Monday, January 28, 2013

Future Cars: CarScoop's Vision of the 2017 Nissan GT-R

Ever since its Japanese launch in 2007 (USA 2008), the Nissan GT-R has gained a huge following and respect with its supercar-bashing performance. Subtle upgrades have been applied over its current lifespan with the aim of keeping Italians, Germans and Americans at bay with its AWD drivetrain coupled to a potent 3.8L twin-turbo V6.

However, the competition will not surrender; cue GM and Porsche with their new Corvette Stingray and 911 models respectively, as prime examples - hence why Nissan is expected to respond again.

For those of us like myself who grew up as part of the early-adapting PlayStation generation, the GT-R obsession grew with the R32-34 Nissan Skylines of the 1990's. Their bang-for-buck thrills combined with endless modification options has turned the GT-R moniker into something of an automotive cult status.

So naturally, as one's mind wonders backwards through the generations of Skyline GT-R, the inevitable happens with thoughts boomeranging back from the past and into the future.

So what is to be expected from Nissan's future supercar nameplate? Well information is pretty thin right now; however, rumor has it that Nissan is looking at employing a hybrid setup to aid with the ever-increasing demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles and lower emissions. If so, such a setup could easily improve performance with instantaneous torque from electric motors. Of course, the downside - as with most hybrid vehicles, is added weight and packaging issues with battery packs; plus the heavier the vehicle gets, compromises with handling will start to arise.

Now how about the styling? Well prior to the current GT-R, the look of previous generations had been rather restrained - you certainly couldn't put them in the league of the Italians such as Ferrari and Lamborghini when it came to design flair. This is because they had been based on the Japanese market Skyline, so GT-R versions were limited to a degree when it came to aesthetic appeal. With the R35 now being a separate line from the humble Skyline, Nissan has had the freedom to be a bit more adventurous.

To illustrate what a potential next-generation GT-R may look like, I've glimpsed into the supercar library of design and created a rather…orange offering: Using the current version as inspiration, I've expanded the appeal further by adding prominent visual elements to exude a more radical look.

For example, the grille has evolved from a simple-edged opening into an multi-curved shield graphic. This is aided by large side intakes incorporating DRL's, with outer character lines sweeping over the front wheel arches. The headlights are a more radical take on Nissan's current design theme; the angular details and graphics make a statement against the more mainstream headlight affairs. Whilst the cabin greenhouse carries similarities with the current car, the roofline has been massaged - now incorporating driver and passenger domes for increased dynamic vibrancy.

The angled, vertical vent behind the front wheels has been re-formed; now with a character line spreading back into the rear air-intake scoop. This area in the current car is rather flat; so to increase visual impact, the outer edge of the rear vents float over the bodywork, leading up into the roofline. I'll be first to admit this design aspect is not new - variations of this can be found on the new Lancia Stratos and Ford Falcon Mad Max Interceptor concept.

Overall, what I've proposed has an aggressive and purposeful appearance; it still retains DNA that links it visually to the current R35, yet moves boundaries further on from typical Japanese automotive design. What do you think - is this the direction the Nissan GT-R should head? Let us know in the comments below.

By Josh Byrnes Renderings
Copyright: CarScoop / Josh Byrnes
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