We were disappointed when we found out the Nissan GT-R was going to be discontinued earlier this year due to European noise regulations. We were even more disappointed when no replacement for the R35 GT-R was announced – so was Matt Clark, an independent artist from Odachi Design who set out to design his own renders of an R36 GT-R and higher-performance NISMO version (pictured) as soon as the news broke.
He says he took inspiration from various past iterations of the Skyline and GT-R, including the C10, R30 and R35 models, with the overall silhouette a nod to the R34. We can definitely see the R34’s side profile in there, with the ‘surfline’ crease down the side reminiscent of the C10’s, not to mention the iconic circular rear lights that have been a fixture on many cars from the GT-R’s history.
It’s not just nostalgia that’s influenced this render’s design – Clark says the R36’s notably thick B-pillars and C-pillars are designed to make the hypothetical car as rigid as possible and “signals the evolution of the platform into a devoted supercar.” He says this also draws attention away from the 2+2 layout externally, adding to the race car looks despite still leaving space for rear seats on the inside.
The NISMO render pictured takes Clark’s standard design but is intended as a racing variant inspired by the Nissan GT-R GT500. There’s a vented bonnet for additional cooling. Canards and a large rear spoiler are worked into the design for additional downforce, while the exhausts are moved up and into the design of the rear fascia vents; “the change in the exhaust positioning would likely facilitate more robust evacuation of the exhaust gases.”
Clark’s standard R36 render already envisions the GT-R with a wide, planted stance, but the NISMO version takes this up a notch and makes it even wider. The body was widened to accommodate its new stance, and vents were added to the front wings.
The designer even hypothesised the R36’s potential drivetrain. After weighing it up between a fully-electrified R36 or a hybrid, Clark settled on hybridisation. That way, the designer says the GT-R’s identity as a platform for tuners isn’t lost.
“I chose the hybrid route because it doesn’t abandon the contributions of Nissan’s revered Takumi and it doesn’t plateau the vehicle’s potential performance in the hands of talented builders and the aftermarket.”
Power from the ICE engine would go to the rear wheels, while a supplementary electric motor would provide power to the front wheels, rather than the all-wheel-drive transaxle setup used in the R35.
As for the real thing, it’s unclear how that might shape up, if it’ll happen at all. At this point, it seems more likely for the GT-R to be reinvented as an EV, but the R36 rumour mill has been conspicuously quiet in the last few years.