Ahead of its competitive debut at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, extensive testing of the brand new Nissan GT-R LM Nismo LMP1 car is being conducted around the world. To give us an idea of what it is like to drive the unique racer, Nissan teamed up with GoPro and factory driver Harry Tincknell during a recent stint of testing.
In case you didn’t know, the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo is front-engined unlike other modern LMP1 entrants. Up front it uses a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine which believe it or not, actually powers the massive front wheels. That engine is mated to a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) and theoretically, over 2000 hp can be achieved. According to reports however, that has been lowered to the 1500 hp mark making it comfortably the most powerful current LMP1 racer.
Power from the recovery system can be funnelled through either the front wheels or the rear wheels if necessary effectively making the 2015 Nissan GT-R LM Nismo all-wheel drive in certain circumstances. To transmit such power through the front wheels, massively wide 14 inch tyres are found at the front while 9 inch tyres have been fitted to the rear of the GT-R LM Nismo.
Beyond the unique engine setup, the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo is an exercise in advanced aerodynamics. Whereas other Le Mans prototypes have been designed so air passes over, around and beneath the car, the GT-R LM Nismo has actually been designed for the air to flow through the car in what is known as a through-flow system. As such, air channels start at the front of the car, work their way around the cabin and then exit at the rear end and diffuser.