Nissan's Le Mans prototype V6 to power next GT-R

  • Image Credit: Nissan
You can debate all you want about whether racing has any relevance to road cars. And while you're doing that, Nissan will be getting the most out of its GT-R LM Nismo. In fact, the latest reports indicate that the Japanese automaker will use the engine (or some version thereof) in the next-generation GT-R.

The Nissan GT-R LM Nismo, for those who may have missed it, is the company's radical attempt to take on the Audis, Porsches and Toyotas of the top-tier LMP1 class in the FIA World Endurance Championship. And to do so at its flagship event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Only unlike its rivals, it's not a mid-engined, all-wheel-drive design; both the engine and the driven wheels are at the front end.

That engine, however, isn't actually all that radical. It's a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 producing 550 horsepower. Potent, but nothing earth-shattering. In fact it's not far off from the 545-hp 3.8-liter unit in the current production GT-R. And according to Top Gear, in speaking with the racing program's director Ben Bowlby, it will be essentially the same engine that will power the next road-going GT-R.

Now if you're thinking that something's missing here, you're right: the GT-R LM Nismo packs a lot more than 550 horses. It actually has over 1,250 on tap. The remaining 700 hp are kicked in by the electric component of the racing prototype's hybrid powertrain. The next GT-R is widely expected to incorporate hybrid technology as well, but it won't be good for 700 hp all on its own. And it will almost certainly be driving all four wheels like the current version.

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