Nissan engineering boss Andy Palmer confirms next-gen Nissan GT-R sports car will feature electrification
6 November 2013

The next-generation Nissan GT-R will feature a hybrid powertrain, using electrification to boost performance and lower emissions according to engineering, sales and marketing boss 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 this and ending up on a sports car like the Nissan GT-R,” said Palmer. “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 hybridisation on the next generation of car.”

The Nissan GT-R is currently powered by a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6 that delivers 542bhp and 463lb ft of torque. It boasts a 0-60mph time of 2.9sec. This generation of GT-R was introduced in late 2007, suggesting it is due for replacement around 2015.

Palmer also confirmed that the soon-to-be launched Nissan GT-R Nismo will follow the more mainstream car’s policy of undergoing annual model-year revisions.

“We hope to offer improvements with each model year, enhancing things like the aerodynamic capabilities and engine each time,” he said. “The benchmark of that will be our ‘Ring time, and we expect to see it come down each year.”

The Nissan GT-R Nismo’s laptime is expected to be revealed at the Tokyo motor show. Palmer confirmed that Nissan employed four test drivers to attack the lap, in order to ensure competition among them for the fastest time, but hinted that ex-F1 driver Sebastien Buemi had emerged fastest.

“Sebastien is a sensational driver,” he said. “He was flat-out in places that other people brake in. His lack of experience at the ‘Ring didn’t hold him back.” 

Our Verdict

The Nissan GT-R is not a cheap car, but it’s better value for money than cars that are seemingly as fast

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7 November 2013
The GT-R already somehow manages to completely negate its considerable corpulence, so adding another one or two hundred kilos for electrical assistance shouldn't spoil the experience (especially if we assume they'll find ways of reducing the general weight for the next car). The instant and massive torque response of an electric motor should do a lot to improve the engine's fun factor, and at the GT-R's price point, I'd imagine fuel economy is still relevant to some buyers.

7 November 2013
The GTR competes with the top of the hyper cars - despite costing a fraction of their price. If it is to compete with the new breed of hyper cars, the GTR will have to become hybrid. The next GTR will have to find the sweet spot between shedding weight and gaining weight. Hyper speed, hyper economy, hyper handling. The GTR has a history of defying physics. The next GTR would be interesting.

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