From Le Mans to the street: Next Nissan GT-R could get race-derived engine

The Nissan GT-R LM NISMO shares its name with the Nissan GT-R road car, but surely that’s where the similarities end, right? What could a 1,250 horsepower hybrid built to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans have in common with anything available n showrooms?

It turns out that the racer’s GT-R branding could soon be more than just a marketing exercise. Its designer, Ben Bowlby, told Top Gear that the next GT-R will use a version of the LM NISMO’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6.

Bowlby said the direct-injected V6 isn’t as highly strung and temperamental as normal racing engines, and called it “an early ancestor of what will be a future GT-R engine.”

That would be pretty remarkable in today’s world of highly-regulated race cars and road cars. Many production engines have been modified for racing, but it’s rare for a race-bred engine to make the transition to production in anything resembling a mass-market vehicle anymore.

In race trim, the V6 produces around 625 hp, which is matched by the output of the car’s hybrid system, according to data published in the print edition of Road & Track. That’s just over the 600 hp produced by the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 in the current GT-R NISMO road car.

That means engineers won’t have to severely detune the engine to make it suitable for road use. Bowlby claims it’s also well-mannered, revving to just 6,500 rpm, not the stratospheric heights of most race engines.

However, while Bowlby is the man in charge of the GT-R LM NISMO, it’s unclear how much pull he has when it comes to the GT-R road car. The decision to use the race engine – or modify it beyond recognition – may not be his.

Regardless, there is one thing the next GT-R is expected to have in common with its Le Man namesake. Earlier this year, Nissan design boss Shiro Nakamura said the road car will have a hybrid powertrain, although it will probably differ in design from the race car’s setup.

The connection between production cars and racing has a romantic appeal, but it’s more of myth than reality these days. The regulations governing the two sides are often too strict for any common ground.

So getting a piece of the Le Mans technology manufacturers are spending millions of dollars on in a car mere mortals can actually buy would be quite a coup.

We won’t find out Nissan’s true plans for some time, though. The next GT-R, codenamed R36, isn’t expected to debut until 2018 at the earliest. Nissan feels there is still some performance to be wrung out of the current R35 model, which has been on sale since 2008.

Cars

Bentley’s 542-horsepower Continental GT V8 is the best kind of downsizing

The Bentley Continental GT V8 has fewer cylinders than its W12 sibling, but Bentley expects it to offer better gas mileage and more agile handling. The V8's top speed of 198 mph is also pretty darn fast.
Cars

Fisker plans sub-$40,000 electric SUV with 300 miles of range for 2021

Fisker Inc. plans to launch an electric SUV with a base price of under $40,000, and a range of around 300 miles in 2021. The unnamed vehicle could compete with the Tesla Model Y, if it ever gets into production.
Cars

The mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette is so powerful it mangles its own body

Chevrolet has major changes in store for the eighth-generation Corvette. The coupe will arrive in 2019 with a mid-mounted engine. We won't see it at the Detroit auto show, but spy shots and rumors give us a good idea of what to expect.
Web

Privacy-focused DuckDuckGo added to Chrome as a default search option

DuckDuckGo is now listed as a default search option on Google’s popular Chrome browser. The privacy-focused search engine was added this week as part of the browser's latest update.
Cars

Tesla gives us a cryptic look at its cyberpunk, Blade Runner-inspired pickup

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself. It could make its debut in 2019.
Cars

2020 Cadillac CT5 luxury sedan gets turbocharged power, chiseled looks

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 replaces the CTS in the General Motors luxury brand's lineup. Cadillac will unveil the CT5 at the 2019 New York Auto Show in April. Until then, it's keeping most details under wraps.
Cars

Mercedes wants to turn your car into a comfortable shopping mall on wheels

Mercedes-Benz designed its MBUX infotainment system with e-commerce in mind. Motorists can upgrade compatible cars via an over-the-air software updating system, but the brand wants to take this technology to the next level.
Emerging Tech

Racing to catch a flight? Robot valet at French airport will park your car

Hate searching for parking at the airport when you need to catch a plane? Startup Stanley Robotics recently unveiled a new outdoor automated robotic valet system. Here's how it works.
Cars

Nvidia’s new simulator brings virtual learning to autonomous vehicle developers

Nvidia introduced a simulator for testing autonomous vehicle technologies. Drive Constellation is a cloud-based platform technology vendors can use to validate systems efficiently, safely, and much faster than with vehicles on real roads.
Cars

Tesla wirelessly gives the Model 3 a 5-percent increase in power

Tesla again showed the potential of its innovative over-the-air software updating system by making the Model 3 five percent more powerful via a firmware update. The Performance model gained 23 horsepower.
Cars

Fiat wants to transform the cheeky 500 city car into an urban Tesla

Fiat is finally preparing a new 500. Scheduled to make its debut in early 2020, the retro-chic city car will go electric in part to comply with looming emissions regulations.
Cars

Say goodbye to Uber for good: Here's how to cut ties with the ridesharing service

If you thought that deleting the Uber app would also delete your account, think again. You'll have to deactivate your account, then wait 30 days in order to do so. Here, we outlined how to delete your Uber account once and for all.
Cars

FWD vs. RWD vs. AWD: How the wheels that turn change the way you drive

Let's face it, you've likely heard front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive mentioned before in some context or another. But what do these terms mean, especially in terms of performance? We’ve got the answers.
Cars

Shift it yourself: How to drive stick in a manual transmission car

Driving a manual transmission car might seem intimidating at first, but it's not as difficult as you might think. Knowing how to operate this type of gearbox will serve you well. Here's everything you need to know to learn how to drive…