Nissan Nismo Boss Says Hybrid GT-R Successor Under Development
Despite having gone into production in 2009, Nissan’s GT-R remains a blisteringly fast performance car that basically exists to embarrass more expensive automobiles. But it’s also exceptionally old for an automobile and has managed to stay relevant thanks to Nissan issuing meaningful performance upgrades every few years and Nismo releasing track-focused variants of an already very track-friendly GT car.
Having already been discontinued in Europe because it can’t quite adhere to the EU’s stringent emissions laws, the car is likely not long for this world on our market either. But there’s a replacement rumored to be on the horizon, with Nismo CEO Takao Katagiri confirming that the brand is working on a high-performance hybrid that should fit the bill.
Speaking with Autocar, Katagiri explained that the vehicle would not be a direct replacement but rather an indirect successor to a vehicle that’s likely to go down in history as one of Nissan’s most memorable products.
“This region [the UK] is very, very special for us, especially [for] performance cars. So one thing I can say is please wait. We are going to introduce a very exciting model to the UK market under the Nismo brand.”
EU regulations have not only killed off the GT-R but also ensured that the Z coupe couldn’t be sold there. That has left Nissan’s performance catalog looking exceptionally lean in Europe and put the brand in a bit of a bind. The proposed solution has been to leverage hybridization that would help the vehicle pass government testing. Assuming it does, it’ll be the only sports car sold in Europe to wear the Nissan badge.
As a bonus, there’s a good chance it will also be shipped to North America – though Europe will undoubtedly get first dibs.
Katagiri confirmed that the car in question would be a hybrid. But also said that there will be a mix of hybrid and electric performance vehicles coming down the pipe. Autocar noted that executives had previously said that any upcoming performance EVs would use solid-state batteries – something that has seemed perpetually out of reach for several years now, regardless of which manufacturer you’re referencing.
Nissan’s own timeline has a pilot factory that’s supposed to activate sometime in 2024. But solid-state batteries aren’t assumed to go into any production cars until 2028. While some automakers have claimed a quicker turnaround is possible, the general consensus is that solid-state technology probably won’t be mainstream until after 2030.
If Nissan decides it’s worth developing vehicles using lithium-ion or nickel-hydride batteries, we could see performance EVs much sooner. However, the brand has been pretty clear that it has concerns about when North America will embrace EVs in the way that Europeans have. As things currently stand, the U.S. is widely assumed to be the last big market to shift over to all-electric vehicles. Considering how important that region is for Nissan’s bottom line, it’s taking a more cautious approach to electrification than even some American automakers have. Though one could argue that Japanese manufacturers have all been more hesitant to put all of their eggs in the EV basket than the rest of the industry.
[Image: Rakhmat Darmawan/Shutterstock]
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