Nissan announced its return to Le Mans in 2015, with a new GT-R LM Nismo, a LMP1 challenger. There are not many details about the upcoming race car but we believe that it will feature a hybrid powertrain. Nismo chiefs told the reporters that the new GT-R LM Nismo will be a little bit different race car when compared to the rivals.
As you may know already, Nissan filled a trademark application for the ‘R-Hybrid’ designation. Nissan’s Andy Palmer said that there is clearly a connection with the new GT-R LM Nismo.
It’s not a secret that Nissan is planning a hybrid version of the GT-R sports car and the Japanese company seems to be determined to use this technology on the next-gen GT-R as it not only improves fuel-economy, but also the performances.
So, the new Le Mans prototype is also inspiring the next-generation Nissan GT-R.
The current Nissan GT-R is powered by a VR38DETT 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that generates 545 hp and 463 lb-ft of torque. Bolted to an advanced paddle-shifted sequential 6-speed dual clutch transmission, the engine has a fuel economy of 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.
The new Nissan GT-R is underpinned by the carmaker’s Premium Midship platform that was developed just for the carmaker’s performance flagship. This architecture allowed the new GT-R to employ the ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system, the first independent rear transaxle in the world that could optimize weight distribution and handling capability.
ATTESA E-TS is a rear drive-biased drive system that could vary torque split from 0:100 to 50:50, depending on several factors like speed, steering angles and lateral acceleration, as well as tire slip, yaw rate and road surface. The new GT-R is also provided with a model-specific yaw-rate feedback control that could adjust torque bias by gauging the variance between the target yaw rate calculated from steering angle and the actual yaw rate as determined by the yaw-rate sensor and G sensor.
Nissan’s Premium Midship Platform allows the transmission, transfer case and final drive to be positioned at the rear of the GT-R without having to employ traditional torque tubes, which means the suspension system could now operate independently while optimizing tire grip at corners.
Thanks to the distinct offset input and reaction shaft design of the rear transaxle, it boasts of design profile shorter than that of a typical manual transmission, thereby shifting lower the concentration of powertrain weight lower. This configuration gives the GT-R a lower center gravity while increasing its overall balance.
Nissan also continued chassis development for 2014, thereby improving both high-speed handling and the sense of "grabbing the road." To lower the car’s center of gravity, the front suspension bush link has been relocated; the height of the front roll-center has been reduced by a new anti-roll bar; while the spring and shock absorber specifications were changed. Furthermore, maintenance of front suspension alignment has been improved.