Currently, the Nissan GT-R is a 3.8ℓ V6-powered gas-guzzling supercar, rated at 545hp and fun-level 10.1, but it won’t be that way for long, with emissions regulations becoming ever stricter.
Instead of dialing the Nissan GT-R fun-level back to 8.2, Nissan engineers have decided to hybridize the car, which will reduce emissions and increase fuel economy. In December, a Nissan engineer said the next version might employ “some electronic device” to boost efficiency, but there was no concrete evidence to say either way.
If the next Nissan GT-R was to go hybrid, it wouldn’t be a big surprise, because other supercar manufacturers are doing the exact same thing, including the new Ferrari Enzo and the BMW i8 [Yes, the BMW i8 is a new model, but looks to be definitely in the hybrid-supercar range.]. Time to tune the fun-level up to 10.2?
Nissan engineers do have their own hybrid electric vehicle division, but the heavy systems they have would add too much weight to a hybrid version of the Nissan GT-R, which would have the opposite effect on fuel economy and handling. This would be a big no-no in terms of supercars, which is why a recent collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering is so interesting.
Williams develops performance hybrid electric vehicle powertrains, which they supply to race teams, including Porsche and Audi Le Mans cars, and even the Jaguar C-X75 concept car. The kind of performance expertise that Williams can bring to bear on the next Nissan GT-R probably won’t be limited to propulsion, which could be a mechanical kinetic energy recovery system [KERS] or electrical as in typical hybrid electric vehicles. Williams also has plenty of experience in aerodynamics tweaking and weight reduction measures that maintain the safety of the vehicle.
Nissan and Williams will surely bring all their expertise to bear on the next Nissan GT-R, which can only mean good things for drivers, and their emissions.