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What if… Nissan Broke the Internet With an SUV Variant of the GT-R?
I don’t think there’s a single Nissan GT-R enthusiast out there who would enjoy seeing one of Japan’s most beloved monikers on a Sports Utility Vehicle. With certain cars, legacy can be the most important thing, and you certainly don’t want to mess with that.

What if… Nissan Broke the Internet With an SUV Variant of the GT-R?

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Uh-uh, wait a minute, I’m just receiving some new information here. What? Making money is more important than legacy? Yeah, I guess that’s true nowadays. Just ask Ford, Lamborghini, Ferrari and lots of other carmakers.

We live in an age where you either "get with the program" or you might find yourself getting acquired and diluted by some conglomerate in 15-20 years' time when the automotive landscape could look totally different.

Today, the name of the game is switching to battery electric power while offering customers a wide range of SUV/crossover models to choose from. Luxury and exotic carmakers can still afford to take their time a little, but if you’re a mainstream brand, the last thing you want is to not do everything that everyone else is doing.

It’s unfortunate, I know, but it’s also necessary at this moment in time.

As far as Nissan is concerned, they’ve already announced the unveiling of 23 new electrified models, including 15 new EVs. Their goal is to offer a 50% electrification mix by 2030, before becoming fully carbon neutral by 2050. They’re a little bit behind some of their rivals, but it’s still early to speculate about how these things will turn out.

Now, about the GT-R, that’s as iconic a nameplate as you can find in the car industry. It was first introduced as a high-performance specification for the Skyline in the late 1960s, but today it stands on its own in R35 guise.

The R35 GT-R was unveiled back in December of 2007, and it pretty much stunned the entire world with its unbelievable price/performance ratio. The first cars had just 480 horsepower yet could accelerate from zero to 60 mph (97 kph) in just 3.6 seconds, faster than just about anything out there. It offered Porsche Carrera GT levels of performance for roughly what you’d spend today on a Camaro ZL1 or a Challenger Hellcat. Now imagine getting modern-day hypercar acceleration in a flagship Camaro or a base-spec Hellcat – yeah, that used to be the GT-R effect.

If we were to take that same recipe and apply it to an SUV, the end-result could be an exciting product, albeit one that would probably require a new design language. We actually tried to turn the current GT-R into an SUV, as seen here in our exclusive renderings, but you end up with a really clunky aesthetic that only a mother... or BMW could love.

Still, I’m willing to bet that a real-life Nissan GT-R SUV would be tremendously fun to drive, whether it would be powered by the current 3.8-liter twin turbo V6 or even something more eco-friendly.

As for how such a product might be marketed, Nissan could either opt to build a straight-up Lamborghini Urus rival or simply use the GT-R badge in a more diverse manner – to promote the new Nissan [Insert Name Here] GT-R electric crossover. The latter option is basically what Ford did with the Mustang brand when they decided to use it for the Mach-E. They could have just named the car the Mach-E, but instead, they took a gamble.

Personally, I think the former strategy is the boldest one, where you just go all-in on a high-performance SUV variant of the GT-R, but odds are that’s not happening any time soon and if it ever will happen, the vehicle won’t look anything like the R35 GT-R.


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