Nissan Remains Committed To Sports Cars, R36 GT-R Still A While Off

Nissan Remains Committed To Sports Cars, R36 GT-R Still A While Off

Every day, the now 17-year-old R35 Nissan GT-R inches ever closer to becoming an absolute pensioner by automotive standards. Last year’s Hyper Force concept gave us some hope that a replacement could be on the horizon – with the caveat that it’s very likely to be fully electric – but it seems like the old hector could still have a reasonable amount of life before we officially lay eyes on the almost mythical R36 GT-R.

Australian outlet Drive recently spoke to Francois Bailly, Nissan’s senior vice president for Africa, the Middle East, India, Europe and Oceania. Having previously confirmed that the company is no longer investing in any new internal combustion engines, he’s dropped some hints on what we can expect from future Nissan sports cars. Depending on how you look at it, there’s both good and bad news.

Nissan Hyper Force concept - rear

Nissan Hyper Force concept – rear

First, the good news. “The short answer is yes,” Bailly told The Drive when asked if Nissan’s future involved sports cars. “I didn’t join Nissan to do a minivan; my first car was a Nissan Z.” He also mentioned the firm’s ongoing factory Formula E effort, and how it’s informing road car development.

What won’t be as warmly received by many is that, yes, these future sports cars are very likely to be electric, in line with Nissan’s current trajectory as a manufacturer. Bailly, though, is keen to emphasise that they’ll only be produced when the company feels the technology is ready to make them as good as possible: “We will not do a half-baked GT-R, that’s not the intention.”

Nissan Hyper Force concept - front

Nissan Hyper Force concept – front

It’s suggested that a new GT-R could spearhead Nissan’s launch of solid-state batteries. Widely anticipated as the next big step forward in EV development, they’re set to be far more power-dense than current lithium-ion batteries, meaning they’ll be lighter and charge faster.

Nissan says it’s currently on course to introduce solid-state batteries in 2028, and what could be a better halo model for a new generation of lighter, more power-dense EVs than a new supercar?

Nissan Hyper Force concept - interior

Nissan Hyper Force concept – interior

Of course, that’s still four years away, and it seems like Nissan has no intention to kill off the R35 before then. So, we may well see it hit a 20-year lifespan, and in the meantime, we only have the wild Hyper Force concept as a hint to what its successor might look like.

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