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Is Nissan planning a GT-R even faster than the Nismo?

Chief of product planning tells TG development potential remains in the current R35. Watch out, world

It might be one of the fastest cars on the planet, but it seems Nissan isn’t quite done with tuning the current, R35-generation GT-R.

Speaking to Top Gear, the company’s head of product planning said that while he couldn’t confirm exactly when the next GT-R will arrive, the existing Godzilla still has some fight left in it.

“You know, it’s a never ending quest. There is still development potential there, always,” Phillipe Klein said of the R35 GT-R.

The pinnacle of the R35 range is of course, the GT-R Nismo; a car good for 591bhp and, in the hands of FIA GT1 champion Michael Krumm, a Nürburgring lap time of 7m 08s, just nine seconds off the very senior Lamborghini Aventador SV. The ‘standard’ GT-R – as preposterous as that sounds – does the ‘Ring in 7m 22s.

The Nismo’s 3.8-litre V6 features two turbos from Nissan’s GT-R GT3 car, a new intake and exhaust system, some adjustment of the ignition timing and sticky tyres. Add on the ‘Track Pack’, and you get a near 65kg weight saving, thanks to carbon fibre, and some fancy suspension.

“When you see what we have done with the GT-R Nismo, it’s an interesting development, I do believe,” says Klein. ‘Interesting’ is one way of putting it. ‘Mad’ is another.

The new GT-R is still a while off, but Nissan is taking it very seriously. “GT-R is a halo model for us,” explains Klein, “which is not only contributing to the business but also to the image of the company.”

Quite what shape the next GT-R will take remains up in the air, but Top Gear understands a hybrid drivetrain is under consideration, while a derivative of the engine used for Nissan’s LMP1 programme – a 3.0-litre V6 in the race car – will also feature.

Klein did note that rumours of a four-door version of the new GT-R were off the mark. “GT-R is a very close concept and positioning in the line-up,” he told TG. “When you have these kinds of assets, you are not trying to dilute the asset.” So that’s a big fat no. Over to you then, Infiniti?

2018 Nissan GT-R: here’s what we know

The new GT-R will also likely take design inspiration from Nissan’s Vision Gran Turismo concept, and – judging by the pace of development within Nissan – likely to scorch a path around the Nürburgring considerably quicker than the Nismo GT-R’s time. Sub seven minutes, maybe.

“We are very serious about this vehicle and its future,” says Klein. So are the rest of us, Phillipe…

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