After months of speculation from fans and media, Nissan have today launched their program for the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship, a program that will see the iconic Japanese marquee return to the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The campaign will feature Nissan’s all new Nissan GT-R LM NISMO, which will take on the likes of Toyota, Porsche and Audi in a two car effort, with the legendary model using technical innovations and resources from Japan, Europe and the US to take on the three giants.
“The design and build of the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO is a global project with its DNA firmly rooted in Japan,” explained Shochi Miyatani, NISMO’s President. “The team comprises engineers and technical crew from Japan, the US and Europe. We know that LMP1 competition is very tough, with serious manufacturer competition, but we are absolutely determined to make our cars competitive and to operate strongly against those competitors.”
At the launch in an East London Brewery, which included ACO President Pierre Fillon, Nissan’s Chief Planning Office & Executive Vice-President Andy Palmer, Miyatani and NISMO Global Head of Brand, Marketing & Sales Darren Cox as guests, Palmer said: “Innovation is at the heart of everything we do. There is no better place to demonstrate innovation than here in Europe’s new hot-bed of digital marketing and, from next year, on track at Le Mans.
“We applaud the ACO and FIA for the work they have done to get the rules right. LMP1 is not just an arms race – all our rivals in the class have taken different technical approaches and we will be doing the same.
“We want to win in a very different way to that of our rivals. We won’t be turning up in a vehicle which is a basically another hybrid that looks like another Porsche, Audi or Toyota – they all look the same to me – our intention is to do something that is a little bit different.”
Over the years the GT-R name has become iconic in motorsport, with the name currently racing around the world in GT3 with the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, with NISMO Athlete’s driving some of the cars in countries such as Japan and the UK.
“We have chosen to take the GT-R name to Le Mans as the GT-R symbolizes the ultimate in Nissan’s performance,” continued Miyatni. “It is a true aspirational brand; a car our fans, our customers love to drive, and love to own. We have been using GT-R in motorsport for many years now, in Super GT and GT3. For us LM P1 is the ultimate test. We have unfinished business at Le Mans and now we have our chance to target victory with the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO.”
The drive train and hybrid systems for the new car have not yet been released, although a carry over from this year’s Garage 56 entry, the Nissan ZEOD RC, is expected to happen.