Recently it was reported the future of the next-generation Nissan GT-R was in doubt. But the latest news point suggests a successor to the current model is still planned for production and might be launched in 2018.

Only two months ago it was suggested Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has not given his support to design and engineer a new GT-R due to a lack of profitability. Combined with the retirement of Kazutoshi Mizuno ‒ the genius behind the GT-R ‒ there wasn’t cause for optimism. But Inside Line recently visited Nissan’s R&D center in Atsugi, Japan, and was told development is well underway.

Initially it was planned that the second generation GT-R would arrive in 2015, but was delayed due to Kazutoshi Mizuno’s absence. The chief engineer for the Nissan GT-R suffered from health issues, but has recently returned to head up the development team. He was also involved in Nissan’s recent class victory at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, which served as proving ground for future GT-R’s.

The development of the upcoming Honda or Acura NSX is followed with great interest by Nissan’s GT-R team. It is rumored Honda’s hybrid-powered supercar rounds the Nürburgring faster than the Nissan. Apparently the upcoming and also hybrid powered Porsche 918 Spyder was of less interest to the Japanese ‒ Mizuno didn’t seem very impressed when asked about the upcoming German supercar.

Because the launch of the new GT-R (R36) is still six years from now, the current model will be overhauled by the end of next year. The upgrade will feature a redesigned bumper and lights, as well as an upgraded powertrain. The upgrade will mark the GT-R’s sixth year of production.

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