Nissan has rewritten the Le Mans racing car rulebook with the revolutionary new GT-R LM Nismo, unveiled during the Superbowl last night. Shunning the mid-engined format of traditional Le Mans cars, the LM Nismo has an engine mounted in front of the driver that powers to two front wheels. It will make its racing debut at Silverstone in April.
Competing in the top prototype category (LM P1 class) of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the striking Nismo features a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine with a kinetic energy recorvery system (KERS). Mounting the unit over the front axle isn't entirely new, but the last time a WEC racer won with that layout was 1962.
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The layout change means Nissan's racer looks radically different to the traditional track lineup, with a long snout and pushed-back drivers compartment. The firm claims introducing the Nismo during the Superbowl, which last year was watched by over 110 million people, gave them a "unique opportunity" to showcase their "most ambitious motorsport programme in recent times".
According to Roel de Vries, Global Head of Marketing and Brand Strategy at Nissan, the LM Nismo race could be a significant boon to the firm's road cars, in particular its 'halo' model, the GT-R. He said that "Le Mans drives innovation so success on the track will lead to greater innovation in our road car range".
Can Nissan win al Le Mans with the GT-R LM Nismo? Let us know what you think in the comments section below...