Plans to replace Godzilla have reportedly fallen behind schedule. Will they catch up, or be scrapped?
There's little question that the Nissan GT-R is a biblically fast car. But even with its otherworldly capabilities, it will eventually need to be replaced, just like any other car. Or will it? Projections pegged the current R35-generation GT-R to be replaced by an all-new R36 model for the 2014 model year. However Inside Line reports that development on Godzilla's replacement has not even started. The reasons may very well come down to specific personalities within the Japanese automaker's ranks.
The R35's chief engineer Kazutoshi Mizuno recently retired, you see, and Nissan is apparently having trouble filling his shoes. Beyond that, however, Nissan's CEO Carlos Ghosn has not given the project the green light. Apparently Ghosn can't justify the business case based on the sales figures for the current GT-R, even as a loss-leader halo car. Projects like the Nissan Leaf are apparently his greater focus given the current state of the industry. It's worth noting, for comparison's sake, that Nissan's allied automaker Renault (over which Ghosn also presides) is reportedly preparing a new Alpine sportscar while also developing a full range of EVs.
The question is, where does that leave the future of the GT-R? Will development simply be postponed, or is it dead in the proverbial water? And if there will be no R36 GT-R, will the current one remain in production - perhaps with minor tweaks here and there - for another few years? These are unfortunately questions to which we have no answer, but we'd urge Ghosn to consider the enthusiasm generated for the brand by the GT-R and the importance of a halo car for any automaker in making his decision.