There’s mounting pressure on Nissan to roll out the next-generation R36 GT-R, but chief product specialist Hiroshi Tamura said his team is still waiting for a board-level decision on its powertrain, carsales reports. Apparently, it’s a tussle between having a petrol-electric hybrid or a full-blown electric Godzilla, but Nissan honchos have yet to make up their minds.

Earlier in May, Tamura said the next GT-R will be exactly what customers want. He said: “if a customer wants an EV, I say why not? The next generation of sports cars will be EVs. I didn’t say that, but why not study all of the solutions for customers? So if customers really want to have an EV, I will do that. If customers want an internal combustion engine, I have to do that. I have to think about the customer’s voice, real customers. Meaning buyers. That’s it.”

Regardless of where the wind blows, Tamura said he has the exact recipe in mind. “I have it in my mind, but not for outside. So nobody knows. I cannot tell you,” he told the Australian publication at the launch of the Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition and 370Z. “But I can say, imagining for a next-generation [car] is already in a chat. Talking about the solutions.”


The Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition

Tamura is also a firm believer that the R35 GT-R programme could easily run for 20 years without major mechanical tweaks, and pointed out that the reigning Godzilla is “still just at 12 years,” and that he wants to keep the body construction for as long as possible.

To justify that, he said the GT-R was basically unchanged under the skin through the R32, R33 and R34 generations over 14 years, while the latest R35 was effectively renewed as recently as 2017. “Yes, R35 is long [in terms of age]. But for model year 2017 it is almost a new body shape. The body is technology,” Tamura explained.

The 58-year-old has two more years to serve as product boss before facing compulsory retirement, but he’s adamant on driving change through to the next-generation GT-R. “I have to wait. I am just the GT-R lead conductor for the orchestra. The company will show me the members of the orchestra. They need to decide who will play the violin and who will play the trumpet,” he said.


Will fuel still run through the veins of the next Godzilla, or will it be a mute?

Meanwhile, Nissan’s global vice president of design, Alfonso Albaisa last year said that the next GT-R will be its own special car, and it has to be the “the fastest super sports car in the world.”

He also admitted that electrification is a possibility, albeit not confirmed. “Whether we go to a lot of electrification or none at all, we can achieve a lot, power-wise. But we are definitely making a new ‘platform’ and our goal is clear: GT-R has to be the quickest car of its kind. It has to ‘own’ the track. And it has to play the advanced technology game; but that doesn’t mean it has to be electric.”