But it is certainly in the cards.
After 13 years, Godzilla is on its way out. The GT-R has been discontinued, thanks to changing emissions, safety, and noise regulations, leaving Nissan only with the upcoming Z in its performance car stable. Even so, the company hasn't given up on building fast cars.
The shift to electrification has opened new speculation over Nissan's willingness to build an electric sports car, and now we have confirmation that the company is already having the discussion. Speaking to Autocar, Nissan senior VP and chief planning officer for the AMIEO region Francois Bailly confirmed that Nissan would build an electric performance car when the time is right.
The automaker has announced plans for 23 new electrified models, including 15 EVs. Nissan's goal is to have 100 percent of its lineup in Japan, China, the US, and Europe electrified by 2030. That means a mix of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and EVs, including Nissan's second electric vehicle, the Ariya. The EV's launch has been delayed until fall in the US as the microchip shortage and pandemic rage on.
Nissan's electric sports car plans hinge on its ability to successfully push forward with solid-state batteries. The automaker is already well down that road and expects its first pilot production facility to open in 2024. Solid-state battery tech should be ready by 2026 and reach production vehicles in 2028.
Solid-state batteries offer several benefits over today's traditional lithium-ion packs used in EVs. They remove the liquid and replace it with a solid layer, making them denser and able to store more energy in a smaller space. Nissan believes the batteries will lower the overall cost of new EVs to $75 per kWh by 2028 and $65 per kWh after that.
As far as which vehicles could get solid-state batteries first, Nissan execs confirm that the automaker is discussing an electric successor to the GT-R but acknowledge that everyday cars need to come first. "I would love to have an EV sports car, but we need to organize. We're not ready to announce the sequence, but it's clearly on the table," Bailly told Autocar. If its current concepts are any indication, the electric future is bright for Nissan. Late last year, the automaker showed off four unique EV concepts, including the Max-Out sports car and the Surf-Out pickup truck.