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Nissan is looking at any and all technologies to ensure its next R36 GT-R will be one of the most capable and complete performance cars on the planet.
Speaking to journalists after the Z Proto reveal, Nissan senior vice-president of global product planning Ivan Espinosa would not be drawn on too much detail of the next GT-R, but said everything is being looked at to give it a performance edge.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Rumours point to a petrol-electric drivetrain for the new GT-R, supposedly due in 2023, which will utilise a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) as seen on some of Nissan’s Le Mans race cars.
However, if the Z Proto is anything to go by, the next GT-R will also likely make use of the existing platform and engine, though tweaked, tuned and modified to deliver dynamics and performance expected of a modern supercar.
A rumoured Final edition of the existing GT-R is said to turn the wick up to 530kW/780Nm from the 3.8-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 engine, so expect even more potency with a hybrid assist.
When asked directly by CarsGuide if he could confirm the next GT-R as a performance hybrid, Mr Espinosa said the “maturity” of such technologies would dictate whether they are a good fit.
“It’s all about understanding ‘what do you want to deliver to the customer?’, and then the solution,” he said.
“There are plenty of options, and the maturity of that technology is the other thing (to consider).
“We need to cope with the pace of the maturity of the technology, customer expectation and the experience we want to create.”
Naturally, adding an electrified hybrid system to a sports car adds weight and complexity to the formula, which Mr Espinosa admitted might not be ideal for something like GT-R, but technologies are constantly evolving.
However, Mr Espinosa reiterated Nissan’s commitment to the GT-R, despite it now being over a decade old, as one of the crucial models for the brand.
“The GT-R, together with the Z and Patrol, are perhaps the three most iconic and brand representative nameplates that we have as a company, that have a deep history within the company,” he said.
“These are the nameplates that we are consistently looking at how, when, what we should do with them.”