Godzilla’s screen test

It’s a wrap: hy­brid su­per­car will be as dis­tinc­tive as its ances­tor

Herald Sun - Motoring - - NEWS -

JUST as the lat­est Godzilla film epic has hit the screens, test­ing has be­gun in Europe on the first pro­to­types of its au­to­mo­tive name­sake, the Nis­san GT-R.

When the next GT‒R pre­mieres in 2016, ex­pect a hy­brid su­per­car ca­pa­ble of cat­a­pult­ing to 100km/h in less than 2.5 seconds.

In­sid­ers pre­dict a car with a twin-tur­bocharged V6 mak­ing 440kW abet­ted by a 115kW elec­tric mo­tor, feed­ing through a hi-tech all-wheel-drive sys­tem.

The car will con­tinue as a coupe but with much smoother styling to im­prove its aero­dy­namic per­for­mance. It is also on a ma­jor weightre­duc­tion regime — in­clud­ing use of light­weight car­bon-fi­bre — to trim about 180kg.

“Of course we have a pro­gram to re­new the GT-R. But we still have a lit­tle more to go. Then we re­new it,” says Nis­san chief cre­ative of­fi­cer Shiro Naka­mura.

“GT-R is a very im­por­tant as­set for the company.”

He says de­sign work is well un­der way on a rein­ven­tion of a car that has be­come a global icon, promis­ing a body that is just as dis­tinc­tive as the cur­rent one.

He rules out a con­tin­u­a­tion of the “gun­dam” theme — taken from Ja­panese an­i­mated ro­bot se­ries — but prom­ises it will be another land­mark car.

“It’s the her­itage of GT-R. When we de­sign a new­gen­er­a­tion GT-R we will de­sign it as a GT-R. It must be an evo­lu­tion.”

Naka­mura de­signed the cur­rent GT-R and has taken per­sonal con­trol of the new one, partly be­cause he un­der­stands the his­tory of a per­for­mance car with its roots in the 1960s.

“My gen­er­a­tion is the sports car gen­er­a­tion. I’m de­sign­ing it for my­self.

“Most of the cus­tomers for the car are quite old, like me,” he says.

Sur­pris­ingly, Naka­mura also re­veals the next GT-R is likely to be repack­aged as an In­finiti. Nis­san’s up­scale brand is mak­ing good ground in the US but strug­gling in coun­tries in­clud­ing Aus­tralia, where it has yet to achieve recog­ni­tion among lux­ury buy­ers.

“Be­cause of its price, per­for­mance and pack­age, it would work well,” he says.

Sec­ond Sec­cond llaand­maarrk:: land­mark: Nis­san’sNi­isss­saan’’ ss GT- GT-- R iis­sis be­ing bei­ing rrei­in­vent­te­drein­vented aas­sas aa a hy­brid hy­br­riid

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