Published on February 2nd, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Nissan reveals their contender for Le Mans
Nissan today declared itself ready to take on the world’s best sports car manufacturers after revealing a glimpse of its Le Mans challenger – the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO . 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 3.0-liter twin turbo gasoline engine and a kinetic energy recovery system.
The new car will contest the LM P1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the highest category in world sports car racing. Starting at Silverstone, UK on April 12, the series travels around the world to Spa in Belgium, onto the Le Mans 24 Hours and Germany’s Nürburgring, before going global with races in the U.S., Japan, China and the Middle East.
One of the interesting things about the LM P1 class of the WEC is that it doesn’t have particularly rigid rules and regulations, being more akin to the Group B era of rally and motorsport. The power discrepancies between contenders in the field is massive, as well as variations in powertrain- from pure turbodiesel, to pure gasoline, to hybrid variants of both. And yet the field is close and the competition is tight, making for some rather spectacular racing.
While a front wheel drive car in this level of racing is somewhat unorthodox, Nissan isn’t a stranger to sending unorthodox creations into the World Endurance Championship. Just a few years ago they fielded a DeltaWing type car, which was impressively quick but ran into minor issues and was subject to unfortunate circumstances.
The FIA World Endurance Championship is the ultimate proving ground for automotive companies as technological gains on the track can carry through to road cars. Racing car engineers are facing the same challenges as road car engineers as the spotlight falls on energy efficiency. With more technical freedom than Formula 1, the LM P1 engineers have ample opportunity to innovate.
The intensive test program for the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO that began in Arizona last year continues in the U.S. Nissan’s full LM P1 driver line-up will be revealed soon.