When will the R36 arrive? And what will it be like?
Nissan must be getting sick of answering people's questions about the next-generation GT-R, especially considering the company recently revealed pricing for the 2020 model and would prefer to talk about the current car. The R35 GT-R has been on the market since the 2008 model-year, meaning it is well overdue for a redesign. But even though the GT-R has been around for 12 model years, it doesn't seem like Nissan is under a lot of pressure to bring out the R36.
In a recent interview with Top Gear at the launch of the 2020 GT-R Nismo, Hiroshi Tamura-san (aka Mr. GT-R) answered some questions about plans for the next-generation model. When asked if this new Nismo model would be a last hurrah for the R35, Tamura-san answered, "Is it final? Hmmm. The traditional, conservative answer is ‘I cannot tell you' - but I don’t know what our next mission will be, our next assignment."
He even compared the GT-R to himself as an individual, saying, "We’re almost a retirement generation. The company could say ‘Tamura-san, you are old, you must leave, so stop.' But if I’m able to continue my job, why would we not keep going? Onto the next step, next step, and next step, and so on.” The current R35 GT-R is certified for upcoming emissions and has a more than 18-month-long waiting list, so Nissan clearly doesn't need to hurry up with its replacement.
"The simple answer is ‘why not try for a model year 2022 or 2023?’”, Tamura-san said. "In my heart, we’re already kicking off options for the next step. We already have the feedback.” It seems like Nissan is still unsure as to what the next GT-R will be like. A hybrid drivetrain could be a possibility, but the company has already come out saying fans don't seem to want a hybrid.
"There are three types of customers. We have the paying customers who buy the car. Second, we have the ‘intender’ - someone looking to buy some kind of car. Third, are the fans. I have to respect the fans - someday they could be Nissan customers. This is difficult. Normal marketing and sales team want a good sales score, but this is a paradox, because [the GT-R] is about reaching into the heart. The fans are very important to me," Tamura-san explained.