Skip to main content

Nissan’s GT-R LM NISMO is another exercise in creative racecar design

Over the past couple of years, Nissan has perplexed spectators at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with its DeltaWing and ZEOD-RC experimental racers.

These cars were entered as the non-competitive “Garage 56” entry, but this year Nissan isn’t messing around.

Revealed in the carmaker’s Super Bowl ad and announced last year, the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO will compete against Audi, Porsche, and Toyota for the overall win this year.

The GT-R LM NISMO is a hybrid like all of the other top-tier Le Mans entries, and bears only a superficial resemblance to the road car it’s named after.

It doesn’t really resemble the cars it will compete against, either.

Despite the strict rules governing the top LMP1-H class, Nissan has found a very unusual setup for its racer.

While most prototype-class race cars are mid-engined, the GT-R LM NISMO has its engine in the front.

It also features what many consider the least-sporty drivetrain setup: front-wheel drive. Nissan even fitter wider tires to the front than the rear.

A 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 provides most of the grunt, with a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) harvesting electricity that can be used to help accelerate the car out of corners more quickly.

The front-engined, front-wheel drive layout gives the GT-R LM NISMO a forward weight bias, which should help with traction against the all-wheel drive competition.

However, considering how much time engineers of both race cars and road cars spend driving to even out front-to-rear weight bias, it will be interesting to see how the nose-heavy Nissan fares.

So far, Nissan has announced Spaniard Marc Gene as a driver. He won Le Mans in 2009 with Peugeot, and placed second last year with Audi. A full driver lineup will be announced closer to the beginning of the racing season.

In addition to Le Mans, the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO will race the full 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship, which includes seven other races in different countries.

Nissan-powered cars have competed in the lower tiers of endurance racing for the past few years, but this will be the first time the Japanese carmaker has aimed for an overall win at Le Mans in 16 years.

In addition to burnishing pride, Nissan says the GT-R LM NISMO will serve as a “laboratory” for future generations of the GT-R road car, which are expected to be hybrids as well.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
There’s a huge Black Friday sale on Thule roof cargo boxes
thule rooftop cargo boxes deals amazon november 2023 box on car

It's almost winter, which means snowy day trips and skiing, and if you pack your whole family inside one vehicle, it can be difficult to get the rest of your critical belongings (such as bikes and kayaks) to your destination. In theory, you could buy a larger car. Many families get a minivan for the explicit purpose of relieving this kind of pressure. But that's pretty extreme when you could simply expand the storage space of your current car. And with Black Friday sales like this one, putting dozens of Thule rooftop cargo boxes on big discounts, now is a good time to consider doing so. We're seeing deals were you could save $100 (or even more) or Thule rooftop cargo boxes and accessories. Just tap the button below to access the curated collection, then keep reading for our take in how to shop the sale.

Why you should shop the Thule rooftop cargo box sale
One of the first things we want you to know before you shop the Thule collection is some features that aren't immediately apparent just by looking at the cargo boxes. For example, you may be highly concerned about driving off and having your belongings (including embarrassing items like underwear) go everywhere because the box flies open. Thule boxes, however, typically snap shut with an audible click. You know your items are secure. Alternatively, items like their

Read more
Honda recalls more than 300,000 vehicles over seat belt safety issue
2015 Honda Accord Sport

Honda has recalled more than 300,000 of its 2023-2024 HR-Vs and Accords over a safety issue, according to a document posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The issue concerns a missing seat belt part, which means that in the event of a crash, the belt “will not properly restrain the occupant, increasing the risk of injury,” the NHTSA said.

Read more
How to watch Tesla’s Cybertruck delivery event today
Tesla's Cybertruck.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk behind the wheel of a Cybertruck. Tesla

It’s been a long time coming, but Tesla is about to deliver the Cybertruck to its first customers.

Read more