Nissan: GT-R and Z Will Live On, But Might Look Radically Different

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

After more than 15 years, the R35 Nissan GT-R is reaching the end of the road, but there’s good news for fans of the iconic sports car. At this year’s New York auto show, an official from the automaker told Motor Authority that the GT-R and Z names would be sticking around but also noted that it could be some time before they are reborn.

The company is concerned with maintaining both cars’ legacy and personality. Nissan SVP and Chief Planning Officer Ponz Pandikuthira said, “The next generation of the GT-R has to be an authentic GT-R.” They also noted that any transition to electrification could not come at the expense of on-track performance.

While the automaker participates in Formula E, which could yield consumer-ready technology for the next-gen GT-R, the execs also said that the Nissan engineering team is on hold waiting for today’s tech to progress. Batteries are still too heavy and don’t offer the level of energy density needed to produce a lightweight electric race car.

The next-gen car’s design hasn’t been set, with Nissan’s team split in a few different directions. Executives have indicated that the car would retain some of its historic design elements, including the quad-taillight look and aggressive face.

AS for the Z, we’re only a few years into the current generation’s run. Its powertrain is designed to meet emissions regulations for the lifespan of the car, so it won’t see any significant changes before a next-generation model arrives – if it does at all. If there is a new car, it will either be another throwback, like the current Z, or a completely different model that breaks with tradition.

[Image: Nissan]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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  • The Oracle The Oracle on Apr 01, 2024

    Nissan will figure it out. The original development of the VQ35HR was a good story and that evolved into the VQ37HR and say what you want, but that platform had a good run for a NA V6. When the R35 dropped it shook up the market, and the new one will do so again, just a halo car.

  • El scotto El scotto on Apr 01, 2024

    The real question is will a Z and a Mustang GT have comparable pricing?

  • FreedMike Interesting time capsule.
  • 6-speed Pomodoro I had summer and winter tires for a car years ago. What a pain in the butt. You've permanently got a stack of tires hogging space in the garage and you've got to swap them yourself twice a year, because you can't fit a spare set of tires in a sportscar to pay someone else to swap 'em.I'd rather just put DWS06's on everything. But I haven't had a sportscar in 8 years, so maybe that's a terrible idea.
  • ShitHead It kicked on one time for me when a car abruptly turned into my lane. Worked as advertised. I was already about to lean into the brake as I was into the horn.
  • Theflyersfan I look at that front and I have to believe that BMW and Genesis designers look at that and go "wow...that's a little much." Rest of the car looks really good - they nailed the evolution of the previous design quite well. They didn't have to reinvent the wheel - when people want a Mustang, I don't think they are going to cross-shop because they know what they want.
  • Theflyersfan Winters go on around Halloween and Summers go on in late March or early April. However, there were some very cold mornings right after the summers went on that had me skidding a bit due to no grip! I do enough (ahem) spirited driving on empty hilly/mountain roads to justify a set of sticky rubber, and winters are a must as while there isn't much snow where I am (three dustings of snow this entire winter), I head to areas that get a bit more snow and winter tires turns that light, RWD car into a snow beast!