Nissan confirms new hybrid performance car is coming


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Nissan has confirmed that Nismo is working on a new hybrid performance car that will be an indirect successor to the GT-R.

Nissan Australia has it easy when it comes to selling performance cars thanks to lax emissions regulations here compared to Europe and the UK, where they don’t get cars like the new Z. But that will change, with Nissan confirming that it is working on a “very exciting” hybrid performance car that will meet emissions requirements and go on sale by around 2030.

Speaking to Automotive Daily Network partner Autocar, Nissan Nismo CEO Takao Katagiri confirmed the unnamed model will be sold in the UK as well as mainland Europe and the US, following its release in the car maker’s home country of Japan. He hinted it will arrive this decade.

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“[There] is a very, very important vision [in Europe] for Nissan. It’s around the heart of this [new car],” said Katagiri.

“This region [the UK] is very, very special for us, especially [for] performance cars. So one thing I can say is please wait. We are going to introduce a very exciting model to the UK market under the Nismo brand.”

It is likely to arrive as an indirect successor to the Nissan GT-R, which was axed in early 2022 after 13 years. Tight European emissions rules have also kept Nismo’s other tuned model, the Z sports coupe, out of the continent, abut easier rules in Australia mean the model is on sale here.

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This new car is likely to be powered by a hybrid powertrain and Katagiri confirmed a “combination” of hybrid and EV models will be launched.

Company executives have previously told Autocar that any performance EVs will need to be powered by solid-state batteries – which Richard Moore, strategy boss of the West Midlands Gigafactory, has said are still 10 years away from making it into mainstream production cars. So if the new car is to be viable in Europe, a hybrid option will be the most likely starting point.

However, a fully electric powertrain could be the next move for Nissan, with François Bailly, senior vice president and chief planning officer for the AMEIO region (Africa, Middle East, India, Europe and Oceania), previously saying: “I would love to have an EV sports car, but we need to organise. We’re not ready to announce the sequence, but it’s clearly on the table.”

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Nissan’s timetable for solid-state batteries gives clues to when enthusiast-oriented EVs could arrive. Research is in a relatively advanced phase and a pilot factory is due to come online in 2024. The technology is expected to be ready by 2026 and the first production cars using it should be on the road by 2028.

This new technology ought to markedly increase energy density and speed up price parity between electric and petrol and hybrid cars. Nissan estimates an initial cost of $75 per kWh, compared with the current cost of around $180 per kWh.

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