Nissan has confirmed the details of its innovative 2015 Le Mans racer, the GT-R LM Nismo. The car, which is highly unusual for a modern Le Mans LMP1 racer, is front engined and front wheel drive. Nissan has confirmed the car's specifications, so we run through them below.
The GT-R LM Nismo features a twin-turbocharged 3-litre VRX 30A Nismo V6 engine with banks aligned 60 degrees apart, which works with a flywheel ERS kinetic energy recovery system (which is housed ahead and beneath the driver's feet) and sends power through a five-speed sequential gearbox with paddle shifters. The front axle also benefits from a limited-slip differential.
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The car conforms to the FIA's 870kg minimum weight, with lightweight carbon-composite bodywork a hard coated polycarbonate windscreen keeping weight down.
Suspending the GT-R LM Nismo are Ohlins multi-adjustable front dampers and Penske multi-adjustable rear dampers, with a hydraulic rear anti-roll bar system. Providing the stopping power are six-piston front and four-piston rear brake calipers. Brake bias can be adjusted from inside the cockpit.
Nissan's LMP1 team principal Ben Bowlby talks about the drivetrain:
'We’ve used the relatively low-powered internal combustion engine to drive the front wheels and then we add power from the ERS to augment acceleration.'
'The key is to store the energy and then release it very quickly and that’s what makes our system very competitive, providing us with a good amount of power from the ERS, which we can add to the internal combustion engine’s driving power.'
Also unusual for Nissan's LMP1 offering is the wheel and tyre choices. The car has bigger front Michelin tyres than rear, with 13-inch wide rubber at the front and 9-inch wide at the rears wrapped around 18- (front) and 16-inch (rear) wheels, which are magnesium forged centre locking items made by BBS.
Drivers can control the car's electronic traction control from inside the cockpit, as well as the anti-lag control system. The car's ECU comes from Cosworth, and controls both the engine and gearbox electronics.
'We have moved the weight bias forwards to give us traction for the front-engined, front-wheel drive. We’ve also moved the aero forwards so we’ve moved the capacity of the tyres forward to match the weight distribution. So the aero centre of pressure, the mass centre of gravity and the tyre capacity are all in harmony and that means we have bigger tyres at the front than the rear.”
Nissan announced that Scuderia Ferrari test driver Marc Gene will be one of the GT-R LM Nismo drivers.