Will the next Nissan GT-R be a self-driving track monster?

Nissan GT-R
For all its frightening power, the Nissan GT-R is startlingly easy to drive. In fact, it’s so manageable behind the wheel that its detractors have called it too simple and too uninvolved, a car so saturated with electronic aids that it lacks the direct, primal feel of the competition. Exaggerated as those claims may be, future “Godzillas” could be even more accessible.

According to TopGear.com, upcoming GT-Rs and 370Zs will feature a smattering of autonomous technologies, including features that let the computer take over the controls during high-performance driving. Normally, you’d have to take lessons to get your track legs under you, but future Nissans could essentially act as digital racing instructors with the ability to show the quickest way around a corner in real time.

“Even the most enthusiastic drivers make mistakes,” said Takao Asami, Nissan’s global vice president for research and advanced engineering. “Machines are more capable, reliable, and better than even the best racing drivers. So thanks to autonomous driving technology we can offer even more driving pleasure out of performance vehicles.”

Before self-driving Nissans start tearing up the track while their passengers nap, the current GT-R has some room to grow despite its age.

“The GT-R is seven years old, so people think that it’s at the end of its life,” explained Shiro Nakamura, Nissan’s Chief Creative Officer and designer of the next GT-R. “But performance-wise it’s still one of the fastest cars in the world. And design-wise, it still looks very independent. But we have some major improvements for the current car that you will see next year,” he revealed with a cheeky smile and a heavy lift of the eyebrows.

The 2016 GT-R equips a 545-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 and starts at $101,770.


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