It looks like Nissan’s R35 GT-R is here to until 2027 while the company decides on what new drivetrain the next generation of GT-R will take. According to a report by Australia’s Motoring, the Japanse company is still choosing between either hybrid or all-electric technology for the supercar slaying machine.
Having a hybrid system means that the next-generation GT-R could go the Honda NSX’s path. Having electric motors that support a gasoline engine will give the car a boost in torque when needed as electric motors give out instantaneous torque compared to conventional turbos. Going full electric, on the other hand, needs infrastructure to back it up. Electric cars like the Nissan LEAF, still have limited range and battery technology still hasn't reached the point where it can match a gasoline engine in terms of range. While there are SuperChargers available in other countries it still takes hours to charge an electric vehicle’s battery pack, while it only takes minutes to refuel a tank.
The GT-R team is ready to start on the development of the next generation but still has to wait on the board-level decision about the possible powertrain to begin work.
Hiroshi Tamura, the leader of the GT-R development team, admits that there is plenty of external pressure for a new GT-R as the vehicle was released in 2007. This makes the more-than-10-year-old R35 platform one of the older cars in its segment. However, there are no concrete ideas yet as to what the next GT-R will be. According to Tamura, nothing has moved past thoughts and ideas as of yet.
I have it in my mind, but not for outside. So nobody knows. I cannot tell you.
The 2020 version of the GT-R has been given a mild tweak for its model year. This includes running changes for the powertrain and chassis. But, Tamura says that it is not the end for the aging model.
He believes that the current-generation of GT-R could have a generation run of up to 20 years without major changes to the engine and all-wheel-drive system. He also pointed out that the generation of GT-R is only coming up from its 12th birthday. It looks like Nissan is going on a similar path as Suzuki did with the Jimny or with Isuzu’s constant facelifts to the Crosswind AUV to prolong the life of the R35. This means giving the GT-R upgrades here and there to keep it competitive within its segment – at least until a new drivetrain is chosen.