Nissan is set to battle the Audi R18 e-tron, Porsche 919 Hybrid and Toyota TS040 Hybrid in Le Mans next year. The Japanese carmaker will also contest the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship with a full factory effort of two Nissan GT-R LM Nismo race cars.
“We applaud the ACO and FIA for the work they have done to get the rules right. LMP1 is not just an arms race – all our rivals in the class have taken different technical approaches and we will be doing the same,” said Andy Palmer, Nissan’s chief planning officer and executive VP.
“We want to win in a very different way to that of our rivals. We won’t be turning up in a vehicle which is a basically another hybrid that looks like another Porsche, Audi or Toyota – they all look the same to me – our intention is to do something that is a little bit different,” he added.
“The design and build of the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo is a global project with its DNA firmly rooted in Japan. The team comprises engineers and technical crew from Japan, the US and Europe. We know that LMP1 competition is very tough and with serious manufacturer competition, but we are absolutely determined to make our cars competitive and to operate strongly,” said Nismo president Shoichi Miyatani.
“We have chosen to take the GT-R name to Le Mans as the GT-R symbolises the ultimate in Nissan’s performance. It is a true aspirational brand; a car our fans, our customers love to drive, and love to own. We have been using GT-R in motorsport for many years now, in Super GT and GT3. For us LMP1 is the ultimate test. We have unfinished business at Le Mans and now we have our chance to target victory with the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo,” Miyatani added.
The team is in bullish mood. “Believe me, I think this is the car that will go down in the annals of time and be one of those cars which will be long remembered, not only for the fact that it will have won Le Mans but also that it reset the real meaning of Nismo as a link between success on the track and success on the road,” Palmer concluded.
Announcements will be made in due course concerning the drivers, who will come from both inside and outside of the Nissan family. The date the new car will first hit the track and technical specs will also be revealed in due course.