Nissan has stated that its well-known budget supercar, the GTR, will someday go electric. Top Gear, Nissan’s chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta confirmed that an all-electric GTR will be produced, albeit it may be some time before we see it. It might take some time before the release. Why? Because Nissan believes that the technology is not yet mature enough to produce exciting electric sports cars – an intriguing viewpoint given that Porsche and Lotus are already hard at work producing 2-door enthusiast EVs. There is, however, so much effort directed towards the efforts to produce an all-electric GTR.
The current GTR generation, the R35, has been on the market for nearly 15 years and is nearing the end of its life cycle. In reality, Nissan no longer sells the GTR in Europe because it does not fulfil current noise standards. Meanwhile, those in the United States cannot order a new GTR because the books for the current model year are closed. This is a situation that Nissan is closely monitoring even as they keep their focus on the production of a fully electric GTR Nissan.
In the meantime, Nissan is partnering with Oxford University on battery technology research, and a new £1 billion ($1.23 billion) gigafactory in Sunderland will replace Nissan’s present facility in North-East England and will open later this decade. This is a huge step toward the vision that the company has especially with regard to the changing motor industry landscape. The competition is quite stiff at the moment.
Nissan’s board of directors is discussing whether the next-generation R36 Nissan GT-R powertrain will be all-electric or a petrol-electric hybrid, although recent information suggests the latter. This is great news for the half-dozen ‘Takumi’ master artisans who construct the Nissan GT-R engine in Yokohama, but bad news for fans of pure-electric supercars.
Given the challenges mentioned by Nissan’s vice president of global product strategy, Ivan Espinosa, a hard-core, Rimac-rivaling, battery-powered Nissan GT-R is implausible. EV technology is quite advanced, but not to the point where you can give the performance required of a sports car. This is according to the vice president of Nissan. The developments at Nissan are closely monitored by all the players in the industry.
There are multiple arguments in favour of an all-electric Nissan GT-R, beginning with the Ariya’s high-performance underpinnings, which produce a respectable 290kW of power and 600Nm of torque. The Ariya EV employs e-4ORCE, a modification of the R35 GT-ATTESA R’s all-wheel-drive system that adjusts the torque outputs of the Ariya’s front and rear motors.
Those engines currently produce nearly as much torque – but not as much power – as the current R35 GT-R, which is powered by a 419kW/632Nm 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 and starts at $193,800. Furthermore, the battery-electric Ariya is built on an entirely new dedicated EV platform design that, according to Espinosa, is scalable and will be adaptable for much more prospective Nissan EVs. However, the vice president adds that challenges such as battery capacity, weight, and packaging remain unresolved for use as the sole power source in high-performance supercars.
According to the vice president, the platform is extremely adaptable and the point is not about the platform, but rather about the battery. One of the issues with batteries in the EV industry is their size. This is an issue that has had many EV engineers scratching their heads. He added that if they have a battery on the floor today, they would still need to make room for it. So, when you go with a traditional sports vehicle that you anticipate to have a really low drive, packaging becomes a very difficult thing.
With the power from the electric drivetrain, they have been capable of modifying and providing extremely exciting performance in Ariya, but the weight is an element that cannot reach the level they would anticipate for a very devoted and high-performance sports car.
Despite its electric motorsport efforts, Nissan’s product strategy boss claimed that the reality is that they need to supply highly consistent power to the car [lap after lap on the racetrack] which has been proven problematic.
According to him, that technology is accessible, and they are learning a lot from the Formula E team, but it’s not yet at a level to put such a car up for sale in the market.
According to Espinosa, a hybrid version of the Nissan 400Z is also in the works, so both the next Z-car and the R36 GT-R might use similar petrol-electric technology to improve power and lower pollution.
In endure the year, Nissan GT-R project manager Hiroshi Tamura stated that he thought the current model would last 20 years, bringing the current generation supercar to roughly 2027. That’s a long time for fans to wait for the next Godzilla, but it means Nissan has plenty of time to turn the electrified R36 GT-R into a world-beater.
The R36 will be the first electrified Nissan GT-R, whenever it emerges, and while a turbo-petrol electric hybrid setup like the Honda NSX appears most plausible, a fully GTR electric Nissan is being studied internally by Nissan.
However, full battery power is more likely to be reserved for the following R37-generation GT-R, which may be decades away since, at the moment, their priority is not an EV sports car.
In the meantime, they will be focusing on SUVs [Ariya], maybe some more compact cars or sedans, some other EVs, and then sports.
As aforementioned, there is stiff competition in the auto industry. Many automakers are striving to come up with the newest technology to be on top of their technology. The release of the Nissan GTR electric is highly anticipated, and it is all for the right reasons.