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Sports Cars Like The GT-R Are Integral to Nissan's Future

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On: Wed, Sep 15, 2010 at 11:47AM | By: Chris Weiss

Sports Cars Like The GT-R Are Integral to Nissan's Future

As long as I can remember, Nissan has been an automaker that is congruous with sexy sports cars, moreso than any other of the Japanese big 3. All the way back to the Datsun 240Z, on through the 240 SX and 300ZX models of my youth and up to the highly impressive GT-R, Nissan has always had a  few head-turning sports coupes on the road at any given time.

According to sources within the company, it has no plans of changing that. While some have questioned whether Nissan is committed to sports models like the GT-R, a new report in Autocar citing a conversation with COO Toshiyuki Shiga indicates that Nissan is as serious about sports cars as it ever has been. Good news for the auto world, bad news for European competitors left in the GT-R's wake.

Autocar's report also indicates a possible new direction for Nissan sports cars: EVs. Shiga told the magazine: “The GT-R is part of Nissan’s heritage. In fact, since Nissan started as a car company, it has been offering driving pleasure through sports cars. I can’t commit to any new products but, as far as we know, we are keeping this brand, these technologies, and trying to offer sporty cars. I am also thinking of electric vehicles as sporty cars.”

He went on to explain that given the current market push toward more eco-friendly vehicles, Nissan may be inclined to issue a fully electric sports car sometime down the proverbial road. Seeing as how much success Nissan has had in harnessing electronic technology into all-out performance in the GT-R, it wouldn't be surprising to see them merge technology and automotive design in an electric sports coupe.

As indicated in his quote, Shiga fell short of announcing any new products. He would not commit to an answer as to whether Nissan planned to introduce a revival of the 200 SX as a means of competing with affordable sports cars like the Toyota FT-86 (and/or mini Toyota FT-86).

Nissan's latest sports car is a bit of an automotive rag celebrity, constantly making headlines for its mixture of pure power, performance and low price. Able to compete with (and all out beat) more expensive, premium cars like the Porsche 911 and Audi R8, the 2011 GT-R is powered by a 485-hp twin-turbo 3.8-liter V6 engine mated to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. It is capable of a 3.5-second 0 to 60 mph and a 193 mph top speed. While those numbers look more high-end, $100K + supercar, the GT-R bases in at a class-of-its-own $84,060.

A redesigned GT-R with a rumored 530-hp is expected to be announced later this year. And whatever else Nissan has in store for the sports car segment next, it'll be worth watching.


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