Tanuma, who replaced original GT-R chief engineer Kazutoshi Mizuno earlier this year, told Automotive News the next GT-R would become more of a volume car, offering higher levels of quality and electronic wizardry, while maintaining its value ethos.
Nissan sold 1188 GT-Rs last year, and another 952 so far this year, leaving plenty of room for increased production.
One factor preventing Nissan from selling more GT-Rs is the car’s handbuilt engine. Tanuma says the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 is able to be built by just four “master craftsmen”. To become eligible to build the engine, workers must be trained extensively in a method called ‘takumi’. A fifth person is being trained to build the engine at the moment, however even with five workers production of the current GT-R cannot be significantly increased.
Tanuma also revealed an interesting reason for the GT-R's lack of a manual option: tired drivers.
“At the end of the day, they [drivers] were tired coming home from work. So we took out the third pedal and put in paddle shifters.”
Increased production capacity is just about the only change that hasn’t been applied to the GT-R. Since its release in late 2007, the GT-R’s powertrain has been the recipient of an almost constant upgrade program, set to culminate with the GT-R Nismo, expected to be unveiled at the Tokyo motor show next month.