Nissan Pure Drive R-Hybrid badge

Patent and trademark filings are sort of like tasseography for those of us in the auto industry. If you know where and how to look at something, there's a lot to be figured out. Take this trademark filing from Nissan - it's similar to the Pure Drive badge found on a Versa or Sentra, but the bottom half sports the phrase "R-Hybrid." This wouldn't be remarkable if the "R" in R-Hybrid weren't the same style as the "R" in the Nissan GT-R's badge, right down to the serifs.

While it's easy to see this as grasping at straws, it makes a fair degree of sense. The R35 GT-R may be a dominant performance machine, but it's been around since 2008, which is donkey years in the automotive industry. And based on the recent crop of hybridized hypercars and racecars, a hybrid GT-R doesn't seem like such a stretch.

As Car And Driver points out, figuring out that the GT-R will go hybrid isn't hard - figuring out when it will arrive, is. The buff book rightly points out that a new GT-R isn't expected until 2017, but that designing and trademarking a badge four years ahead of time is a bit odd. Car and Driver speculates that we could see a mildly hybridized R35, although the chances do seem remarkably low. Head over to C/D for a more thorough rundown on why this just might be a GT-R badge, including comparisons with other R-badged Nissans.