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Nissan at Le Mans - Scrutineering Timelapse: Video

Nissan at Le Mans - Scrutineering Timelapse: Video

With the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans only a couple of days away, the teams are gearing up for what promises to be one of the most spectacular races of the year. While drivers and engineers are giving their best during qualifying, the PR teams are making sure there’s enough buzz to keep enthusiasts excited ahead of Saturday’s green flag. We’ve already seen Toyota showcasing all of its Le Mans attempts since 1985, but now it’s time to check out Nissan’s latest video of the 2015 Nissan GT-R LM Nismo.

Though it might not be as spectacular as watching Toyota racing prototypes evolving over the course of three decades, Nissan’s "Scrutineering Timelapse" shows what happens when entrants exhibit their vehicles in the town of Le Mans. There’s a lot of packing and unpacking going on, as well as a media event that includes presenting the team that will soon take to the track.

As a brief reminder, the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo is one of the more exotic competitors of this year’s LMP1 battle. With its engine mounted at the front and power routed to the front wheels, it uses a layout Le Mans hasn’t seen for more than five decades. For the uninitiated, most LMP1 prototypes are either rear- or all-wheel-drive and have their engines mounted behind the seats.

We will find out whether Nismo’s out-of-the-box approach will make a significant impact on the track this weekend. The race begins Saturday, June 13th, at 8 AM EST, and ends Sunday, exactly 24 hours later.

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Tag Heuer Reveals Special Edition Carrera "NISMO" Watch

Tag Heuer Reveals Special Edition Carrera "NISMO" Watch

To commemorate Nissan’s return to top-flight racing at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans, watchmaker Tag Heuer has released a new timepiece called the Carrera “NISMO” special edition, and while it might not be powered by a 1,250-horsepower hybrid drivetrain like the GT-R LM Nismo race car, it is a pretty slick watch. The watch will be worn during the race by the entire Nissan P1 driver lineup, as well as actor-turned-race-car-driver Patrick Dempsey and P2 drivers Ho-Pin Tung and Karun Chandhock.

The watch itself is similar to other Tag Heuer Carrera watches. It has a 43 mm titanium face in black that’s been micro-blasted with titanium carbide. I’m not exactly sure what that does but it sounds pretty cool. Grey and red stripes run vertically down the left side of the face, and as you know, stripes make everything faster. A scratch-proof ceramic bezel surrounds the face and houses a sapphire crystal. The back has a Nismo decal, and a matte-black alligator strap with red accents keeps it all attached to your wrist.

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Nissan GT-R LM Nismo Testing Its Tires: Video

Nissan GT-R LM Nismo Testing Its Tires: Video

The front tires of the 2015 Nissan GT-R LM Nismo have a really hard job. Not only are they tasked with the majority of braking and turning duties like other Le Mans prototype racers, but they also have to put down 1,250 horsepower produced by its twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 and flywheel-based energy reclamation system. Despite sounding like a machine designed specifically to vaporize racing tires, designer Ben Bowlby says the car is actually relatively easy on its front rubber.

Working with the team at Nissan, Michelin has developed a bespoke set of tires, 14 inches wide at the front and just 9 inches wide at the rear. The ratio between the two is the same as the Nismo GT-R’s 65-to-35 front-to-rear weight distribution, which is achieved thanks to the car’s unusual front-engine layout. It’s a weird setup, but Nissan anticipates the fronts will last two to three fuel stints at Le Mans, which is more or less on par with other P1 teams. Crucially however, the rears can last up to nine stints because they have so little work to do. That means the rears may only need to be replaced three or four times over the course this year’s entire 24-hour race, saving an estimated 24 seconds per pit stop.

The unusual setup also allows for some interesting aerodynamic features, which Nissan hopes will give it an advantage. The lack of an engine in the rear creates room for two “tunnels” that run the length of the car on either side, allowing air to flow through the GT-R LM rather than around it. This is enhanced by the rear tires, which, because of their smaller aerodynamic profile, allow for better airflow around the rear bodywork.

So, how’s it working so far? Honestly, not all that well. The fastest of the three Nissans was some 20 seconds off the pace set by the fastest Porsche 919 at this year’s Le Mans test day, and was slower than several P2 cars. We’ll find out if the team learned any new tricks new when the GT-R LM makes its race debut later this week at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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Nissan GT-R LM Nismo Can Now Be Driven In GT6

Nissan GT-R LM Nismo Can Now Be Driven In GT6

Virtual racers looking to make the transition to a real-life pro-racing career via the GT Academy program can now obtain Nissan’s highly anticipated GT-R LM NISMO P1 racing machine for digital hot lapping in Gran Turismo 6.

The technological powerhouse GT-R is available to those taking part in the fourth and final round of online GT Academy Qualifiers. All participants in the fourth round will receive the car for free simply by completing a single lap, regardless of lap time. 

The GT-R’s availability in GT6 coincides with its upcoming competition debut outside the gaming world at the 83rd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. A total of three GT-R LM NISMO racers will be run in the prestigious event.

With its premiere track test occurring in November of last year, the GT-R LM NISMO is Nissan’s first foray into the world of enduros in 16 years. Under the guidance of Team Principal and Technical Director Ben Bowlby, also know for masterminding the All American Racers DeltaWing and ZEOD RC, the car sports an unusual front-engine, FWD layout, a concept that flies in the face of conventional LM P1 racing practices.

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Nissan returns to Le Mans with the GT-R LM Nismo

Nissan returns to Le Mans with the GT-R LM Nismo

After a 16-year break from the biggest event in endurance racing, Nissan will once again return to the Circuit de la Sarthe for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, this time with a trio of unusual race cars aimed at upending convention in the LM P1 class. 

In case you weren’t already aware, Nissan’s entries will sport a number of features that are a clean break from the usual prototype racer. Most notable are the driveline layouts, which will be front-engine and FWD, rather than the usual mid-engine, RWD/AWD layout found in top competitors from the likes of Audi and Porsche.

Taking the helm will be an international assemblage of nine drivers plucked from the ranks of Formula One and sports car racing. Nissan will also source hot-shoes from its GT Academy, a competition program that offers Gran Turismo gamers the chance to take their virtual skills into the real world with a shot at a pro racing career.

Behind the wheel of the #23 car will be ex-F1 racer Max Chilton, GT Academy winner and GP3 competitor Jann Mardenborough, and sports car star Olivier Pla. Meanwhile, NISMO athlete Michael Krumm, LM P2 Le Mans-winner Harry Ticknell, and GT Academy ace Alex Buncombe will be assigned the #22 car. Finally, the #21 car, which is draped in a special red, white, and blue livery to commemorate the Nissan R90CK that managed to clinch a pole position at Le Mans 25 years ago, will be driven by current Super GT Champion Tsugio Matsuda, premiere GT Academy winner and current Super GT500 competitor Lucas Ordonez, and the first GT Academy Russia winner, Mark Shulzhitskiy.

Look for the three Nissan GT-R LM NISMOs to take the track on Wednesday, June 10th, for the free practice session. Qualifying gets underway a bit later on Wednesday and runs into Thursday evening, followed by the official start of the 83rd 24 Hours of Le Mans on Saturday, June 13th. 

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Jay Leno Reviews Nissan GT-R LM Nismo: Video

Jay Leno Reviews Nissan GT-R LM Nismo: Video

You know how people often say that great minds think alike? Well, Jay Leno and I seem to have the same opinion about Nissan’s cooky GT-R LM Nismo racer. Yeah, I know, I’m missing a talk show, about 350 million bucks, and more than 100 classic cars to be like him, but at least we agree on this: the GT-R LM is likely the most daring racing concept since Jim Hall’s Chaparrals of the late 1960s. Sure, its wing isn’t 6 feet high and it doesn’t have a fan for a rear fascia, but it’s totally different from anything else on this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans grid.

In an era when strict regulations and a lack of vision give way to grids filled with lookalike racers, the GT-R LM Nismo is indeed a breath of fresh air.

As you might have already guessed, Leno’s comments on this innovative front-engined, FWD race car were made during the latest episode of his epic car show. Nissan sent a prototype to spend a few hours with Leno’s vintage automobiles, and chief engineer Zack Eakin joined in on the fun to answer a few questions about the car. Unfortunately, since the GT-R LM isn’t road legal, Jay wasn’t able to take it for a spin. Despite that, he was impressed by the thing.

"When you look at Audi, they won the last 10 races in a row. So what do you do, go in and copy what they do and try to do it better or you come in with a totally different approach," he said. I have a feeling Leno isn’t a big fan of Porsche’s recent efforts with the 919 Hybrid.

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Nissan Celebrates 1990 Le Mans Pole With Retro GT-R LM Nismo Livery

Nissan Celebrates 1990 Le Mans Pole With Retro GT-R LM Nismo Livery

After debuting at the Chicago Auto Show earlier this year, the 2015 Nissan GT-R LM NISMO is getting ready for its racing debut at 24 Hours of Le Mans this month. Nissan will field three cars for the June 13th race, and while two of the cars will wear the red livery that the car debuted with, the No. 21 race car will wear a special blue, white and red livery that celebrates Nissan’s 1990 Le Mans pole. To commemorate 25 years since it sat on the pole, the 1990 Nissan race car and its driver, Mark Blundell, will participate in a parade lap before this year’s race.

That year, the No. 24 Nissan R90CK started at the front of the pack with a lap time of 3:27.020; for comparison, Toyota captured the pole at last year’s Le Mans with a time of 3:21.789. To show how far LMP1 cars have come, Nissan’s 1990 R90CK was powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-8 producing around 1,100 horsepower, while the 2015 GT-R LM NISMO uses a front-drive-based 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 that along with a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) produces 1,250 horsepower. In addition to its lap time, the R90CK was also notable for setting a top speed of 227 mph along the Mulsanne Straight, following the addition of two chicanes to reduce speeds.

To show off the throwback livery and to prepare for the race (just two weeks away), Nissan has released a really cool time-lapse video showing the Nissan team receiving its cars at the Circuit de la Sarthe (a pretty cool feat in itself) and subsequently building the trio of LMP1 racers. The Nissan GT-R LM NISMO will hit the track this weekend for the official Le Mans test day.

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1,500HP Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 Vs Nissan GT-R Drag Race: Video

1,500HP Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 Vs Nissan GT-R Drag Race: Video

Drag racing doesn’t quite enjoy same popularity among our friends in England that it does on our shores, but the goal is still the same: Get from one end of a quarter mile stretch of tarmac to the other as quickly as possible. The owner of this 1,500-horsepower R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R seems to have found a pretty good way to accomplish that task.

The setting is Santa Pod Raceway in Bedfordshire, and this Skyline has no problem outrunning anything that dares roll up to the opposing lane. An R35 Nissan GT-R, a lesser R-34, and a high-strung Mazda RX-7 are all left behind in the wake of this blue beast. Even in bracket races, in which the opposing car gets a head start, are no problem. To add insult, it rattles off an incredible 8.3-second run at 163 mph on its final run.

The R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R’s 2.6-liter, twin-turbo RB26DETT engine is notable, not just because its name sounds like a Star Wars droid, but also for how robust and easily tunable it is. Tuners regularly extract 600 horsepower from these things with no internal modifications. Further modifications could yield a relatively reliable 1000-horsepower and up, as this example proves.

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An Inside Look At The Nissan GT-R LM Nismo Engine: Video

An Inside Look At The Nissan GT-R LM Nismo Engine: Video

Nissan certainly isn’t shy when it comes to sharing details about its strikingly unusual new Le Mans LM P1 racer. The automaker has successfully generated a ton of interest in the car’s unorthodox approach to competing in one of the most prestigious race events in the world, and now that trend continues with this four-minute look at the GT-R’s powerplant.

The video focuses primarily on the car’s front-mounted twin-turbo V-6 internal-combustion engine, with the narration complemented by plenty of footage highlighting testing in the lab and out on the track. Although there seems to be a definite dearth of technical specs, the video does do a good job in explaining the stresses this remarkable six-cylinder will face at Le Mans.

Throughout the piece, there’s a clear emphasis on the importance of proper lubrication, with Motul Deputy Chief Product Officer Julien Plet making several appearances to explain things like engine wear and viscosity. Motul has partnered with Nismo, Nissan’s esteemed tuning division, since 2003, and will continue to support the Japanese automaker in its renewed efforts at Le Mans.

“[A few] key parameters that the oil will be facing is first oxidation temperature and oil consumption,” says Plet. “Typically, the race team will communicate to us vital data. These include oil pressure, oil consumption, and ratings of the mechanical parts.”

“From all this data that’s feeding into us we can determine the health of the engine and try and spot if anything is going wrong,” adds William Way, Nismo Engine Program Manager.

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Why Is The GT-R LM Nismo FWD: Video

Why Is The GT-R LM Nismo FWD: Video

You’d be excused for thinking Ben Bowlby is utterly and incurably insane. After all, he’s the same brain behind the Nissan Zeod RC and the All American Racers DeltaWing, both of which shocked the racing world with designs that are as orthodox as bringing Grandma to the strip club. His latest unconventional creation is the wild-looking 2015 GT-R LM Nismo, a prototype hybrid racer with aspirations to compete (and win) at Le Mans. Sure, it looks outrageous, but the craziest thing about this car is the front-wheel-drive powertrain that lies underneath. What, then, is the method behind the madness? This three-and-a-half minute video seeks to explain.

Now, I just want to state at the off that I have nothing against FWD, at least in principle. In fact, some of my favorite cars use the front wheels for turning, stopping, and going (the Civic and Integra Type-R both come to mind), and there are tons of successful FWD race cars out there (just look to the world of rally for examples). But when it comes to competing in LM P1, one of the most cutthroat racing categories in the world, I don’t think I’m alone in having doubts about the efficacy of FWD.

Not so with Bowlby’s team. They are completely transparent about the advantages they expect to gain from using a FWD platform, so hit play or read on to learn more.

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Next Nissan GT-R Could Get Engine Derived From GT-R LM Nismo

Next Nissan GT-R Could Get Engine Derived From GT-R LM Nismo

I case you were unaware, Nissan is making its return to Le Mans after a 16-year hiatus with one of the most unusual cars to ever grid in endurance racing. It’s called the GT-R LM Nismo, and mounted under its elongated hood is a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 engine producing roughly 550 horsepower. That much is pretty typical for Nissan, but what makes this powerplant unique is the addition of an energy reclamation system that throws on an additional 700-electrified horsepower, netting a grand total of 1,250. That’s right, it’s a hybrid, which is more than appropriate for extended stints on track. It’s also the kind of setup that’ll likely make an appearance on the 2017 GT-R road car.

That’s the word from Ben Bowlby, Nissan’s LM P1 Team Principal and Technical Director, who spoke with TopGear.com about the race car and its implications for Nissan’s production vehicles.

"The 3.0-litre V6 is a sort of god-child of the true, road-going GT-R. It’s a direct injection engine, and the combustion technology, and integration of turbo and intake system within the head design, is all very interesting and highly applicable to the road,” Bowlby said. 
"If it was a crazy engine — super light with a short life — the reality is that it wouldn’t be applicable. But it revs to the same as the road-going car — 6,500rpm — and is truly an early ancestor of what will be a future Nissan GT-R engine."

Continue reading to learn more about the next generation Nissan GT-R.

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1000 HP Nissan GT-R Knows How To Drift: Video

1000 HP Nissan GT-R Knows How To Drift: Video

It seems as though Formula D regularly produces some of the most insane vehicles in motorsport. These purpose-built slide machines often pump out horsepower figures in the four-digit range and can hold simply ridiculous angles at terrifying speeds. Most of the sideways crazies opt for some dedicated RWD platform for competition, but not Daigo Saito. He used to man the helm of a Lexus SC 430, but recently switched it up to an R35 GT-R with a RWD conversion and enough go-faster parts from HKS to produce 1,000 horsepower. Seen here running solo on a shakedown test, the build seems to be quite successful, at least judging by the impenetrable veil of tire smoke emitted from the winged rear end.

The venerable VR38DETT engine under the hood has been upgraded with stronger internals, dual HKS GTII 7867 turbochargers, and a pair of polished pipes coming off the external wastegates and plumbed up through the carbon-fiber bodywork. Not only does the car look amazing, with custom everything and big-time aero, it also sounds downright demonic, like a gang of oni were summoned to reside in the cylinders and they’re having a very bad day.

Most of the three-minute video is shot from behind, showcasing the outrageous angle Saito can achieve in the GT-R. The man makes it look easy, seemingly effortlessly stringing together corners in a brilliant display of finesse.
This is some exciting footage!

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