Before he quit to take the top job at Aston Martin, former Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer said the next-generation GT-R, the R36, was being developed alongside the Japanese automaker’s new GT-R LM NISMO Le Mans prototype, which is set to make its competition debut this June at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
At the time, it was thought this mainly had to do with the high-performance hybrid system used on the race car. However, one of the key men involved in Nissan’s Le Mans program, DeltaWing designer Ben Bowlby, has now revealed that the engine of the race car will influence the design of the one in the next GT-R.
In an interview with Top Gear, Bowlby explained that the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 in the race car is an “early ancestor” of the unit that will end up in the next GT-R. He also said the combustion technology and the way the turbo and intake systems are integrated within the head design were all applicable for road car use.
And by taking it racing, Nissan is able to fast-track the development of the version going into the GT-R while also claiming to be using technology proven in racing. The engine in the GT-R LM NISMO develops around 550 horsepower on its own, which is similar to what the current R35 GT-R is producing, but it’s said to be much more fuel efficient too.
At present, the next GT-R is expected to go on sale in 2018, as a 2019 model. It’s likely we’ll see the car make its world debut at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.