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Next Nissan GT-R targets value, not performance

The Nissan GT-R Track Edition made its debut at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.

The Nissan R35 GT-R replacement will have big shoes to fill when it arrives in 2016, with the current car being one of the quickest supercars ever. But the company now says it wants to offer more than "just performance", while keeping the supercar affordable.

The chief engineer for the upcoming R36 GT-R, Kinishi Tanuma, says he doesn't just want a car with more bang, but one that represents more for your buck. "We need more of a volume car, not just more horsepower," Tanuma says.

The current 404kW/628Nm R35 is also the cheapest supercar in the market, at a relatively affordable $170,800 – despite every engine being hand-built by a specialised technician called a Takumi. Nissan has only four Takumi working on the GT-R assembly line, so production is slow. However a fifth Takumi is in training, which should boost capacity at the plant.

An increased production capacity should help keep the replacement car affordable too, which is one of Tanuma's main challenges. Reports suggest this will be made harder because while the upcoming model is likely to retain the current 3.8-litre twin turbo V6, the GT-R will move into hybrid drivetrains developed with Williams F1 team. This could push the entry level price beyond the A$200,000 mark for the first time.

A move to hybrid technology could also result in the current GT-R's time of 2.7 seconds from 0-100km/h being trumped, if hybrid technology in other supercars is any indication of performance capabilities. Although Nissan is keeping its cards close to its chest, Tanuma confirmed the upcoming model will pack even more electronic aids.

Until then, the long-awaited R35 GT-R NISMO model is due soon, and promises fans increased performance and capabilities --making it a great send-off for the R35 GT-R.