Nissan suitably silent on hybrid GT-R supercar

SAM HALL
Last updated 15:20 16/09/2013
Nissan GT-R.

COMING SOON?: It is speculated that Nissan will soon unveil a hybrid version of its GT-R.

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Nissan is tantalisingly close to unveiling the first of its future sports product line-up, which is poised to include a hybrid version of its hero GT-R supercar.

The Japanese manufacturer has hinted that it will outline the first of its sporty derivatives at the Tokyo Motor Show in November.

There is widespread speculation that the show will preview a replacement to the Nissan 370Z, likely to be in the form of a "smaller and lighter" concept that will stray away from brutish nature of the current version. There has also been rumours surfacing that the Z will inherit an electric drivetrain amongst its model line-up.

What's more, Tokyo also looms as the destination for the upcoming GT-R Nismo to be revealed.

In an exclusive interview with Fairfax Media, Nissan's global product communications manager, Victor Nacif, added to speculation that a hybrid version of the GT-R was in the works.

"There's been talk," Nacif said coyly on the prospect of the hybrid model. "But I can't speak about future product."

Nacif later hinted that Tokyo would clarify Nissan's future sports car positioning.

"You won't be disappointed with some of the displays and maybe some of your questions will be answered there," he said.

Nacif agreed that hybrid drivetrains had significant merit in today's generation of supercars, particularly amid tightening emissions standards around the world.

"What we're seeing now that hybrids don't disappoint in terms of performance, they lower CO2 and you're able to drive it in one mode or the other, or both according to your style of driving," he said.

"There are some benefits to it. Negatives to it are increased weight and increased cost, obviously, but everybody's having to deal with that.

"The good thing from a Nissan perspective is that we're not depriving ourselves of anything we're doing and saying ‘it can only be this powertrain or can only be this method'."

Nacif agreed that green technology would form a key basis of Nissan's supercar technology in the future.

"It's clear that any product we do has to meet the Euro standards and has to meet all of the emission standards that are set forth. You can't sell a car without it and clearly that's a priority and always will be," he said.

"In 2015 there are some changes that are happening in CO2 reduction, but really our intention is that every car we're going to be doing will be more economical.

"If you look at the Infiniti Emerg-E concept, that answers yes – hybrids are [a way of the future]. Porsche just came out with some numbers on their new 918 and that goes to show that hybrids don't lack in terms of performance."

-Fairfax News Australia

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