The next Le Mans competitor from Nissan will be a hybrid, in order to help highlight the company's green credentials

Nissan's 'Garage 56' entry to next year's Le Mans 24-hour race will be a hybrid capable of racing on electric power alone for short periods, Autocar has learned.

In addition, the car will be designed by the man behind the startling DeltaWing project, Ben Bowlby, and the project will be overseen and run by Ray Mallock's RML operation, which tended the DeltaWing.

"The final configuration of the drivetrain is still up for discussion, but we have made significant progress", said Nissan boss Andy Palmer.

"What is absolutely clear is that that we have to be in a position to showcase electric technology and we have to have a car that is as visually arresting as the DeltaWing."

The Garage 56 entry is reserved by the Le Mans organisers for a car that showcases alternative energy. 

The DeltaWing that competed in last year's race was the first such car. This year a hydrogen fuel cell prototype will race under the GreenGT banner.

Nissan, which brought the Leaf to market as the first mainstream electric car and which will branch out into plug-in hybridisation from 2016, hopes to highlight its leadership in electrification through the project.

Our Verdict

Nissan Leaf
2013 saw the launch of the re-engineered Nissan Leaf

The electric Nissan Leaf has its work cut out competing with cheaper mainstream cars - but it does make a case for itself

Join the debate

Comments
1

9 May 2013

Lovely Nissan, congrats on your hybrid plans but maybe (just MAYBE mind) you could stick it in a Juke?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • BMW's prototype fuel cell concept is based on the 5GT
    First Drive
    1 July 2015
    Fuel cell-powered 5 Series GT concept previews a revolutionary storage and refuelling system which could pave the way for hydrogen to become the alternative fuel of choice
  • First Drive
    1 July 2015
    There's another BMW 2 Series variant on the horizon; we drive a late-stage prototype plug-in hybrid Active Tourer
  • First Drive
    1 July 2015
    Wagon version of Skoda's cut-price limo is relaxing to drive, vast inside and great value, provided you avoid the range-topper
  • First Drive
    1 July 2015
    Hyundai's new crossover has great potential and a winning character that should have Nissan and Ford worried
  • Car review
    30 June 2015
    Expectations are high and the competition fierce. Can it deliver?