The trademark, uncovered by US publication Car and Driver, itself isn’t especially exciting – car makers apply for trademarks every day – although the image accompanying the news is potentially very revealing.
When compared with the badge on the GT-R’s boot, it appears the trademark application is a perfect Godzilla replica, right down to the letter’s serif strokes and three-dimensional shape.
The next GT-R isn’t due until around 2017, but speculation has been rife it will adopt a hybrid powertrain, a trend-du-jour for supercars with the likes of Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche getting in on the battery-powered action.
However, given the rapid rate of development of the current, constantly evolving GT-R, and the fact the application comes some four years before the next Nissan supercar is likely to arrive, it is always possible Nissan has plans to show off a hybrid GT-R ahead of time.
This would align with previous industry reports suggesting Nissan is planning a 450kW hybrid GT-R, although such predictions were made in a pre-GFC, carbon-conscious environment.
Of course, if the R-Hybrid badge were indeed intended for GT-R use, it wouldn’t point towards a new, fuel-miserly future for the Japanese icon. Instead, a hybrid system would help Nissan improve the GT-R’s performance even further, despite there being very few cars it can’t already out-pace.