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Will the Nissan GT-R Become a Hybrid?

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The Nissan GT-R might be getting a hybrid powertrain.

Nissan’s GT-R may get a hybrid powertrain as Nissan, like all automakers, faces ever-stiffening emissions and fuel economy regulations. You like apples? How ’bout them apples? (Photo courtesy Nissan North America.)

There is some scuttlebutt over at Motor Trend about the Nissan GT-R possibly morphing into a hybrid next time it gets a major overhaul.

Wait, what?

The magazine quotes an anonymous source as saying the current GT-R’s R35 chassis will likely live until at least 2015 and perhaps as long as 2017. After that, the magazine said its source is saying Nissan is looking at employing “some electronic device” to help the car meet ever-stricter emissions and fuel efficiency requirements.

According to Motor Trend, that may come in the form of a hybrid powertrain combined with a 3.7-liter V6. This would certainly appear to line up with the report we shared earlier about Nissan launching 15 new hybrid models by 2016.

A similar system shown in the Infiniti Essence concept car in Geneva in 2009 made nearly 600 combined horsepower. However, the magazine said its source was adamant that the Essence was not an approximation of what the next GT-R will be.

Motor Trend also noted engineers had been considering a hybrid system similar to the one found in the Infiniti M35h, but said any such system would add to the GT-R’s already hefty 3,800 lb. curb weight and would thus prove “problematic.”

You want to know what would prove “problematic?” With regard to the GT-R’s image, the word “hybrid” is likely problematic. Fanboys across the web have already decried that option, with one commenter at the Motor Trend article remarking, “It ruins the concept of being Godzilla, and instead Nissan makes a sports car for the elderly.” Not the image Nissan would want for its halo car, surely.

But remember, the GT-R is among the most techy supercars going right now. There’s no way to get a three-pedal GT-R because the paddle-shiftable autobox can do it better than even the best stick-jockey. It has a bazillion sensors and nannies to make so-so drivers into super drivers. Perhaps, then, a hybrid powerplant isn’t so far-fetched or blasphemous in Godzilla.

But anyway, back on track: The second option Nissan is reportedly considering is a “turbo compressor and generator setup,” according to Motor Trend’s unnamed source. The theory goes that a drive motor could be fitted to the car’s rear transaxle as a form of electric assist to the existing 3.8-liter VR38DETT V6 engine.

Would you want to see the GT-R hybridized?

3.8L VR38DETT twin-turbo V6
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