Nissan GT-R and Z cars get a life extension

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Words: Nile Bijoux
29 Oct 2019

Nissan has confirmed it will make another generation of GT-R and Z cars but the company can’t make up its mind with regard to the powerplant.

Nissan’s global product planning boss, Ivan Espinosa, said at the Tokyo Motor Show that both pure electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains were under consideration. However, he isn’t sure consumers are ready for all-electric sports cars yet.

“We have debated endlessly about this, because there are still more traditional buyers, petrol-head customers, who are not quite 100 per cent there, but then there is also a big young audience that thinks completely differently,” he told Motoring.

Another problem arising with electric power is the weight-to-performance ratio. Espinosa said that adding a battery increases weight and he wants to be sure the technology can deliver an appropriate boost in performance if Nissan goes down that route.

Others in Nissan, like head of EV strategy, Asaka Hoshino, want to leverage the brand’s existing EV leadership and expertise for an electric sports car. She said that Nissan helped create the EV market with the Leaf and should become the “number one in providing an EV sports car.” However, she added that a sports car is not a priority. “Next is an SUV, then maybe after that some other small cars or sedans, and then some other EVs, and then the sports car.”

A further option could be sharing development costs with another brand, similar to Toyota and BMW’s deal with the Supra and Z4.

Ultimately, the lack of a powertrain means a new GT-R or Z car is still a few years away at least.

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