Nissan’s Nismo racer
Nissan has revealed its full technical specification for its ground-breaking front-wheel drive FIA World Endurance Championship Nissan GT-R LM Nismo, which marks a return to the premier class at the Le Mans 24 Hours for the Japanese manufacturer.
“We are excited to be going head-to-head with the best sports car racing manufacturers in the world,» commented Roel de Vries, global head of marketing and brand strategy at Nissan.
“LM P1 is a proving ground for technological innovation, especially when it comes to the power sources of the future. In 2014 three different manufacturers using three different powertrain combinations won races. If you ever needed proof that LM P1 is the sharp end, this is it.”
Nissan might have been absent from the top class at Le Mans for 16 years but the company has been very active in other categories, building an envied sports car ladder that runs from the new LM P3 category, through a world-beating engine supply programme in LM P2, and onto the top step to LM P1 via the ACO’s clever “Garage 56” programme, a unique class at Le Mans reserved for innovative technology that falls outside of the normal regulations
“These cars represent the pinnacle of current racing technology: huge energy recovery systems, super fuel-efficient engines and wild aerodynamics, creating extremely fast cars for their weight and endurance, said Nissan’s LM P1 team principal, Ben Bowlby.
“These are 24-hour racing cars that cover practically a whole Formula One season in one Le Mans race.
“It’s a very different challenge to F1 and much more relevant to what’s going on in road cars. If you drive from say London to Edinburgh you expect the car to get through the miles and be fast, stable, comfortable and safe and provide the handling and grip you might need if you have to come off the motorway and take some back roads – that’s the sort of challenge that Le Mans represents. It’s all about having a fast, efficient and safe car.
“It is firmly our intention that technology developed on the LM P1 car will transfer to Nissan road cars,” said De Vries. “We are developing an ultra-efficient V6 twin turbo of the configuration and lineage of the Nissan GT-R. This is a more efficient but equally powerful direct injection solution, so it’s a potential forerunner to future GT-R engines. Also the kinetic energy recovery technology that we’re developing through racing could indeed have potential for future road car applications.”
In a bold move, the Japanese manufacturer has interpreted the sport’s technical regulations in an innovative way, producing a front-engined, front wheel drive car that is powered by a V6 three-litre twin turbo petrol engine and a kinetic energy recovery system.