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Electric supercars — is the Nissan GT-R next?
By Matthew Hansen • 19/10/2015
Will Nissan’s GT-R be the next supercar to become fully electric?
The traditional recipe for Nissan’s decorated 911-fighter, the GT-R, could potentially be turned on its head in future iterations according to one report.
Chiefs from the Japanese marque have recently stated that subsequent generations of the GT-R could become fully electric.
Speaking toTop Gear, Nissan’s European EV director, Gareth Dunsmore, has said that he would “love to” make the next GT-R completely electric.
“The rate of change over the last five years has been phenomenal,” stated Dunsmore.
“We can’t build an electric GT-R today. But do I want to? I’d love to. Will we be able to do that in the future? I can’t see a technical reason why we wouldn’t be able to implement electric vehicle technology in something like a performance vehicle.”
Nissan themselves are no strangers to the electric formula, with the Nissan Leaf five-door hatch already an established member of its line-up. They also engineered the Nissan ZEOD RC hybrid for the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans — a unique-looking racer propelled by a near 300kW, 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine capable of hitting 300kph. The man behind the ZEOD RC, Ben Bowlby, has already suggested that the next generation of GT-R will utilize an engine derived from Nissan’s most recent Le Mans weapon — the 2015 GTR LM Nismo.
Further inquiries undertaken byTop Gearwith Nissan’s Chief Creative Officer, Shiro Nakamura, added that the next GT-R “will be a hybrid”.
While nothing has been confirmed thus far about the appearance of the next generation of GT-R, it has been rumoured that it will take some styling cues from the Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo Concept, which — if you squint — does borrow certain elements from current-day Nissans.
The impact of electric technologies in performance vehicles has been a revelation over the last few years, with McLaren’s P1, Porsche’s 918, and most recently Tesla’s revered Model S all playing their part in shifting popular opinion on the potential for such technology to be the future direction of the genre.
As Nissan ease towards implementing more electric drivetrains in their mainstream models, an electric or hybrid GT-R halo car is a logical step to take.
“It would be a phenomenal place [for the GT-R] to go. But we’d need to do these things with credibility, take our expertise and know-how and make sure if we go to that step, it’s world beating, as the GT-R is today. It needs to be a world beater,” explained Dunsmore.
Suggestions point to the next entirely-new Nissan GT-R not hitting showrooms until at least 2018.