Nissan GT-R could get race tech before going hybrid

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Nissan will add the mighty GT-R to its range of electrified cars, if a rumor coming out of Japan is accurate. It will drag the coupe into hybrid territory before consigning it to the automotive attic about halfway through the 2020s.

Electrifying the GT-R is challenging, because the model was launched in 2007 and not developed with gasoline-electric (or pure electric) technology in mind. Making it a hybrid is a must, however. Japanese magazine Best Car learned the firm isn’t worried about its fleet-wide CO2 emissions, it sells enough EVs to avoid hefty fines, but it needs to make sure the GT-R complies with strict new noise regulations coming into effect in the coming years.

In other words, the GT-R needs to go hybrid or (loudly) retire, and Nissan wants to keep it around for at least a few more years. It will give the model a 48-volt mild hybrid system that consists of integrated starter-generator good for about 27 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. While the technology won’t allow the GT-R to cruise on electricity alone, it will presumably unlock a coasting function to help keep the decibels down. Details remain murky.

Illustrating what we suspect will become a trend in the coming years, Nissan will send off the non-electrified GT-R with a no-holds-barred Final Edition model packed with technology designed for racing. Limited to 20 units worldwide, the Final Edition will be powered by a hand-built 3.8-liter V6 twin-turbocharged to over 720 horsepower. It will be related to the six-cylinder that powers the Nismo-built GT3-spec race car that competes around the world.

Nissan hasn’t commented on the report, and it hasn’t revealed what’s next for the GT-R. It’s about to launch a new Z, so we know it wants to continue selling enthusiast-friendly cars in the foreseeable future. If the rumor is true, the hybrid GT-R will take the torch from the non-electrified model in 2022, and it will remain in production until 2024.

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