While we saw a glimpse of it in Nissan’s Super Bowl commercial where we also saw the upcoming Nissan Maxima, Nissan officially took the wraps off their 2015 Nissan GT-R LM Nismo Le Mans car today at an event leading up to the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. Nissan is taking an innovative look at the Le Mans regulations and instead of producing a Le Mans car in the traditional rear-engine layout, they have opted for a front-midship design (ahead of the driver, but behind the front wheels) with front wheel drive.
Powering the GT-R LM, is a 3.0 liter twin-turbo V6 hybrid. But this is not your Grandmother’s Pruis; Rather than using batteries and electric motors to assist the gasoline engine, the GT-R LM uses a kinetic energy recovery system (ERS). In over-simplified terms, when decelerating, the ERS collects the kinetic energy in a large flywheel, when accelerating, that energy is pushed back into the drivetrain. The hybrid system is important because Le Mans regulations are based on how much fuel a car can burn over a given time. The more efficient the powertrain at that rate of fuel burn, the more power the driver has. ERS systems are not lightweight however, so Nissan was challenged to get the entire powertrain plus ERS install under the regulation weight.
With its front wheel drive layout, one naturally expects the wider tires to be up front, but that is just a starting point. Nissan moved the aerodynamic down pressure points more forward and shifted the weight distribution of the car forward to further aid with traction.
The Nissan GT-R LM Nismo sees its first race on April 12th 2015 in Silverstone, UK.
You can follow all of the news from the 2015 Chicago Auto Show here.
Source: Nissan Media