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It looks like the Ariya's EV technology is going to have an affect on Nissan's lineup from the top down. We could see GT-R turn all electric since the Ariya "uses two motors paired with a development of the GT-R’s ATTESA all-wheel drive system (now called ‘e-4ORCE’)"


Nissan's newly minted Ariya SUV could eventually spawn an all-electric GT-R supercar, it has emerged.

During an interview between carsales and Nissan after the launch of the Ariya, Nissan’s vice president of global product strategy, Ivan Espinosa, said that while electric technology is “very advanced,” he doesn’t think it’s quite at the appropriate level for the GT-R badge.

Before the electric die-hards out there get the pitchforks out, he was thinking about weight penalties and range as opposed to outright performance.

The Ariya uses two motors paired with a development of the GT-R’s ATTESA all-wheel drive system (now called ‘e-4ORCE’) to develop 290kW of power and 600Nm of torque. It is based on a brand new electric architecture that, according to Espinosa, can be scaled and adapted for future Nissan EVs.

Theoretically then, this platform could be tweaked and tuned to underpin an all-electric GT-R.

“The platform is quite flexible. I think the point is not about the platform, but again coming to the battery. There are two things about batteries still in the EV space, one is the size,” Espinosa told carsales.

He went on to say that while having a battery in the floor of something like an SUV is fine, when you start designing a conventional sports car the packaging becomes “a very challenging thing.”

The other problem, Espinosa said, is the weight. He said that while Nissan was capable of tuning and delivering “very exciting performance in Ariya” with the power it was getting from the electric drivetrain, the weight is an element that “cannot reach the level you would expect for a very dedicated and high-performance sports car.”

Factoring in the need for consistently high performance on the race track and Nissan’s higher-ups have all but ruled out an all-electric GT-R for the next R36 generation.

That means the next-gen supercar will almost certainly use a hybrid drivetrain, which could also be shared in some form with the upcoming 400Z.

Back at the beginning of May, a report from Japan's Spyder7 substantiated rumours that the 400Z would use the twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 from the Infiniti Q60 for the standard model.

This still looks to be the case, but we know Infiniti has used this engine in tandem with electric equipment derived from Renault's Formula 1 effort in the Q60 Project Black S. That powertrain produced around 420kW, which is roughly the same output as the current base GT-R.

It wouldn’t surprise us if Nissan used the 298kW V6 by itself for the 400Z and added the hybrid gubbins for the GT-R, while turning the wick up some to beat the previous generation’s power output. That leaves room for lesser hybridisation in the Z car at a later date.

As for timing, Nissan GT-R project chief Hiroshi Tamura last year told carsales that he hoped the current model could survive for 20 years, which would take the current generation supercar to around 2027. That means the fully electric version won’t arrive until at least halfway through the 2030s. With any luck, it’ll hover as well.
 
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