Nissan Boss Wants To Electrify GT-R To Futureproof Its Professional Machine Status
We’ve all heard our fair share of rumors about the next-generation GT-R in the last several years, but it wasn’t until a couple of months ago when Nissan indirectly confirmed the R36 supercar. The company’s Aussie division is retiring the aging V6 machine since it no longer meets side-impact crash regulations, but the demise is only temporary as Nissan AU says it’s not “the end of the GT-R story in Australia.”
For something a bit more substantial (and official), CEO Makoto Uchida sat down and had a chat with Autocar about the direction Nissan’s next flagship sports car will take. He didn’t go into any specifics, but admitted the team behind the GT-R project is “looking at how we can do it electrified.” The top brass at Nissan went on to describe Godzilla as “a professional machine and we need to work it out for the future.”
That’s not to say it is certain Nissan will be rocking down the electric avenue with the GT-R R36 as Uchida added: “Whether we go to a lot of electrification or none at all, we can achieve a lot power-wise.” Regardless of the scenario, the company’s head honcho revealed the high-performance coupe will ride on a new platform, unlike the latest Z sports car with its reworked 370Z-based underpinnings.
Whatever form it will take, the hotly anticipated 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.” Should Nissan eschew electrification altogether, it seems highly probable the R36 won’t be coming to Europe where emissions regulations are stricter. For the very same reason (and dwindling sports car sales), the new Z will be a forbidden fruit on the Old Continent.
The jury is still out on when we’ll finally get a new GT-R to replace the current model that has been around for no fewer than 14 years. When it does eventually arrive, expect some serious muscle given Uchida’s statement about the engineers being able to “achieve a lot of power-wise.” In its most potent guise, the twin-turbo 3.8-liter V6 VR38DETT delivers a whopping 710 hp and 575 lb-ft (780 Nm) in the GT-R50 by Italdesign pictured here.
Therefore, expect some healthy numbers from the R36, especially if the powertrain will be electrified. That said, its price will be a real concern among enthusiasts considering the base GT-R already costs $113,540 while the Nismo version begins at an eye-watering $210,740. As for the GT-R50, that one carried a giant sticker price of around $1 million.
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