Why Nissan Should Make the GT-R a Sub-Brand

Now that the Nissan GT-R is preparing to pass the torch to the next generation, everybody is wondering what the Japanese carmaker will do in order to keep the fire alive. Well, the matter goes deeper than that, as Nissan should focus on the GT-R and turn this into a sub-brand.
The GT-R range could very well start with a sportscar, something that may also replace the 370Z. Heck, the GT-R stuck to the 280 hp recipe for all of its previous generations, so releasing a toned-down model shouldn’t be an issue.

With a proper identity of its own, a GT-R sportscar would generate considerably more sales for Nissan than the 370Z, simply thanks to the power of the brand.

This could be followed by the “normal” GT-R and I’m referring to the supercar form the current R35 generation has accustomed us with. Ironically, developing this may just be the greatest challenge for Nissan - nowadays, the performance bar has been raised to a sky-high level and the Japanese automaker may not be able to make the GT-R all that fast while keeping things on the affordable side. But that’s another story for another time.

Sure, the GT-R supercar should keep the NISMO hardcore incarnation, but the Egoist luxury edition has to be axed.

Did I say “axed”? I meant transformed into a standalone model. Godzilla could really use an upmarket model that would be more GT than R. Its price has seriously gone up since it came to the market back 2007, so people wouldn’t be all that puzzled when seeing a version that’s even more expensive. Nonetheless, many mature buyers would certainly appreciate a Grand Tourer that ticks all the right boxes.

In this respect, I’d like to see a Nissan GT-R shooting brake. The Ferrari FF shows the market is hungry for such four-seat propositions.

Since we’re living in the era of the crossover, Nissan could also give us a GT-R with a hefty ground clearance. Remember, this is the company that builds the Murano CrossCabriolet oddity, so they’re not exactly shy people.

Come to think of it, a car that used to be compared to the GT-R, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, saw its current incarnation, the Evo X, being built on a platform shared with the ASX crossover. The slow ASX and the heavy Evo X may not be the best examples, but the principle behind the move remains.

Before anybody rushes to say a crossover would dilute the GT-R brand, I’ll remind you the GT-R’s track time arch rival, the Porsche 911, has such an example in its family tree. I’m talking about the 953, a heavily modded 911 that took home the Paris-Dakar rally back in 1984.

In fact, the 911 itself should serve as an example for the GT-R. Porsche is a master of models, versions and editions - Nissan should take a good look at this instead of developing an obsession for battling it out with the 911 on the Nurburgring. Nissan could at least build a convertible. Sure, the current styling may not allow that, but the next generation opens up new possibilities.

OK, I’ll stop mentioning Porsche. There are other examples of companies which have learned to focus on the models that define them. Fiat’s 500 family, which is constantly growing, is one of the best examples here. Oh an I hear MINI saying something in the background. Sure, Godzilla doesn’t have their history, but if the core model remains focused, it will reach such a status one day.

Meanwhile, the question is: GT-r or gt-R? Both and much more.
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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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