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Nissan Claims The New GT-R Won’t Be a Half-Assed Supercar

The current GT-R was launched in 2007 but its design is even older than that. Remember the Skyline GT-R concept from 2001? While supercars don’t follow the typical 6-7-year life cycle of a normal vehicle, Godzilla is as old as dirt. Fast forward to 2024, the R35 generation still isn’t willing to retire just yet. A Nissan exec suggests that the aging V-6 machine is sticking around.

Speaking with Australian magazine Drive, Nissan’s Senior Vice-President promised “not to do a half-baked GT-R, that’s not the intention.” Francois Bailly added the automaker remains committed to making sports cars, mentioning he didn’t get a job at Nissan to build a minivan. The company has that segment covered anyway with multiple family haulers, albeit none are sold in the United States.

2023 Nissan Hyper Force concept

The R36 won’t be launched anytime soon as the company exec argues EV technology isn’t ready for this sort of high-performance application. Francois Bailly was alluding to solid-state batteries, which aren’t coming before 2028. Last year’s wild Hyper Force concept with 1,341 horsepower hinted at the prospects of a fully electric GT-R with the groundbreaking battery tech.

Separately, Nissan Europe’s vice president of powertrain engineering hyped up solid-state batteries. Speaking with Auto Express, Matthew Wright argued they’re going to be a “game-changer” by increasing charging speed and energy density. He went on to say solid-state batteries will fix one of the main problems current EVs have–weight. Installing a smaller battery would shave off fat, which would make a world of difference for a performance car such as the GT-R. The current model tips the scales at 3,865 pounds in $222,885 Nismo flavor.

Nissan will commence prototype testing of an EV equipped with solid-state batteries in 2026 before a production model launches in 2028. Leading the way will be a “Japanese-produced vehicle,” but its identity isn’t being disclosed for now. Realistically, a new GT-R is unlikely to arrive until 2029 or 2030. Assuming the current car sticks around until then, the R35 will have been 23 years old by the end of the decade.

<p>2023 Nissan Hyper Force concept</p>

2023 Nissan Hyper Force concept

<p>2023 Nissan Hyper Force concept</p>

2023 Nissan Hyper Force concept

However, it might not survive for another 5-6 years. Japanese publication Mag-X reported back in March that 2025 would be the final year for the current GT-R. Fueling this rumor is Nissan’s announcement of a limited production run for the 2025 GT-R in Japan. If it goes away, does that mean there will be a multi-year hiatus until the R36 is ready?

Meanwhile, GT-R sales shot up 584 percent in the United States last year. As impressive as that might sound, only 390 cars were sold in 2023 compared to 57 units the year before. Seeing it go away without an immediate replacement would be sad, especially since we’ve already lost the Audi R8. The Lamborghini Huracan is also going away soon, but at least it’s getting a hybrid V-8 successor.

Even if we’re getting a next-gen GT-R with a combustion engine, it won’t have an all-new ICE anyway. Nissan recently said it has stopped spending money on new engine development, so an R36 that’s not fully electric would likely use an evolution of the venerable VR38DETT.

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