Nissan has reconfirmed its commitment to an ongoing GT-R development programme, with a model replacement cycle in place that should see an R36 hit the streets by 2013 at the latest.
Current R35 will be replaced around 2013
PistonHeads was at Nissan’s Nurburgring Technical Centre earlier this week, when VP of global product planning Andy Palmer paid a flying visit to show his support for the GT-R programme lead by Kazutoshi Mizuno.
It was Andy’s first meeting with the Japanese GT-R ‘away team’ at the Nurburgring and, speaking informally to the assembled engineers and support staff, he spoke warmly of their achievements and reaffirmed Nissan’s commitment to the GT-R project.
“These are very hard times and, as you know, we have had to make cuts to many programmes,’ he told the team. ‘However, it is very important to Nissan that we remain able to offer a diverse range of vehicles from electric cars, to LCVs and the GT-R and we continue to fully support the work you are doing here.”
Existing platform and packaging will stay
Speaking to PH later on – while waiting for a rapid ride around the Nurburgring circuit in a Spec-V development car – Andy confirmed that a model replacement programme was still in place in spite of the economic downturn, based on a roughly similar timescale to the Porsche replacement cycle.
With the 911 GT2 being the car Nissan likes to benchmark, that puts a lifespan of 5-6 years on the current R35 - according to our rudimentary maths.
Unsurprisingly, Andy also confirmed to us that the next-generation GT-R will be an evolution of the current platform, and will therefore retain the twin-turbocharged V6 and rear transaxle configuration.
“In that respect, it’s not going to be a massive one-off investment,” Palmer told PH. “It’s more a case of putting a bit of money into the programme every year, to make sure we keep the GT-R where it needs to be.”