2014 Nissan GT-R (Japanese spec)Enlarge Photo
Once the perserve of the Japanese domestic market and the occasional videogame, the Nissan GT-R has subsequently become a performance icon.
In its current iteration, it produces 545-horsepower from a 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6. 60 mph arrives in around three seconds and de-restricted it'll do almost 200 mph.
The next-generation car is rumored to use one of two different hybrid drivetrains, currently undergoing evaluation by Nissan's engineers.
The first is expected to be a system similar to that in the 2009 Infiniti Essence Concept.
Using a drivetrains similar to that of the current Nissan GT-R, an electric motor is placed between engine and transmission, much like that found in Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system.
Power to the motor is supplied by lithium-ion batteries, boosting power, torque, and reducing load on the engine. Engineers are currently having issues keeping the weight down, however--and the current GT-R is already a portly vehicle.
The second option is simpler, using an electric motor to power ancillary features, reducing load on the engine. Mounted to the gearbox, it could still provide a little extra performance, when required.
Cylinder deactivation and stop-start technology are also being considered, further boosting economy.
Aerodynamics could further improve from the current car's impressive drag coefficient of 0.26--albeit spread across a rather large body, the size of which is unlikely to change much.
If Nissan does go hybrid with the next model, it'll be the latest in a line of other manufacturers hybridizing their flagship models--including Acura with its NSX, the next Ferrari Enzo, and Porsche's 918 Spyder.