A mid engined Nissan GTR R36?
Chevrolet has done it with the new C8 and it was an instant success! Are others to follow?
So if you think about it, Corvette has been a front engined rear wheel drive car since the C1. For seven generations and almost seven decades that was the layout and nobody was complaining about it. Chevy sold more than 1,7 millions Corvettes since than. And for the 2020 year model they launched a mid engine heretic C8!? Why???
If we are to believe Chevrolet engineers they've stated that front engined layout has reached its limitations and a shift to a mid engine structure was necessary to make the car competitive in todays world of sports cars. Ok, so lets just say that makes sense. A lot of it. But what about the others? Are we about to se a new trend of manufacturers following Corvettes footsteps ( tire marks per say ) and start putting engines behind the drivers seat? I have started this debate in my previous article about the Nissan Z Proto and how it might be mid engined but the more i think about it the more it makes sense for Nissan to do so with the upcoming R36 GTR. Plus, the mid engine layout is much better to do a hybrid set up that is rumored to be utilized in the next generation Godzila.
A midengined supercar scene was revived in the mid 2000's with an Audi R8 as a first truly usable midship supercar. Yes, the Toyota MR2 wasn't all bad but it wasn't a super car. Audi R8 was selling like hot cakes and the second generation just kept on selling. Now, lets just remind you here that an Audi CEO for North America, Johan DeNysschen did leave Audi and started running the GM's luxury brand Cadillac. And my wild guess here is that he was the one to initiate the project within the GM to start developing the mid engine luxury super car. Initialy to be branded as Cadillac with the potential Chevy model too, something like the C6 Corvette and Cadillac XLR. Certain changes have happened at the Nissans helm as the now former CEO Carlos Gohosn decided to be an internationally wanted fugitive rather than running the Nissan-Renault Aliance. And Renault is what I was waiting to bring up to this conversation. Remember the Renault Sport R.S. 01? The Audi R8 look-a-like supercar from France? Little did we know that that very car was developed with the help of both Renault Sport and Renault F1 teams but also with the help from Nissans Nismo guys. What is really of essential importance here, is the fact that the engine in that car is non the less but iconic Nissans Nismo tuned VR38DETT 3.8 L (3,800 cc) twin-turbocharged 24-valve V6 on a mid-mounted longitudinal central configuration! So, in theory, the mid engine Nissan GTR exists since 2014, disguised as a Renault!
All this being said and it really doesn't look that hard to create an R36 GTR in midship configuration. The market is definitely demanding such product and perhaps Nissans designers and engineers do come down to the same conclusion as Chevrolets and agree on the fact that limits in front engined installation are maxed out with the R35. Questions that i have here is, would you buy it if Nissan builds it? And at what price? Also, please feel free to comment what other car would you like to see make this radical move? We have rumors that next Dodge Viper is to be mid engined. What about a midedngined Ford Mustang? We know that Aston Martin is to make a several midengined supercars in a near future. BMW might do M8 or even a return of the legendary M1.
The way I see it, if Ferrari is to build an SUV why wouldn't Nissan create an even better GTR. One with the engine in the middle.