A key figure leading Nissan toward its goal of zero emissions and zero fatalities, says regardless of its future in electric and autonomous vehicles, the Japanese brand will always feature a flagship sports car, such as the Nissan GT-R.

Speaking exclusively to CarAdvice at the Nissan Crossing brand centre in Tokyo, Nissan global marketing and sales, zero emission vehicle, and battery business executive vice president Daniele Schillaci, said the seemingly polar concepts of cars for enthusiasts and cars that fit into the marque’s future technology strategy – dubbed ‘Intelligent Mobility’ – can very much go hand in hand.

“Even if you have a very clear EV strategy, the car like GT-R or the Zor maybe the Z can evolve – but some flagship sports car will always be on the line-up,” Schillaci told CarAdvice.

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“This is not incompatible. The GT-R, for example, the GT-R will always stay… and Nismo brand also, we are even further developing the Nismo brand.

“You can have your strategy for Nissan, with Intelligent Mobility, zero fatality, and so on, and after, you can have a sport department – like we have Nismo – that keep doing a sports car.

“It’s not because we are EV and so on that we should stop our sports car activities, absolutely not. It’s just a sports car. Like the GT-R Nismo that you have seen, where we have, of course, limited numbers of production every year for [the] passionate. And we’ll never forget our passionate customers for the future. Absolutely.”

Nissan’s new Serena ProPILOT technology makes autonomous drive

Comprising three pillars of ‘Intelligent Power’, ‘Intelligent Driving’, and ‘Intelligent Integration’, Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility strategy is paramount to the brand achieving its zero emission, zero fatality target.

Under the strategy, kicked off earlier this year and progressed by the introduction of Nissan’s ‘ProPILOT’ autonomous drive technology into the latest Nissan Serena people mover, the car maker is aiming to launch multi-lane autonomous driving technology in 2018, ahead of the debut of urban-road and intersection autonomous driving technology in 2020.

Nissan says ProPILOT will slowly be introduced into additional vehicles, the next being the Qashqai in Europe come 2017. Markets such as China and the US will then follow. Any timeframe of when Australians can expect to sample the technology on local roads is yet to be announced, however.