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.
Celebrity car enthusiast Jay Leno can get his hands on pretty much every car he wants, including concept cars. The latest to visit his garage was the Nissan IDx NISMO Concept — a car we never expected to see in his show.
Now for somebody who has seen his fair share of quirky cars, Leno’s introduction to the Nissan IDx NISMO Concept caught us a little by surprise because, well, he liked it!
Considering the tongue-looking bumper of the concept and other quirky design cues, it’s amazing that Leno managed to keep his witty remarks to himself when talking about the concept with Nissan Creative Design Manager Giovanni Arroba. The young Arroba, who wasn’t even alive when the concept’s spiritual predecessor — the Datsun 510 — burst into the scene in the 70’s, proceeds to walk Leno through the distinct styling of the IDx NISMO Concept.
The tongue front bumper aside, the concept does come with some unique details, including the bolt-on-style fenders, the anodized finish on the roof rails, the side exhausts and the carbon-fiber rear end, among other things. If anything, the look of the concept was more than enough to make Leno wax poetic on the quirkiness of Japanese design.
From there, Leno got the treat of actually driving the IDx NISMO Concept, but like he said, extra precaution was taken since the car is still a prototype. So there are no burn outs here, fellas...
After watching this video, I cannot help but think that Nissan really has some production plans for this car. Typically, concept cars get stripped of all mechanical components and put in a museum or into storage until they are demolished. Thrusting the IDx back into the spotlight now just seems rather suspicious.
The best place to test a car is in its natural habitat, at least that is what Jay Leno must think since he recently took the Nissan GT-R for a late night stroll in Tokyo, Japan.
In an "of course it wasn’t planned" moment, Leno found himself amidst a number of GT-R owners, along with Sam Mitani from Road & Track. Mitani was there to offer a few details about the meetings GT-R owners have. Tuned or not, old or new generation, these owners get together to have a little fun with their own Godzillas.
The future generation Nissan GT-R will also be included in these meetings soon enough as it is planned to debut in 2015. We expect big changes to occur for that generation, a little like what Chevrolet has planned for the Corvette C7.
Whether you love or hate Jay Leno as a “pop culture” late night show host, you still can’t help but love him in his position on Jay Leno’s Garage. In the latest episode, Jay makes it all the way around the world to Japan and test drives a Fairlady 240Z. Not only is the 240Z just one of those timeless and iconic sports cars, but it is revolutionary for the Japanese sports car world.
Jay then takes some time out to talk with his friend that heads up Nissan’s design team and he has a nice surprise for his friend, as he jokingly grills him on the rumored 240Z remake. We actually get a good glimpse at the preliminary design silhouette of what we can only assume would be a revived 240Z and a look at some of the concept drawings made of it and the current 370Z.
What’s cool though is that his friend does not play the denial act that most design heads would do. He all but confirms the fact that Nissan is planning something big for its 8th anniversary which comes about in 2013, and makes it clear that the 240Z revival may be said big thing.
Just seeing the Nissan design room was cool enough, but getting semi-confirmation of the 240Z – even if it was more of a non-denial than a confirmation – was pretty cool. Enjoy!