As Nissan gives us a shot in its daft 600bhp Juke-R, here’s what’s in store for the next-gen GT-R. Nissan’s creative genius behind the LMP1 GT-R and the DeltaWing – confirmed that the new GT-R would feature an iteration of the twin-turbo V6 powering the company’s Le Mans entrant.
“The 3.0-litre V6 [from the LMP1 car] is a sort of god-child of the true, road-going GT-R,” he said, noting that the unit’s direction injection, turbo integration and combustion technology are all ‘applicable to the road’.
“It is truly an early ancestor of what will be a future Nissan GT-R engine,” he added. In its current, Le Mans-spec form, that new 3.0-litre V6 revs to around 6,500rpm and produces over 550bhp. Considering the current Nismo GT-R produces 600bhp, and taking into account the GT-R’s rate of improvement, we’d expect the new, ‘R36’ GT-R to produce at least this much, if not more.
The V6 will be slotted up front, just like before, and matched to a dual-clutch automatic gearbox. “Mizuno-san [the ‘father’ of the GT-R] says the GT-R will always be a front-engined, 2+2-seater coupe,” said Shiro Nakamura, Nissan’s chief creative officer.
So, allied to that twin-turbo V6, we’ll also get some form of electric propulsion and battery pack, too. Nissan GB’s sports car chief, James Oliver, reckons Nissan’s expertise in electric technology forms a good base for the new Godzilla.
“I think a GT-R hybrid is the obvious direction,” he said. “There’s been obsessive development of the GT-R over the years, and at some point we will move onto the next generation car.
“We already have great capability in terms of battery production and electric vehicle technology, so I don’t think it’s a great stretch to think a future performance product would have some of that tech incorporated into it…”
Though Nissan’s creative chief stated last year that online renderings of the ‘next GT-R’ were way off the mark, the Vision GT concept built for Gran Turismo is probably the closest thing we’ll get to a clue.
“Maybe some elements from the front and rear,” Nakamura-san told TG.
In fact, when the ‘Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo’ was revealed, Nissan itself admitted the design study was “a vision of a what a high performance Nissan could look like in the future, and the next story to an audience that has always shared our passion for performance”.
This one’s just conjecture, but consider this: the current, R35 Nismo-fettled, 600bhp GT-R has unofficially blitzed a lap around the Green Hell in just 7m 08s. Not just fast for a GT-R, but fast full stop. That’s only nine seconds off the pace of a 740bhp Lamborghini Aventador SV on prototype tyres. Again, considering the pace of development the GT-R is subject too, could we see a GT-R humbling the Radical SR8’s record-setting ‘Ring lap time? Supercars are supposed to lose weight over their life cycles, right? Not so the GT-R. It has hovered at, around and sometimes above the 1700kg mark for a while (the current version clocks in at 1740kg, the Nismo GT-R at 1720kg), and it’ll likely stay that heavy. According to the GT-R’s ‘father’, Kazutoshi Mizuno, anyway. A while back he animatedly told TG that the legendary supercar had to be that heavy. “All journalists say GT-R is heavy, heavy, heavy – it should be lighter, lighter, lighter! I say, journalists need to develop a more professional level of thinking! More study! More thought!
The GT-R needs to be this weight. A car with less weight does not handle. Lighter weight can be dangerous, and it will not be driveable by all customers.” He uses downforce as an example. “An F1 car weighs 560kg, more than 600kg with the driver,” he says. “How much downforce does an F1 car generate? Around 1300kg. So what is the total weight? 1860kg. A GT1 racing car weighs between 1200kg and 1300kg, plus downforce of 600kg, the actual weight on the car is 1800kg…” With road cars unable to generate such vast downforce figures, that means we’re looking at a hefty kerbweight. “But with performance accessible to all customers. I have a big responsibility to the customer,” he once told us.