Nissan shocked the Japan Mobility Show yesterday with a brutish, Cyberpunk-looking EV concept that could hint at an all-electric future for the venerable GT-R. Nobody saw this one coming.
The Nissan Hyper Force concept, as it’s known, was a surprise unveil alongside Nissan’s four other concepts at the Japan Mobility Show. Thanks to energy-dense ASSB (all-solid-state battery) technology, which Nissan is in the process of commercializing, this concept is said generate over 1,300 horsepower. That power goes to the road through Nissan’s e-4ORCE all-wheel drive system, aided by an active aerodynamic package that generates extreme downforce.
“It’s a little bit contrary to the jelly beans,” admitted Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s top designer and senior VP for global design, speaking in an interview with SHARP. Albaisa was referring, of course, to all of the rotund, jelly-bean shaped EVs that dot the auto show floor here in Tokyo. “You’re going to see that [the Hyper Force concept] is a bit heavy and even intentionally brutal,” he added. No argument there.
There’s no mistaking it for anything other than a Nissan GT-R, with signature design cues including the quad circular taillights and distinctive side windows. Calling it aggressive is an understatement, but — as the designers explained —everything you see is functional, from the pop-up fender vents to the front canards to that massive wing and front splitter.
The design was a close collaboration between Albaisa’s design team and the racing engineers over at NISMO.“The difference in the new generation [of electric sports cars] is that the wind is king,” Albaisa explains. “Because the performance of an electric car, even one with ASSB, is going to be linked to how much energy you’re consuming to go high speed. So, our engineers were showing us where the wind can go, release and not release, generate downforce and not generate downforce,” he said.
Something called a plasma actuator (!?) suppresses air detachment along the car’s surface in order, “to maximize grip and minimize inner-wheel lift during cornering,” according to the company. And those gorgeous forged carbon wheels don’t just look pretty, they aid aerodynamics and brake cooling.
The gullwing doors open to reveal a bare carbon chassis with built-in seats. The incredible dashboard and graphical user interface was a collab with Gran Turismo-makers Polyphony Digital. The dash moves, depending on what driving mode you select. In R (racing) mode, for example, digital panels on the dash extend out toward the seats, creating more of a fighter-jet style cockpit around the driver. Four satellite screens around the steering wheel also display racecar stuff including tire temps and grip level, air pressure, brake rotor temperature and power distribution. The idea, says Nissan, is to offer, “the ultimate in driving pleasure while also offering high environmental performance and comfort for daily use.”
But this concept isn’t just some far-flung fantasy. By 2028, Nissan is aiming to launch a real EV with solid-state batteries, which are being touted as a game-changer for electric cars. As the company explained in its Ambition 2030 strategy, “ASSBs have the potential for energy densities approximately twice that of conventional lithium-ion batteries, significantly shorter charging time due to superior charge/discharge performance, and lower cost realized by using less expensive materials. With these benefits, Nissan expects to use ASSBs in a wide range of vehicle segments, including pickup trucks, making its EVs more competitive.” In short, think: lighter, faster, longer-range and lower-cost.
There’s a real chance Nissan could actually build something like this Hyper Force concept as a future GT-R if consumer demand is there. And, based on the fact Nissan can’t keep the current GT-R in stock at Canadian dealers right now, we don’t think demand will be a problem.