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Get ready for the self-driving Nissan GT-R
Nissan boss confirms that future GT-Rs and 370Zs will have autonomous capabilities
Nissan has told TopGear.com that autonomous technology will worm its way into performance models like the 370Z and GT-R. That’s right, a self-driving GT-R.
It follows the reveal of Nissan’s IDS concept at the Tokyo Motor Show earlier this week; that autonomous all-electric hatchback that previews the next generation Leaf, but also Nissan’s self-driving tech that’ll hit our roads before the decade is out.
Takao Asami, Nissan’s Global Vice President for Research and Advanced Engineering, confirmed that while performance models ‘will be included within the autonomous driving programme’, the application of this tech ‘could be different to the Leaf’.
“Even the most enthusiastic drivers make mistakes,” Asami said. “Machines are more capable, reliable and better than even the best racing drivers. So thanks to autonomous driving technology we can offer even more driving pleasure out of performance vehicles.”
Asami believes that driving pleasure could be emphasised in next-generation GT-R and 370Zs by handing over control to a pre-programmed autonomous race driver.
For instance, you could flick over to the autonomous mode to enable a digital driver to show you how crap your lines really are around a track. To scare you witless, it could show the true potential of the car by going flat out and nailing the perfect lap while you sit in the driver’s seat – arms folded and Pilotis off the pedals – squirming at its non-human late-braking abilities. Just like Audi’s self-driving RS7. Be afraid.
Before that day arrives however, the current, R35-generation GT-R still has a lot of life left in it, at least according to Shiro Nakamura, Nissan’s chief creative officer. He’s the man in charge of penning the next GT-R.
“The GT-R is seven years old, so people think that it’s at the end of its life,” Nakamura told us. “But performance-wise it’s still one of the fastest cars in the world. And design-wise, it still looks very independent. But we have some major improvements for the current car that you will see next year,” he revealed with a cheeky smile and a heavy lift of the eyebrows.
Nakamura wouldn’t be budged on revealing more, so we’ll just have to wait and see…