Nissan has applied to trademark the badge 'R-Hybrid', sparking rumours of a potential future high-performance supercar.
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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.

More specifically, the ‘R’ in R-Hybrid looks to be just like the one Nissan uses for its GT-R supercar.

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.

Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury arm, also recently revealed it has plans to release a hybrid supercar of its own by 2018, so it is clear hybrid development is occurring within Nissan’s walls.

As for the ‘Pure Drive’ badging, that just means the car receiving the R-Hybrid badge will use fuel-saving technologies, much like Mercedes' BlueEfficiency and Mazda's Skyactiv.

It seems performance hybrids are on the minds of Japanese manufacturers at present; Toyota recently revealed its similarly named Yaris Hybrid R concept, a 313kW hybrid supermini.