Nissan unveil LM P1 challenger

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Nissan has unveiled its LM P1-specification GT-R LM Nismo ahead of competitive debut later this year. The top tier endurance racer differs wildly from the rest of the LM P1 field, thanks to its front-engined, front-wheel-drive configuration.

Powered by Nissan’s VRX 30A 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, which is supplemented by an 8MJ electronic recovery system, the GT-R LM Nismo is set to be one of the most powerful cars on the 2015 World Endurance Championship grid.

“We’re up to around 1250bhp with 550+ from the petrol engine and around 700+ from hybrid power and those are relatively conservative figures,” explained Ben Bowlby, Nissan’s LM P1 team principal and technical director. “We can’t speak about our rivals but this is definitely an arms race and this is just phase one.”

The car was unveiled during the commercial break for Super Bowl XLIX, which took place on February 1. Last year’s Super Bowl was the most watched television programme in US television history with over 110m viewers.

“It gave us great pride to reveal the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo during the Superbowl,” said Roel de Vries, global head of marketing and brand strategy at Nissan. “The combination of the Super Bowl and the Le Mans 24 Hours – two of the most watched sporting events in the world – presented us with a unique opportunity to showcase our most ambitious motorsport programme in recent times.

“The GT-R is our flagship road car,” he continued. “This, the ultimate GT-R, continues a sporting bloodline that goes back three decades with Nismo, the motorsport and performance arm of Nissan. Le Mans drives innovation so success on the track will lead to greater innovation in our road car range. We are the new kids at Le Mans; our opponents are the best in the world but we are ready.”

The new car will contest this season’s FIA World Endurance Championship, starting at Silverstone, UK on 12 April. The series is also set to take in rounds at Spa, Le Mans, and the Nurburgring, before going global with races in the US, Japan, China and the Middle East.

The car’s test programme that began in Arizona last year continues this week at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas, where the team is making the most of the warmer climate of the Southern US.

Nissan also announced three multi-year partnerships that will feature prominently in its LM P1 programme.

Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer is the official watch partner and official timekeeping partner, whilst Motul has been announced as Nissan’s official lubricants partner for the programme. Motul’s involvement with the LM P1 program will see it work closely with Nismo’s engine department to develop high-performance products to enhance competitiveness and efficiency.

Nissan’s third partner is tire supplier Michelin. The French manufacturer has developed the 31/71-16 (front) and 20/71-16 (rear) tires especially for the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo, and has been an integral part of the car’s extensive test programme.

A full gallery of the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo can be found here

Technical Specification;

Configuration:

Front-engine. Front-wheel-drive

Engine:

Nissan VRX 30A Nismo: 3.0 liter, 60 degree V6, direct injection gasoline twin-turbo


Transmission:

5-speed + reverse sequential gearbox with pneumatic paddle shift system. Epicyclic final drive reduction with hydraulic limited slip differential. Tilton 4-plate carbon clutch assembly

Chassis: 

FIA Homologated weight: 880 kg. Right-hand driving position, 68 litre capacity FT3 fuel tank featuring electric lift and feed pumps. ERS housed ahead and beneath driver’s feet in self-contained module

Bodywork:

Carbon-composite body panels. Polycarbonate windscreen with hard coating
, CFD and full scale wind tunnel developed ultra high efficiency bodywork geometry, adjustable rear wing

Suspension:

Penske dampers with four-way adjustment front and rear, hydraulic rear anti-roll bar system

Brakes:

6-piston front and 4-piston rear calipers. Nismo Brake-by-Wire active brake ERS blending. Driver adjustable brake bias

Wheels:

BBS centre-lock, magnesium forged 16″x13″ front and 16″x9″ rear

Tires:

Michelin 31/71-16 front, 20/71-16 rear radials

Electrical:

Cosworth engine control unit featuring: Engine control, gearbox control;
Driver adjustable traction control, Anti-lag system control, Brake-by-wire, lift-and-coast fuel conservation, Drive-by-wire throttle control and ERS deployment strategy control

Interior:

Nismo 5-point harness, 
Lifeline lightweight extinguisher system

Data/ display system:

Cosworth Electronics with NISMO steering wheel mounted LCD

Dimensions:

Length: 4.645m

Width: 1.9m

Height: 1.03m

Minimum weight: 880kg

Full tank capacity: 68L

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About Author

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive portfolio. Prior to joining the company, John worked for leading automotive design website, Car Design News. Currently editor of Engine Technology International, Professional MotorSport World, Professional MotorSport Circuit, and Transmission Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web and social media content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as chairman of the annual Professional MotorSport World Awards.

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