Contrary to Earlier Reports and Beliefs, the Nissan GT-R Will See a Second Generation in 2018
Information on the 2013 Nissan GT-R Facelift is Almost as Exciting as that providing proof of the next generation Nissan GT-R hitting the streets in 2018
For the last few years the common belief in the automotive world had been that the Nissan GT-R as we currently knew it would be a single generational vehicle. The reviews and media coverage for the vehicle have always been astoundingly positive–few people anywhere will deny it its place amongst the planet’s elite vehicle list–but the sales haven’t always matched. The price tag and Nissan badging combination have clearly turned away some would-be consumers, and, this has lead many to speculate that this generation of GT-R, especially with increased fuel restrictions coming up, would never see a complete generational renovation Stateside. Thankfully, a report released this past week not only refutes that, it provides a solid and reasonable timeline for the vehicle’s future.
Seeing a facelift this year, and almost certainly continuing to receive small and interesting upgrade touches until the next generation is released, the real news is that in 2018 the car will be completely revamped from ground up. First confirmed by Edmunds via Nissan’s corporate PR entity, multiple reputable news sources have come out to verify the same information. Nissan had originally intended for the Nissan GT-R to see its second generation as early as 2015, but the departure of GT-R R&D head and chief engineer, Kazutoshi Mizuno, left the company in a bit of a difficult position. Without the man who had made the GT-R the giant-slayer we all know it as today its future had seemed uncertain. Well, Mizuno is back after having overcome health concerns and the 2015 date has been scrapped in favor of a 2018 as result of the lost time in the wake of Mizuno’s absence.
With their new date set for 2018, the conservative timeline will provide Mizuno plenty of time to get back in to the swing of things with his trusted team and move forward with the vehicle’s revitalization. Most importantly, too, is that this news means that Mizuno–one of the world’s greatest automotive development minds–is healthy and has overcome his personal health issues. In fact, Mizuno was healthy enough to make the trip to Germany recently and be involved with the mechanical side of the Nissan team’s class victorious effort at the renowned 24 Hours of Nürburgring event.
The other reason for the delay was result of Nissan’s insistence on keeping their current generation GT-R up to par. This means that a number of resources are being applied towards the current generation to provide the 2013 model with a complete facelift and improved performance via more involved electronics, in an effort to the keep vehicle competitive with new Porsche models as it enters in to its 6th year of production.
While exact details of the facelift and new model year revamping haven’t been officially announced, what has been stated is Nissan’s desire to closely follow and react to the new Acura NSX model’s performance. The NSX is a long recognized super car returning to production in 2013, where it will certainly regain its place alongside Ferrari and Porsche as a truly viable entrance point in to the supercar market. However, the NSX is doing things a little differently.
Similar to the Lexus LFA, the NSX will also feature a hybrid electric/gas engine to increase low end torque numbers and pair them with high RPM HP numbers. This insistence by Mizuno and his Nissan team has lead many to speculation that a turbocharged hybrid engine may be in the future for the GT-R as well. With increasing fuel efficiency standards across the globe, a change of this nature seems both likely and ideal too.
Now, it’s known that many performance enthusiasts release collective groans when they hear the word “hybrid” attached to their beloved super car market, but, the hybrid configuration does allow for a lot of performance gains as well. Chief amongst these gains is the torque delivery that an electric engine offers. Because of the change in power access and delivery, hybrid electric engines are able to deliver 100% of the electric engine’s torque from a stand-still. Coupling a torque delivery like this–something in line with 100-150 torque from zero RPMs is absolutely plausible in an electric hybrid engine–with the GT-R’s amazing all-wheel drive system will result in some of the most impressive off the line acceleration numbers anyone has ever seen. Switching from 100% electric to 100% gas as the vehicle goes up through the RPM band will result in the engine being able to access its turbocharger reserves for increased horsepower at higher speeds, once the need for torque has dissipated. In all, a well-designed hybrid AWD GT-R could easily offset the increased weight issue associated with a hybrid engine and deliver even more impressive performance than ever before.
As for the 2013 facelift in store for the GT-R, exact specifications are, as of yet, unknown. Nissan has stated that the primary body panels will remain largely unchanged, which has lead to speculation in changes over the following vehicle aspects: under body aerodynamics aspects such as front splitter and rear diffuser, lights and markers, and interior. Of these three, changes to the interior–bringing it closer to the Porsche and Audi luxury standard–seem the most likely to drive sales, while those which may improve downforce and drag coefficient numbers–i.e. changes to the aerodynamic component pieces–seem the most likely to help the GT-R set new benchmark track times across the globe. The recently utilized GT-R R35 from the prior mentioned 24 hours of Nürburgring utilized a new, upgraded, integrated front air dam with enhanced air dam brace. Considering how close that race’s iteration of the GT-R was to a production model, there’s a definite possibility that the 2013 model could also find itself equipped with this more aggressive front wind splitting device.
Here are a few excerpts from Mizuno following the 24 Hours of Nürburgring event, some of which is very telling. Ultimately, it lends itself to the belief that Nissan will continue improving the GT-R until they release next generation and will maintain a strong dedication to performance above all else with their flagship automobile:
“There are two major reasons for entering in this 24-hour race: First of all, after the debut in 2007, this vehicle has been evolving year after year. By changing it to a racing specification to be implemented in the future, no matter what kind of super high performance feature or a new version is developed in the next five years, the durability and reliability in varying conditions can be verified in this race. I would like to make a promise that all this will be reflected in future GT-Rs.
“Secondly, since we debuted this vehicle in 2007, customers have asked me time and time again, how their vehicle would perform if they were to race their own vehicles. Therefore, we are using a vehicle similar to those of our customers, we are not using a car with racing modifications.
“By racing in a vehicle with similar and more evolved specifications as our customers’ GT-R, we respond to the expectations of our customers. For this race, we developed forged calipers, aerodynamic parts and other various components. I would like to make a promise that all this will be reflected in future GT-Rs, and will be delivered to our customers.”