Rumors abound surrounding the next-gen Nissan GT-R. First, we had heard Godzilla himself might be killed and sent back to the primordial sea. Then, thankfully, we learned that the GT-R would live on but would skew a bit more mainstream than its uproarious current iteration. And now we’ve learned about its future powertrain.
Yes, you guessed it: it’ll be a hybrid. Don’t wince! That’s a good thing. Well, probably.
According to Nissan Executive Vice President Andy Palmer: “There is an inevitability about electrification of all cars in the future, and there is the very real prospect of enhancements coming from it on a sports car like the Nissan GT-R. The electric systems can fill in the gaps in the torque curve and offer genuine performance gains, as well as lowering emissions. It’s win-win, and I’d expect to see some form of hybridization on the next generation of car.”
The current GT-R is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 that makes 545 horsepower and 463 pound-feet of torque. That’s a general figure, actually. Each Godzilla motor is hand-built and has a distinctive power rating. Most are rated at 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds. How fast yours makes that dash, though, is for you to discover.
Hybridization makes sense for the GT-R. Nissan, as we’ve seen since the GT-R’s unveiling in 2007, has wholly embraced electrification with EVs like the LEAF and the ZEOD racecar. Plus, the whole supercar industry seems to be leaning toward going hybrid. The Ferrari LaFerrari is hybrid, as is the McLaren P1 along with the forthcoming Acura NSX. The GT-R, with electric bits onboard, not only would be keeping up with the Jonses but would also see a nice filling out of mid-range torque.
Despite bolting some electrical bits to the next-gen GT-R, Nissan seems unfortunately obsessed with Nurburgring lap times. Here’s what Palmer said to Autocar on the subject of the next-gen GT-R’s ‘Ring records: “We hope to offer improvements with each model year, enhancing things like the aerodynamic capabilities and engine each time,” Palmer added. “The benchmark of that will be our ‘Ring time, and we expect to see it come down each year.”
I love the idea of a hybrid GT-R. I know that Nissan will get that bit right. The part I hope the Japanese automaker also improves upon is the day-to-day drivability of the GT-R and the interior refinement with the next incarnation. If it does in fact skew a bit more mainstream in price, Nissan can continue to ignore interior NVH. If it remains a $100,000 supercar, though, Nissan will need to step up the luxury game.
The next GT-R should be set to go on sale for 2015 as a 2016. That means that the new Godzilla should be unveiled very soon, perhaps before Detroit in January. We’ll be hot on the trail of this story so be sure to check back often for updates.