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Rumors of a hybrid-drive next-generation Nissan GT-R have been floating around since late 2009. And given Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn's wholesale commitment to electric vehicles, it should come as no surprise 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 an alternative powertrain will be a necessity to keep the GT-R relevant and meet future emissions and fuel economy standards.

Both Mercedes-Benz and Audi have already announced plans to build 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 thanks to 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 yet to start on the new model and no decision has been made on the powertrain.

[Source: The Motor Report]

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