New details provide a clearer glimpse of Nissan’s most unusual racecar

It’s still unclear how the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO will fare at the 24 Hours of Le Mans next month, but it’s safe to say the front-engined, front-wheel drive hybrid has already one the prize for most unusual design.

Nissan’s had plenty to say about the car’s front-wheel drive layout — which is the opposite of what car-design orthodoxy considers optimal — but now it has a few more technical tidbits to share as well.

A hood the size of an aircraft carrier’s flight deck leaves plenty of room for a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6. As previously reported, this engine will work in concert with an energy-recover system (ERS) and electric motor.

Instead of the batteries used in production hybrid cars, the ERS consists of a mechanical flywheel mounted ahead and beneath the driver’s feet. A five-speed sequential gearbox is used to manage power from the internal-combustion side of the powertrain.

All of the mechanical bits are covered in carbon-composite body panels, helping the GT-R LM NISMO achieve a curb weight of just 1,918 pounds in race trim.

The bodywork was also designed so that air can flow through it, using two massive “tunnels” on either side of the cockpit. That was the reason for putting the engine in the front, rather than in the middle as in rival designs from Audi, Porsche, and Toyota.

Incidentally, the GT-R LM NISMO is also right-hand drive. Nissan says this is to make exiting the car easier during pit stops, but it’s also fitting for a car from a Japanese manufacturer.

While a front-engined layout was always part of the plan, some reports claim Nissan was looking at an all-wheel drive system for the GT-R LM NISMO, but scrapped the idea due to weight and timing issues.

Front-wheel drive has a reputation as the least-ideal setup for performance cars, but Nissan believes it can still make it work. To that end, it equipped the GT-R LM NISMO with staggered tires: 18″×13″ in front, and 16″×9″ in the back.

Whether on the road or track, it’s always exciting to see a carmaker try something different. Nissan has gone above and beyond in that regard — but whether difference translates into success on the track remains to be seen.

Product Review

By adding features, tech, and all-wheel drive, Mazda puts the 3 in a class of one

Since its introduction in 2003, Mazda’s compact Mazda3 has been a mainstay of the brand’s driver-oriented strategy. Mazda now plans to move upmarket, and the all-new 2019 Mazda3 offers some clues about how that’s going to work.
Product Review

The Ferrari Portofino is the super stallion you’ll want to drive every day

With the introduction of the Portofino, Ferrari addresses the California T’s stylistic shortcomings while improving comfort, convenience, and performance. There’s little “entry-level” about this super stallion.
Product Review

Who needs a Range Rover? BMW’s X7 has better tech and just as much luxury

The 2019 BMW X7 is the German automaker’s long-overdue entry into the full-size luxury SUV segment. Packing three rows of seats and plenty of tech, can the new BMW take on Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover?
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

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.
Cars

Tesla revives its referral program with chances to win a Roadster

Tesla has revived its referral program that ended in February because of cost pressures. This time around the perks aren't quite as diverse, though it does offer regular chances to win a Roadster or Model Y.
Cars

From cars to computers: How data is transforming F1 racing

After a single weekend of racing, a Formula 1 pit crew typically pulls around 2TB of data from the car. Everything, from tire pressure to the temperature of the track, is recorded and analyzed in the name of boosting performance -- and not…
Cars

Tesla ends scheduled servicing because electric cars need less maintenance

Tesla will longer offer scheduled maintenance plans, switching to an "as needed" model. This reflects the fact that electric cars need less regular maintenance than gasoline or diesel cars.
Cars

The go kart-like Mini Cooper will soon add zero emissions to its resume

Mini is in the final stages of developing an electric version of the Cooper. The 2020 Cooper SE will receive powertrain components from the BMW i3, including a 181-horsepower electric motor and battery technology.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

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's fun to gawk!
Cars

Tesla Model 3 vulnerability exposed at Pwn2Own; hackers take home the car

A Tesla Model 3 vulnerability was exposed at the Pwn2Own hacking competition. The hackers, who were able to display a message on the electric vehicle's internet browser, won $35,000 and took home the car.
Cars

Is this electric car startup the next Tesla, or will it go the way of Coda?

The electric car startup formerly known as EVelozcity has changed its name to Canoo. It also announced a lineup of four cars including a commuter-friendly model and a lifestyle-oriented car. Its first electric vehicles will begin to appear…
Cars

Ford’s born-again Bronco off-roader will soothe your 1990s nostalgia

Ford confirmed it will bring the Bronco back to American showrooms in 2020. We haven't seen the truck yet, but dealers who got a preview of it during a private event say it's a true off-roader aimed directly at the Jeep Wrangler.
Cars

Recall bounty hunters needed as millions ignore deadly Takata airbag recall

It's the recall campaign from hell and too many people aren't responding. Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) and Carma Project want to give financial rewards to people who alert family and friends to the deadly Takata airbag recall.