Buckle in: a new GT-R might not come for a while.
We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but from where we sit, it seems unlikely we will see a next-generation Nissan GT-R anytime soon, and the evidence for that is mounting.
Consider the facts. The 2021 Nissan GT-R was just announced as essentially a carryover model with a reduced trim lineup. This is the R35-generation GT-R's 13th model year in the United States, which is an eternity in automotive time, but aside from rumors of a 710-horsepower final edition sendoff, virtually no news regarding a new GT-R has left the Nissan camp.
The non-news about the GT-R is starting to become worrying. Earlier this year, Nissan published a teaser trailer called 'From A To Z,' which previewed the brand's upcoming new models. The trailer showed silhouettes of the Ariya, Armada, Frontier, Kicks, Navara, Note, Pathfinder, Qashqai (Rogue Sport), Rogue, Terra, and even a brand-new Z car. But the crown jewel in the Nissan lineup, the GT-R, was nowhere to be found.
Yes, in a trailer meant to show the future direction of the Nissan brand, the company's heart-and-soul flagship sports car was absent. Instead, the Z sports car, which is also long overdue for a replacement, looks like the more important priority for Nissan. The Japanese automaker just showed off its Z Proto, a concept version of an upcoming 370Z replacement.
Not that you'll hear us complain about the new Z. It will offer just about everything the common sports car enthusiast craves: impressive power from a new twin-turbocharged V6 engine, rear-wheel drive, and an honest-to-goodness manual transmission. We aren't at all surprised to see Nissan cater to the enthusiast market there because the Z's chief product specialist is none other than Mr. GT-R himself, Hiroshi Tamura.
Tamura-san was responsible for the current R35 GT-R, and he even owns a 600-hp R32 Skyline GT-R as his personal car. Although he also worked on the 370Z, which came out around the same time as the R35, we aren't so sure that Tamura-san will receive the time and budget to develop two new sports cars this time around. The Z competes at a much lower price point than the GT-R, meaning it's a higher-volume car and, therefore, probably a safer bet for a beleaguered Japanese automaker.
We hope to be proven wrong, but it feels like the GT-R is hardly a priority for Nissan right now and it's possible the nameplate could even retreat from the market - at least for a while.