We know that a new Nissan GT-R is on the way, and we know that Nissan plans to assault the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans with a purpose-built race car called the GT-R LM NISMO, but there’s no way the two could be related, right?
It’s been awhile since a car competing for the overall win at Le Mans has shared any DNA with a road car, but Nissan’s upcoming entry might reverse that trend, Autocar reports.
How that linkage will be accomplished is unclear. To compete with top contenders from Audi, Porsche, and Toyota, the GT-R LM NISMO racer will almost certainly feature a hybrid powertrain, which would align with persistent rumors that the next GT-R will adopt some form of electrification as well.
Nissan vice president Andy Palmer pointed Autocar toward a patent filing named “R Hybrid”, indicating the company is moving ahead with a performance hybrid program.
Just as the racer will need hybrid technology to comply with rules and stand on the same level as its competitors, a hybrid GT-R road car would help Nissan comply with emissions regulations, and compete more directly with the hybrid Acura NSX, and a possible hybrid sports car from Toyota.
However, given the strict regulations that govern both race cars and street cars, it’s unlikely the two GT-Rs will share much physical hardware. Lessons learned from building a competitive hybrid racer could be applied to the GT-R street car, though.
Either way, expect Nissan’s rivals to fear the roar of “Godzilla,” both on and off the track.