A Copyright Filed by Nissan Hints at Possible Hybrid GT-R in the Future
This news might be upsetting to some, and to me it would’ve seemed near impossible just a week ago, but here it is today: Nissan may be taking the first steps to ready themselves for the production of a Hybrid GT-R.
First reported by Car & Driver, the Nissan Motoring Company has registered a copyright for a new vehicle badge, which reads: Pure Drive R-Hybrid. This alone wouldn’t be any cause for speculation, as Nissan has R-type designations for many of their vehicles, but it’s the badge itself that was copyrighted that bring the news to light. The R featured in the R-Hybrid badge is identical in font and style to the R used on the GT-R badge. That’s the bit that has the internet convinced this indicates a Hybrid GT-R.
However, I’m not entirely convinced, and even if I were, I’m not entirely terrified. While Nissan has used a different font for Altima, Sentra, and other R type vehicle variations in the past, it’s very likely–following the use of the GT-R on the Juke Type R (and yes I know that featured a lot more from the GT-R than just the R on the badge)–that they’re moving all of their R vehicles to use this font. The move would be a sound one, financially, as it would clearly be building off of the success and popularity of the GT-R.
Secondly, even if this is for a GT-R, why is this a bad thing? Hybrid engines are heavy, yes, but they have benefits. A hybrid delivers immediate power to the wheels, for starters. Imagine a GT-R, which already has insane acceleration, getting its torque and HP at 100% from RPM 1, instead of having to rev up to 2500 RPMs and higher to start seeing real performance numbers. The Nissan AWD system is clearly capable of handling massive amounts of power and getting it to the wheels, and if any vehicle is going to benefit from the electric motor performance aspects the GT-R could be the one.
But, then again, the GT-R isn’t the only vehicle to benefit from hybrid technology. The LFA is an incredible performance machine that uses hybrid drive technology. Also, the LaFerrari–the very special, 900+ HP, limited edition Ferrari introduced to the world last year–utilizes hybrid drive systems to deliver insane performance across the entirety of the RPM band. The Porsche 918 and McLaren P1 are other world-beating supercars that use hybrid technology.
So, while, in the American consumer base hybrid is generally considered synonymous with slow, it doesn’t have to be. If Nissan takes their GT-R the direction of hybrid, too, you have to assume that the company that built Godzilla on incredible technology and world-beating performance will maintain their focus and use their hybrid drive technology for greater good. And if the GT-R is going to continue to post fire-setting 0-60 acceleration times, a hybrid electric engine that delivers power to all four wheels instantaneously may just be the next and most logical step for the vehicle.