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2016 GT-R Development Closely Linked With Nissan's Le Mans Project

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Teaser for 2015 Nissan GT-R LM NISMO LMP1

Teaser for 2015 Nissan GT-R LM NISMO LMP1

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Nissan is expected to introduce an all-new GT-R sports car for the 2016 model year, the highly-anticipated R36 model, and for the first time since the mid-1990s Nissan is developing its GT-R in close collaboration with a GT-R Le Mans racer. Nissan’s previous R33 GT-R first competed in Le Mans back in 1995 in the form of the Skyline GT-R LM race car, which spawned a single road-going version for homologation purposes as well as a series of special edition models. This time around, Nissan won’t base its Le Mans race car, the GT-R LM NISMO LMP1, on its road-going GT-R, but there will be technology transfer between the two.

“We very clearly want to link technological linkages between future evolutions of the GT-R and evolutions of what we do in LMP1,” Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer revealed to Autocar. “And the two do go in both directions."

One of the key links between the two cars will be hybrid technology. This could be as diverse as powertrain technology, energy storage and recovery, and electric motor-based traction control.

"If you go to the patent office you'll find something called R-Hybrid, so there's obviously a connection there," Palmer explained.

Last year, it was revealed that Nissan filed a trademark for the “R-Hybrid” name, and soon after Palmer confirmed that the next GT-R would feature hybrid technology. Furthermore, the technology arm of the Williams Formula One team, Williams Advanced Engineering, is helping Nissan develop its future performance cars and is tipped to be working on the new hybrid drivetrain for the next GT-R. Williams Advanced Engineering in the past has helped Audi develop hybrid technology for its ultra-successful R18 e-tron quattro LMP1.

The next GT-R is expected to ride on an upgraded version of the current R35 model’s Premium Midship platform and continue with a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-6, albeit this time with hybrid technology helping to boost output while reducing emissions. A debut is likely to take place at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.

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