Nissan unveil Le Mans challenger during Super Bowl XLIX


Nissan has announced its intention to take a front-engined car to the top step of the 24 Hours of Le Mans podium with the highly anticipated reveal of its new Nissan GT-R LM NISMO during Super Bowl XLIX.

The brand new LMP1 prototype, which will compete in this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship season as well as at Le Mans, appeared in Nissan’s ‘With Dad’ commercial in front of an estimated 110 million TV viewers.

The Nissan GT-R LM NISMO is the Japanese manufacturer’s intriguing answer to the growing presence of factory efforts in the FIA WEC, and to the open-ended LMP1 regulations set by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO). The car is powered by a V6 3 litre petrol engine that will be located in front of the driver – a unique concept for the LMP1 class.

Nissan has also confirmed that the GT-R LM NISMO will share a similar kinetic energy recovery system to its LMP1 rivals, although the method of storing this energy is yet to be revealed. LMP1 hybrids are permitted to utilise up to eight megajoules of energy at Le Mans’ 8.4 mile Circuit de la Sarthe.

“This is innovation that excites,” commented Shoichi Miyatani, President of NISMO. “Sustainability is at the top of our agenda and the technical regulations for Le Mans give us the freedom to pursue new ideas in this area. Our record at Le Mans is third place overall so we have unfinished business there. We want to win and we have the knowledge to do that – for our customers, our employees and our fans. The competition is exceptionally strong and we are excited by the challenge.”

“It gave us great pride to reveal the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO during the Superbowl,” said Roel de Vries,  Global Head of Marketing and Brand Strategy at Nissan. “The combination of the Super Bowl and the Le Mans 24 Hours – two of the most watched sporting events in the world – presented us with a unique opportunity to showcase our most ambitious motorsport programme in recent times.”

“The GT-R is our flagship road car,” de Vries added. “This, the ultimate GT-R, continues a sporting bloodline that goes back three decades with NISMO, the motorsport and performance arm of Nissan. Le Mans drives innovation so success on the track will lead to greater innovation in our road car range.  We are the new kids at Le Mans; our opponents are the best in the world but we are ready.”