Waking up to news of a “new Skyline” is ordinarily reason to scream, but not so fast. This isn’t a return of the straight-six powered, rear-wheel drive, two-door sports coupe of legend. This is a rebadged Infiniti Q50 that now wears the GT-R’s face and has a better version of Nissan’s semi-autonomous technology.
The Infiniti G35 that we got here was called the Skyline back in Japan, as is the current Q50. Previous versions of the Nissan Skyline wore Infiniti badges in Japan, but the new Skyline, unveiled today, appears to bear the Nissan badge on its nose.
It also borrows the V-shaped grille that’s worn by the current GT-R , which I guess Nissan hopes will make the car appear sportier. And incorporated within that grille is the radar sensor the system’s ProPilot 2.0 uses. It, according to the press release, is the new version of the company’s ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous technology.
Nissan says that ProPilot 2.0 is designed for ramp-to-ramp (on-ramp to off-ramp) highway driving. You’re supposed to be able to set the car’s navigation system to a destination and it’ll work with the tech and drive the car via a “predefined route on designated roadways.”
And it also allows for hands-off driving “while cruising in a single lane.” From the release:
The new ProPILOT also enables hands-off driving while cruising in a given lane. When the vehicle approaches a road divide, or when passing a slower vehicle is possible, the system judges the appropriate timing of branching off or passing, based on information from the navigation system and 360-degree sensing. The driver receives intuitive audio and visual guidance and is prompted to put both hands on the steering wheel and confirm the start of these operations with a switch.
There’s an on-board monitoring system that makes sure the driver pays attention to the road while using the technology. If they don’t respond to one of the car’s alerts while it’s in motion, the system will activate the hazard lights and slow the car down until coming to a stop. An SOS call will go out to a “dedicated call center” just in case there’s an emergency.
The updated Skyline is powered by Nissan’s VR30DDTT, a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine. You can get the car in four trims: GT, GT Type P, GT Type SP and 400R. The 400R is the one with a claimed 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. There’s also a hybrid version available, too.
Nissan says the car will go on sale in Japan in the fall, retailing from ¥4.3 million ($40,000).
Since Carlos Ghosn’s arrest, this car will be Nissan’s first major debut in Japan, according to Bloomberg. No doubt that after Ghosn’s ousting and a new inspection scandal the company is eager to get its act together again. Nissan’s current boss, Hiroto Saikawa, is reported to be spending the equivalent of $440 million to launch over 20 new cars and refresh others over the coming three years.
Will it work? Guess we’ll find out. The Nissan/Infiniti line could use some updating. How about a new affordable and tunable sports car, like the 240?