Last night during the Super Bowl, the 1,250 horsepower Nissan GT-R LM endurance race car made its world debut in a lengthy Nissan commercial set to Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle.” It also got its own “prequel” commercial which was super sci-fi. The craziest part isn’t the absurd horsepower number though, it’s the fact that Nissan GT-R LM will be front-wheel drive.
Yes, you read that right. This 1,250 horsepower endurance race car is going to use a 3.0 liter twin-turbo V6 engine to power the front wheels, while an 8 megajoule Energy Recovery System (ERS) scavenges energy from the front brakes, sending it to a pair of monster electric motors at either the front or rear wheels. This system allows the GT-R LM to carry a lot less onboard fuel, but it’s also crazy heavy, taking up about half of the total allowed weight, 880 kgs or about 1,940 lbs.
Nissan’s entry into the LMP1 field brings a fourth, and very unique drivetrain and car to the field, and DeltaWing designer Ben Bowlby was also integral to the project. “These cars represent the pinnacle of current racing technology: huge energy recovery systems, super fuel-efficient engines and wild aerodynamics, creating extremely fast cars for their weight and endurance,” said Ben Bowlby.
Nissan’s best result at Le Mans was a third-place finish. The GT-R LM seems like their most serious effort yet though, combining what they learned from the DeltaWing with a unique and insanely powerful hybrid drivetrain that could finally unseat Audi from its endurance racing throne.