Nissan’s Senior Vice-President pledged “not to produce a next half-baked GT-R

The company requires additional time to develop the R36, potentially as an electric vehicle.

The current GT-R debuted in 2007, but its design dates back even further. Remember the Skyline GT-R concept from 2001? While supercars don’t adhere to the typical six- to seven-year lifecycle of standard vehicles, Godzilla is quite dated. Fast forward to 2024, and the R35 generation is still not retiring. A Nissan executive suggests that the aging V-6 model will remain in production.

In an interview with Australian magazine Drive, Nissan’s Senior Vice-President assured, “We won’t create a half-baked GT-R; that’s not our intention.” Francois Bailly emphasized the company’s commitment to producing sports cars, noting he didn’t join Nissan to design minivans. The company already covers that market with various family vehicles, though none are sold in the United States.

The R36 won’t debut anytime soon, as the company executive argues that EV technology isn’t yet ready for high-performance applications. Francois Bailly referred to solid-state batteries, which are not expected before 2028. Last year’s wild Hyper Force concept, boasting 1,341 horsepower, hinted at the potential for a fully electric GT-R utilizing this groundbreaking battery technology.

Separately, Nissan Europe’s vice president of powertrain engineering, Matthew Wright, emphasized the potential of solid-state batteries. In an interview with Auto Express, Wright described them as a “game-changer” due to their ability to increase charging speed and energy density.

He noted that solid-state batteries would address one of the main issues with current EVs: weight. A smaller battery would reduce weight significantly, making a huge difference for a performance car like the GT-R, which currently weighs 3,865 pounds in its $222,885 Nismo version.

Nissan plans to begin prototype testing of an EV equipped with solid-state batteries in 2026, with a production model expected by 2028. The first model to feature this technology will be a “Japanese-produced vehicle,” though its identity remains undisclosed. Realistically, a new GT-R is unlikely to arrive until 2029 or 2030.

If the current model remains in production until then, the R35 will be 23 years old by the end of the decade.

However, the current GT-R might not last another 5-6 years. Japanese publication Mag-X reported in March that 2025 could be the final year for this model.

This rumor is bolstered by Nissan’s announcement of a limited production run for the 2025 GT-R in Japan. If the GT-R is discontinued, there could be a multi-year gap until the R36 is ready.

Meanwhile, GT-R sales in the United States surged by 584 percent last year. While this sounds impressive, only 390 cars were sold in 2023, compared to 57 units the previous year. It would be disappointing to see it discontinued without an immediate successor, especially since we’ve already lost the Audi R8, and the Lamborghini Huracan is also being phased out, although it will be replaced by a hybrid V-8 model.

Even if a next-gen GT-R with a combustion engine is produced, it won’t feature an entirely new internal combustion engine. Nissan recently announced it has ceased funding new engine development, so an R36 that isn’t fully electric would likely use an evolved version of the venerable VR38DETT.

Author:

  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...