Next-Gen Nissan GT-R to Use Le Mans Hybrid Technology

Posted by Stephen On Monday, June 9th, 2014

A couple weeks ago, Nissan released their first official teasers for their reentry into the Le Mans in the highly competitive LMP1 category. The car they’ll be racing with will be the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo, and Nissan hopes that it will finally win them a Le Mans championship title.

What Nissan didn’t officially tell us last week is that this upcoming Nissan GT-R LM Nismo will also set the stage for the next production-spec Nissan GT-R. The news comes from an interview between Autocar and Nissan VP Andy Palmer. Throughout the interview, Palmer dropped several interesting hints as to what we can expect from Nissan’s next Godzilla.

2014 Nissan GT-R

There’s one quote in particular that reveals an important element of the next GT-R. At the launch of the GT-R LM NISMO, Palmer was quoted saying, “If you go to the patent office, you’ll find something called R Hybrid, so there’s obviously a connection there.”

What’s that?

The next GT-R will come with a hybrid powertrain, at least as an option?

It seems likely, especially since Nissan had already hinted that the next GT-R might use “electrification” to achieve the performance enhancements we all want without raising emissions. Palmer elaborated, saying, “We’re on a road towards low emissions – and eventually zero emissions – that is relevant to all cars. What’s interesting about hybrids is that they not only improve fuel economy, but they also improve performance, so therefore it is relevant.”

Nissan had already stated that their mission with the GT-R LM NISMO, in addition to taking home a championship title, is to revitalize the connection between motorsports and road cars. So, to base the next commercial Nissan GT-R on this new GT-R race car is actually a logical next step.

“We very clearly want to make technological linkages between future evolutions of the GT-R and evolutions of what we do in LMP1… Just to give you an example, consider wing mirrors. Our ZEOD RC hybrid racer doesn’t have wing mirrors. If you think about it, how stupid are they? They add drag, screw up fuel efficiency and their hopeless as visual aids compared to cameras.”

This explains why the ZEOD RC has round view mirrors instead of wing mirrors. Just like wing mirrors were originally introduced into road cars through the world of motorsports, Nissan hopes to reverse the trend the same way. This is just one example of how they hope to reignite the connection between motorsports and commercial cars.

As for exactly what specs we can expect from the next Nissan GT-R’s powertrain, it’ll likely keep the same 3.8L twin-turbo V6 with 542bhp used in the current model, but rumors hint that it’ll also introduce a hybrid system developed by F1-based Williams Advanced Engineering. This is the same engineering firm that developed the hybrid technology for the Audi R18 LMP1 racer, so it’s sure to be impressive.

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