NISSAN HAS its sights set on the Porsche 918 Spyder‘s lap record for the fastest globally-homologated production car around the Nürburgring Nordschleife. It claims that a hybrid version of the Nissan GT-R would be up to the job and hints that the next GT-R will feature electric power.
In “Track” specification, the current 592bhp, 196mph GT-R Nismo (pictured) is the fastest four-seater production car around the 13-mile German track, with a lap time of 7m 08sec. However, the Porsche 918 Spyder supercar holds the overall production car record, after lapping the track in 6m 57sec last September. It was the first production car to dip below the seven-minute barrier.
The GT-R enjoys a supercar-slaying reputation and Nissan is expected to hold on to this by adding a hybrid powertrain to the 2016 model. At the end of 2013 Andy Palmer, Nissan’s chief planning officer said he expected to “see some form of hybridisation on the next generation of car”.
Pressed on the issue by Driving.co.uk recently, Palmer explained: “If you look at a hybrid through the lens of performance enhancement, rather than as a pure means of saving fuel, it makes a lot of sense. If you look at the torque curve of an engine – it has a slow ramp up and then goes flat, then drops off. The electric motor, of course, doesn’t have that lag. So you can augment the first part of the torque curve.”
However, Palmer went further, suggesting that not only could the next GT-R be a hybrid but that it would enable the GT-R to reclaim the Nürburgring production car lap record.
He said: “Hybrid’s really good – particularly when thinking about the Nürburgring – into slow corners and out; basically using the electric power to give you an extra squirt of power. It needs a little bit more poke out of some of those corners – that’s where we’re a little bit slower than the 918.”
It looks like the Nissan GT-R is set to continue to be a thorn in the side of the big boys of the supercar world.