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2016 Nissan GT-R | what to expect

The 2016 Nissan GT-R hybrid supercar will be as distinctive as its ancestor. 

Just as the latest Godzilla film epic has hit the screens, testing has begun in Europe on the first prototypes of its automotive namesake, the Nissan GT-R.

When the next GT-R premeieres in 2016, expect a hybrid supercar capable of catapulting to 100km/h in less than 2.5 seconds.

Insiders predict a car with a twin-turbocharged V6 making 440kW abetted by a 115kW electric motor, feeding through a hi-tech all-wheel-drive system.

The car will continue as a coupe but with much smoother styling to improve its aerodynamic performance. It is also on a major weight-reduction regime - including use of lightweight carbon-fibre - to trim about 180kg.

"Of course we have a program to renew the GT-R. But we still have a little more to go. Then we renew it," says Nissan chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura.

"GT-R is a very important asset for the company." He says design work is well under way on a reinvention of a car that has become a global icon, promising a body that is just as distinctive as the current one.

He rules out a continuation of the "gundam" theme - taken from Japanese animated robot series - but promises it will be another landmark car.

"It's the heritage of GT-R. When we design a new-generation GT-R we will design it as a GT-R. It must be an evolution." Nakamura designed the current GT-R and has taken personal control of the new one, partly because he understands the history of a performance car with its roots in the 1960s.

"My generation is the sports car generation. I'm designing it for myself. Most of the customers for the car are quite old, like me," he says. Surprisingly, Nakamura also reveals the next GT-R is likely to be repackaged as an Infiniti. Nissan's upscale brand is making good ground in the US but struggling in countries including Australia, where it has yet to achieve recognition among luxury buyers."Because of its price, performance and package, it would work well," he says.