Next-Gen Nissan GT-R and Z Are in Development, But They’ll Be a While

Nissan says it's testing tech for the next GT-R in Formula E right now—but it won't yet commit to an electric variant.
Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign

With the R35 Nissan GT-R finally nearing its sunset, Godzilla’s lineage now appears to be in peril. But let there be no more doubt, because Nissan has confirmed it is actively working on not only the R36 GT-R, but also the next Z—and it has given us loose ideas of what to expect from both cars.

Speaking to Motor Authority, Nissan North America’s Senior Vice President Ponz Pandikuthira confirmed the R35 is on its way out as rumored. His colleague Alfonso Albaisa, global senior vice president of design, added that styling of its replacement is already underway, with multiple possible designs currently in review. They haven’t been finalized, but Albaisa reportedly hinted the GT-R’s iconic quad-circle taillights will carry over in one form or another. He also suggested the GT-R’s bullying, brutish style will endure, saying the R36 has to be an “ugly car, [a] menacing car.”

2024 Nissan GT-R Takumi Edition
2024 Nissan GT-R Takumi Edition. Nissan

Albaisa and Pandikuthira also outlined the R36 as being similar to the car we know today: A daily-drivable, yet trackable four-seater. Pandikuthira seemed to suggest that an EV is Nissan’s preference, describing the company’s Formula E campaign as a testing ground for the GT-R. But he also said the drivetrain hasn’t been finalized, as the GT-R can’t run out of steam after just a short track session. It seems Nissan wants a battery tech breakthrough before it commits to a GT-R EV, perhaps the solid-state packs it projects later this decade. Other reports point to a hybrid powertrain as a backup choice, though.

“The next generation of the GT-R has to be an authentic GT-R,” Pandikuthira reportedly said.

Expectations for the R36 have changed radically in the last several years, with Albaisa proclaiming in 2018 that it’d be the “fastest super sports car in the world.” Obviously, that’s a much higher bar than it was even then, so Nissan may be better off aiming for more achievable goals. Those could include making the R36 a performance deal, as previous GT-Rs have been.

2024 Nissan GT-R Takumi Edition
2024 Nissan GT-R Takumi Edition. Nissan

The Z’s successor was also confirmed by Albaisa, who said the car’s design is at a similar stage. Apparently, though, the current Z wasn’t supposed to happen in the first place, so it has a long life ahead of it. When the new Z does arrive, it also won’t repeat the callback styling of the current car according to Albaisa. Instead, he reportedly said it’ll either reimagine the 240Z again or go in a radical new direction like the 350Z. In either case, odds seem strong that the Z will be a hybrid, with an electrified RZ34 supposedly in the cards for 2025 or so. But we’ll see how it all plays out—and whether Nissan can really bring about any more generations of its beloved performance cars.

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