feature some retro design styling too. Albaisa has even hinted at this by saying “It doesn’t care what every other supercar in the world is doing. It simply says: ‘I’m a GT-R, I’m a brick, catch me.’ It’s the world’s fastest brick, really. And when I review sketches for the new car, I say that a lot: ‘Less wing, more brick.’”
So, there you have it – a new platform and the seemingly ever continuous uncertainty of electrification. Beyond this, there’s also a possibility that the R36 Nissan GT-R, like the new Nissan Z, may be limited to certain markets. The latter will only be available in the U.S. and Japan due to dismal sales performance elsewhere, so the R35 could honestly be the last GT-R to cruise Europe. Also, with a new platform, you can bet that Nissan is definitely planning for the future, and electrification will be an option, so if it doesn’t happen at launch it could happen sometime in the future. The next few years, as the GT-R’s story unfolds, will certainly be interesting – that’s for sure.