Nissan’s patent application for the “Hybrid-R” brand has led to speculation that a new sub-brand of performance hybrids could be coming from the Japanese automaker. With the rumor that the Williams Formula 1 engineering team team has been tapped to provide the hybrid drivetrain for the 2016 Nissan GT-R, it seems like performance hybrids from Nissan are inevitable.
Williams Advanced Engineering has already provided the hybrid drivetrains for both Porsche and Audi, including the Le Mans-winning R18 Quattro etron. Williams will partner with Nissan’s own performance division, NISMO, to develop next-generation performance street cars with hybrid power. What ever happened to that all-electric Nissan Leaf racing series, by the way?
If true, it means that the 2016 Nissan GT-R will probably be either a plug-in hybrid, or utilize some kind of energy-recapturing device (either a flywheel or supercapacitor) to provide a temporary power boost. The next GT-R hybrid could also use electric motors to drive either the front or rear wheels, maintaining all-wheel drive while allowing for limited electric-only driving. That would help boost the fuel economy ratings of Godzilla, though Toyota and Mitsubishi may have similar machinations.
The next Nissan GT-R has some big shoes to fill, and a hybrid drivetrain could provide the best all-around performance of any other setup. But what kind of hybrid will the 2016 GT-R be?