The Nissan GT-R LM Nismo will not make its competition debut until the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Nissan is withdrawing the racer from the first two events of the World Endurance Championship to focus on testing.
It doesn't get much stranger than the front-drive, 1,250-horsepower hybrid Nissan GT-R LM Nismo, revealed at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show as the factory announces the rest of its driver lineup for Le Mans this year.
If you were wondering what that unusual-looking racecar was that appeared in Nissan's Super Bowl ad, here it is: the front-engine, front-drive, hybrid Nissan GT-R LM Nismo - ready to tackle the top class at Le Mans and in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Jalopnik got photos and video of the Nissan GT-R LM testing at the Circuit of the Americas, and it's wilder than we imagined: it does have its engine in the front, it apparently uses that combustion engine to power the front wheels while its KERS unit powers the rear wheels, and total system horsepower for the racer "is a conservative 2,000 [hp]."
This rendering of the Nissan GT-R LM endurance racer to race in the top LMP1 class in the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans was supposedly based on reports from people who actually have seen the car. The engine supposedly fits underneath that long nose at the front, though behind the axle, for a novel mid-engine design. The brand promises to have a very different looking racer, and this would certainly fit those criteria.
Nismo, the motorsports and high-performance arm of Nissan, has a lot of racing success to celebrate in its history and possibly even bigger accomplishments to look forward to. The company is commemorating its 30th anniversary with a video looking back at its most important milestones from each year of its past.
For those wondering why Nissan named its coming Le Mans Prototype the GT-R LM Nismo, colliding the two worlds of sports car and prototype racing, an article in Autocar might have the answer. The deeper union is explained by saying that the next-generation GT-R will use "hybrid technology that will closely align it" with the GT-R LM Nismo.
The Nissan Zeod RC hybrid racecar is certainly cool with its pointy looks, we're excited to see it run, but it isn't built to win races so much as push boundaries. But we might not have too to wait long for one of the Japanese brand's vehicles to claim an overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well. The company is announcing the GT-R LM Nismo racecar with a two-car, full factory effort in the top LMP1 class of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship, including Le Mans.