Rumors and speculation that the R36 Nissan GT-R will be packaged with a hybrid powertrain have been floating around for years, but now there are fresh signs of life for the project.
Nissan will field a GT-R branded hybrid in next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race alongside Toyota, Audi and Porsche where its engineers will have the chance to test performance hybrid technology that will find its way into the next generation GT-R. Citing an unnamed source, MotorTrend reports that Nissan is having a hard time keeping the battery components in the next GT-R’s powertrain cool enough and that the Le Mans run will play a key role in developing the R36 generation.
The next car will draw heavily from the Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo car Nissan revealed earlier this year, albeit in a toned down form more appropriate for a street vehicle. Large air intakes to help direct air to the hybrid system that will sit at the front of the car are at least one of the design aspects that will live through from concept to production.
According to the report, the hybrid powertrain will put out 737 lb-ft of torque between a re-vamped version of the twin-turbo 3.8-liter V6 and and electric motor that will sit just behind the internal combustion engine. Total horsepower for the powertrain is currently pegged at 784 hp despite past rumors of the car hitting a staggering 800 hp. The current six-speed DCT can’t take any more torque and MotorTrend’s source claims that Nissan is going to totally re-design the gearbox with eight speeds for the R36 generation.
Andy Palmer’s unexpected departure to Aston Martin could put the project on a delayed schedule or potentially derail it altogether because Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is pushing for the company to focus on high-volume models. But for now, things seem to be sauntering forward with plans for the GT-R branded race car and designs like the Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo trickling out of the company to hint at plans for a successor.
GALLERY: Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo
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