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New GT-R will be ‘front-engined 2+2 hybrid’

Shiro Nakamura might be a diminutive chap in stature, but in car-drawing terms Nissan’s Chief Creative Officer is a colossus.

TG caught up with Nakamura-san - fresh from winning the Grand Prix du Design award at the International Automobile Festival - at the London launch of Infiniti’s revised Q70 exec saloon.

Of course we should have been complimenting him on the Q70’s new LED lights and tweaked bootlid, but, um, we want to know about the new GT-R instead.

So we asked Nakamura-san if he’d seen any of the speculative renderings the internet has spewed out, all purporting to show how the new GT-R will absolutely definitely look.

“Yes, I’ve seen them,” Shiro smiles. “Not one of them is close [to how the car will look]”. But what about the Vision Gran Turismo (pictured above)? Any GT-R clues in that virtual concept car?

“Maybe some elements from the front and rear, but that is a mid-engined car. Mizuno-san [the GT-R’s legendary father] says the GT-R will always be a front-engined 2+2-seater coupe.”

So, no need to worry about a GT-R crossover or convertible, then? Nakamura-san grins and shakes his head. Phew. “It will be a hybrid,” he confirms, “but not mid-engined.”

And when might we see a new GT-R? “Not yet. 2018 at the earliest,” is Shiro’s reply. He says the current car, updated every year with revised styling, suspension and software updates, is still selling healthily, and the GT-R’s team reckons there’s yet more performance to squeeze from the current car.

Yup, more performance from a car that can run 2.8 seconds from 0-62mph and laps the Nurburgring in 7m8s. The mind does indeed boggle.

TG suggests a new feature to stop Olympic cyclists crashing might be useful. Shiro laughs, and cringes a little.

“Yes, I was there at the Festival of Speed [when Sir Chris Hoy punted a Nismo GT-R into the hay bales]. I heard the crash and thought ‘argh!’. Then for the next two days, all they show on the big screen is the same shot of our GT-R crashing into the barrier. But at least the car was safe and strong…”

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