The next-generation Nissan GT-R is set to feature hybrid technology that will closely align it with the firm’s recently announced Le Mans prototype.
The Japanese manufacturer recently revealed that its LMP1 challenger – which will compete at La Sarthe in 2015 – will be known as the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo, creating a link with the iconic GT-R road car, the current version of which is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V6 engine which delivers 542bhp and 463lb ft of torque.
Although Nissan hasn’t laid out full technical details of its LMP racer – which will compete against Porsche, Audi and Toyota next year – it looks set to have a hybrid powertrain, although Nismo chiefs have vowed that its machine will be "a little bit different" from those of their rivals.
As Autocar reported late last year, the next-generation GT-R road car will also have to feature electrification in order to boost performance and lower emissions. Earlier this year Nissan trademarked the 'R Hybrid' name for possible use on high-performance hybrid vehicles.
"If you go to the patent office you'll find something called R Hybrid, so there's obviously a connection there," Nissan’s vice-president, Andy Palmer, told Autocar at the recent launch of the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo project in London.
“We’re on a road towards low emissions, and eventually zero emissions, that is relevant to all cars. What’s interesting about hybrids is that they not only improve fuel economy but they also improve performance, so therefore it is relevant."
Palmer is keen that the technology Nissan is introducing on its racing projects – including the groundbreaking Zeod RC that will race in the invitational class at Le Mans later this month – should influence future road car technology.
“We very clearly want to link technological linkages between future evolutions of the GT-R and evolutions of what we do in LMP1, and the two do go in both directions," he said.
"Just to give you an example, consider wing mirrors. Our Zeod RC hybrid racer doesn’t have wing mirrors. If you think about it, how stupid are they? They add drag, screw up fuel efficiency and they’re pretty hopeless as visual aids compared to cameras.
“Zeod RC has round-view monitors. Wing mirrors came from racing cars and evolved onto road cars. It seems to me to be extremely relevant that we get rid of wing mirrors at Le Mans and use that to drive regulations and legislation to get them off road cars."
See Nissan's Le Mans P1 announcement video.
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