Nissan took its time refreshing the smaller of its two sports cars, but the GT-R is older than the defunct 370Z. Godzilla entered production in December 2007 and yet there's no sign of an R36. However, the Japanese automaker is already thinking at least one generation ahead as COO Ashwani Gupta told Top Gear there will be a radical change at some point. Confirming the inevitable, the supercar will eventually do away with the combustion engine.
"I think it's too early to say when, but definitely it [an electric GT-R] will come one day." However, Nissan points out that EV tech is not ready yet for such a high-performance application. The same holds true for the Z: "At present, when we do all the simulations to the electrification on these cars, we don't find the right technology to define what is 'Z' and what is 'GT-R'. And at the end, these two are not cars, these are our culture."
Nissan GT-R T-spec (Japan)
Ashwani Gupta went on to describe the Z and GT-R as being the beauty and the beast, respectively, mentioning the two performance machines play different roles in the automaker's lineup. Nissan's COO specified their positioning won't change, meaning the venerable supercar will always sit at the top of the hierarchy.
On a related note, the order books in Japan for the GT-R have been officially closed for the 2022 model year. It's unclear for the time being whether it will return for 2023MY in its ageing R35 form. We'll remind you the twin-turbo V6 beast has already been axed in Europe due to noise regulations. In addition, Nissan stopped selling the car in Australia on 1 November 2021, when a stricter side-impact crash test came into effect.
The new Z's situation is also a tad complicated as its launch in Japan has been pushed back until summer due to supply chain issues. It was supposed to hit the local market in June. Pricing for the United States hasn't even been released yet, so enthusiasts are still in for a long wait. Meanwhile, the six-cylinder Toyota Supra just gained a six-speed manual that might steal sales from the Z.