Luxury Cars

Next-generation GT-R and Z confirmed

Enthusiasts can go to bed tonight knowing that Nissan’s legendary sports cars will live to see another generation.

At the 2024 New York Auto Show, Ponz Pandikuthira, senior vice president and chief planning officer of Nissan North America, told Motor Authority that the GT-R and Z nameplates are not going to die, although it could take some time for them to be reinvented .

Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s senior vice president, went a step further and presented Motor Authority with a vision of what the next GT-R and Z could look like.

Nissan Hyper Force concept

Nissan Hyper Force concept

GT-R switches to Formula E, keeps four seats

After 16 years, the R35 GT-R is nearing the end of its life cycle with a pair Special editions. Pandikuthira confirmed that production will stop soon.

“The next generation GT-R must be an authentic GT-R,” said Pandikuthira. To this end, according to the board, the GT-R was born, bred and tested on the racetrack. If the GT-R were purely electric, it couldn’t just do one lap of the Nürburgring and then stop, charge and cool down. According to Pandikuthira, performance in near-race conditions in a GT-R is not compromised.

Nissan’s engineering team is waiting for technological advances. Pandikuthira noted that a powertrain for the next-generation GT-R has not yet been decided or defined, but confirmed that Formula E is a test bed for the development of the next-generation GT-R. The executive acknowledged that today’s batteries in electric vehicles are heavy. Weight is the enemy of a sports car. Pandikuthira pointed to Nissan’s success in Formula E racing, noting that McLaren’s team had just won in Sao Paulo. “This racing car was built and designed by Nissan,” Pandikuthira remarked with a wink.

The Z and GT-R nameplates, like Nissan, have had their ups and downs, Pandikuthira said. Even if the two cars sometimes take a short break, they always come back. It’s part of Nissan’s DNA to have these two cars.

In 2021 Nissan boss Makoto Uchida confirmed this Next generation GT-R will ride on a new platform

Nissan Hyper Force concept

Nissan Hyper Force concept

Albasia noticed this Hyper force concept which debuted at the 2023 Tokyo Auto Show did not wear a GT-R badge. But to the same extent he found that the Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo from 2014 carries a design language from an earlier timeline.

The hallmarks of the GT-R nameplate will live on. Like previous models, the next GT-R can be driven on the track and used as a daily driver with seating for four people. According to Albasia, Godzilla must be an “ugly, menacing car.” Words like these aren’t typically used to describe Japanese DNA, but they fit the GT-R and will continue to do so.

Nissan Hyper Force concept

Nissan Hyper Force concept

The Nissan design studio currently has competing shapes for the R36 GT-R on the drawing board. The design has not yet been decided. Albasia stated that the R36 will likely retain its signature four-taillight design, but pointed out that this does not have to be done in the traditional sense. The Hyper Force concept had four taillights that were not actually round, but appeared round due to the definition of the transparent slots cut into the lighting elements and bodywork.

1990 Nissan 300ZX and 2023 Nissan ZI Photography by Allex Bellus Photography

1990 Nissan 300ZX and 2023 Nissan ZI Photography by Allex Bellus Photography

The next Z could set new standards again

The latest Z, which debuted in 2021, is only two model years into its current lifespan. According to Pandikuthira, it has a long runway. The powertrain will meet emission regulations for the shelf life of the latest model, Pandikuthira said. Then Nissan will look at a new Z, said Pandikuthira. The current Z shouldn’t have existed at all. It was a Skunkworks Project.

While random sketches were still circulating early in the design phase, Albaisa noted that the 350Z, introduced for the 2003 model year, broke with the past and featured a progressive design that the 370Z, launched in 2009, further developed . Today’s Z looks to the past with retro styling cues from the 240Z and Z32 300ZX.

Albaisa said a new Z would either have to be a complete remake of the 240Z or completely break with tradition again and feature a progressive design. There will be no in-between.

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