Nissan to ‘unleash the GT-R’ at Le Mans 2015

Nissan GT-R LM NISMO teaser

The Nissan ZEOD RC hybrid racer is sure to get plenty attention at the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, but the Japanese carmaker has even bigger plans for next year.

Nissan announced that it will challenge Audi, Porsche, and Toyota for the overall win at Le Mans in 2015, as well as the full 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship title.

To do this, Nissan will “unleash the GT-R”, as its press release put it. While cars in the top LMP 1 class don’t bear any resemblance to road-legal models, Nissan will tie its racer, named GT-R LM NISMO, to its performance flagship.

Exactly how Nissan will do this is unclear. It’s likely the GT-R LM NISMO will be a hybrid, like all of its rivals. This could segue into the road-going hybrid powertrain many expect as part of the car’s next generation.

Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer also noted that the GT-R Le Mans racer will look different than its competitors.

“We won’t be turning up in a vehicle that is basically another hybrid that looks like another Porsche, Audi, or Toyota – they all look the same to me,” Palmer, who first hinted at the car’s existence back in December, said.

That means Nissan could imbue the racer with some styling elements from the GT-R road car, although regulations and engineering considerations will likely govern the majority of the car’s design.

Unlike road cars, LMP 1 prototypes have to place functionality first; the “styling” is largely determined by things like aerodynamics and packaging considerations.

Unlike Porsche and Toyota – which made much-publicized comebacks after long absences from the Circuit de La Sarthe – Nissan has been heavily involved in Le Mans recently.

In addition to building engines for second-tier LMP2 cars, the company helped inaugurate the “Garage 56” program for experimental cars with the DeltaWing in 2012.

Garage 56 is a special slot in the fuel reserved for a non-competitive car that demonstrates new technology. This year, that car will be the Nissan ZEOD RC.

Powered by a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine and electric motor, the ZEOD is expected to complete the first all-electric lap in Le Mans history during the 2014 race.


World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.

From Paul McCartney to Mariah Carey, this is the best holiday music

Whether you're a fan of classic jazz standards or modern R&B masterpieces, there's something for everyone on our playlist of the best holiday music. Pour some eggnog and curl up by the fire, this one is sure to get you in the holiday…

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.

Volkswagen may be planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car may head to the Nürburgring in 2019 for a lap-record attempt, according to a new report. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car.

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.

Bloodhound’s plan to build a 1,000-mph car has run out of gas

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has officially shut down. The upside is you can now buy a 135,000-horsepower car powered by a jet engine and a cluster of rockets for $319,000.