The Nissan GT-R blew everyone's minds when it came out in 2007; you don't carry a nickname like "Godzilla" without being able to back it up. But it did so progressively less with each passing year as Nissan has kept it in production into the 2020s. A replacement for the GT-R is coming eventually, though — and according to an Autocar interview with Nissan Nismo CEO Takao Katagiri, it could be wildly different than the outgoing model.
According to the interview, Nissan's next high-end sports car will launch sometime later this decade. It will feature a "combination" of powertrains, which will likely be hybrid and electric. Katagiri confirmed the model will be sold in the UK, which is banning sales of everything except PHEVs and EVs in 2030.
A pure performance EV, per Autocar, may hinge on Nissan getting its solid-state battery technology to market. Purportedly, Nissan plans to have that battery tech finalized by 2026 and on the road by 2028. However, some believe that true solid-state batteries may take significantly longer to reach the market.
The high-end sports car realm should be one of the more fascinating parts of this decade's EV transition. Promises have been vague. There isn't a clear paradigm for how that transition will play out. Even if we expect the Nissan GT-R to be cutting-edge, it's unclear where that edge will be.
Performance hybrids are coming. But what that means will look very different depending on the manufacturer. Mercedes is using electric motors to abandon the traditional V8 for its performance cars. On the other hand, hybrid Corvette models are being used to augment the performance of V8s.
Electric sports cars are coming. But the plans are vague, and many cars will require technological advances. A Corvette sports car EV will arrive down the road and on a separate Ultium platform from the standard model. Audi is reportedly planning an electric R8 successor, but it may not arrive until 2029. Porsche is pivoting toward electric vehicles, but the 911 may not go fully electric until 2030.
There's also the outstanding question of how we distinguish high performance in an electric car era where 9,000-pound trucks are ripping 3.0-second 0-60 mph times and your typical crossover has a nearly 600-horsepower spec (easier to engineer than adding range).