- First launched in October 2007, GT-R is now 12 years old
- Nissan has no plans to replace the R35 GT-R
- Company undecided on a suitable concept – hybrid, electric or regular combustion engine
- Future of 370Z also uncertain
First revealed at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, the Nissan GT-R is more than a decade old and Nissan is still undecided on the model’s future.
The fact that the GT-R is one of the oldest car on sale doesn’t bother Nissan, as the company is in no hurry to replace the model and Nissan executives have said that the GT-R could remain in production until 2027.
Speaking at a media event in Australia, Nissan Motor Company GT-R and Z chief product specialist Hiroshi Tamura said that the R35 will continue to receive incremental improvements in the near-term. Beyond that, the company needs to make some tough decisions on the drivetrain and investing into the necessary platform.
Tamura told GoAuto News, “But if we need to breakthrough something (like electrification), it’s different story,” he said. “So, it depends on the company’s direction and I cannot tell you (where it will go).
“I have (an R36) in my mind, but I didn’t tell (anyone about it) outside. So, nobody knows. Do not believe … rumour. Rumour is just a rumour.”
Tamura also defended the GT-R’s age, pointing out that earlier generations of GT-R, the R32, R33, and R34 shared the same basic underpinnings, stretching over a 14-year period.
“Yes, R35 is long (in terms of lifecycle),” he said. “(But) for MY17, it’s almost a brand-new shape. The body is technology.
“So, this body construction, I want to keep as much as possible, because (it is) very solid.”
Tamura also hinted the GT-R usually makes a leap after every 20 years.
“What kind of technology should we need to install? 20 years each is the breakthrough time of the technology,” he said.
Considering that the R35 was unveiled at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, some read his comments as suggesting that the forthcoming R36 won’t come any earlier than 2027.
When asked about the future of the 370Z, Tamura was equally coy, “I cannot tell you,” he said. “There’s a turning point, of course, but not now.”
The 370Z debuted in 2008, and is nearly as the GT-R, with no replacement in sight.
The fact the sports car market is contracting and even German brands are exiting the market suggests that Nissan might pull the plug on its sports cars altogether.
Recall that the Audi has discontinued the TT and R8, Mercedes-Benz is not replacing the SLK, BMW wouldn’t have been able to make the Z4 without Toyota, likewise Toyota with the Supra. The Honda NSX is selling in miniscule numbers, Toyota wouldn’t have been able to make the 86 without Subaru, likewise the Mazda's partnership with Fiat for the MX-5 and 124 Spider respectively.
The only space where sports cars/supercars/hypercars are profitable is in the super-luxury segment – a space dominated by Porsche.
Nissan have earlier said that it will cut its global line-up by at least 10 percent, to reduce complexity and rationalise its operations to focus on more profitable products – SUVs for example.