Rumors of a hybrid-drive next-generation Nissan GT-R have been floating around since at least late 2009. Given Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn's wholesale commitment to electric vehicles, it should come as a surprise to no one that the automaker is seriously considering adding some form of battery power to the next iteration of its sports car. Speaking at an event in Australia, GT-R chief engineer Kazutoshi Mizuno confirmed that some kind of alternative powertrain will be necessary to keep the GT-R relevant and meet future emissions and fuel economy standards.
Mercedes-Benz and Audi have already announced plans to build full battery electric versions of the SLS AMG and R8, respectively. According to Mizuno, Nissan is considering a straight battery variant, a hybrid or even a diesel version, although the latter is unlikely. A battery version is certainly possible but Mizuno also says a hybrid would be easy to do because of the GT-R's front engine/rear transaxle layout. The Leaf and other EVs will give Nissan some breathing room on regulations so a new GT-R is still a ways off. At this point, work has not yet started in earnest on the new model and no decision has been made on the powertrain. A tip of the hat to Tony!