YOKOHAMA, Japan – Nissan today confirmed its extensive global motorsports program will continue to expand through 2013 and beyond and be led by Nismo, the company’s dedicated performance road car and motorsports arm.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn also confirmed that the company will return to the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours in 2014 as the Garage 56 entry for innovative concepts with an all-new race car incorporating electric technology. The entry will test innovative new powertrain technology and provide the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) with data to enable all parties to evaluate the incorporation of this breakthrough technology ahead of a potential return to LMP1 in the future.
“We will return to Le Mans with a vehicle that will act as a high-speed test bed in the harshest of environments for both our road car and race car electric vehicle technology,” said Ghosn.
Even before this innovative and dramatic new race car breaks cover, Nismo will be hard at work supporting expanded Nissan motorsports campaigns around the globe, in an extensive effort that includes:
– A continuation of our long term focus on endurance racing led by the Nismo-engineered flagship Nissan GT-R Nismo GT-3 in the FIA GT Series and the Blancpain Endurance Series
– Nismo engines used in 17 cars at the Le Mans 24 hours. The equivalent of a third of the Le Mans starting grid
– A return to top-level Australian motorsport with a four-car entry of Nissan Altimas in the V8 Supercars Championship
– Further expansion of the GT Academy program, already a global success with competitions in Europe, Russia, the USA, South Africa and the Middle East
During today’s opening of the new global Nismo headquarters and development center near Yokohama in Japan, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn made the pledge to return to the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2014 in Garage 56.
Further details will be released as the project progresses, but the company is focusing on innovation and excitement, continuing the pioneering spirit of the Nissan DeltaWing; the award-winning experimental entry at Le Mans last year. The ACO have invited Nissan to fill Garage 56 in 2014 in a program that will enable all parties to gather data and evaluate new powertrains ahead of a potential return to LMP1 in the future.
More conventional Nissan power will continue to be seen at Le Mans in the meantime. The 2013 Le Mans entry list displays 17 Nissan-Nismo-powered cars, the highest entry by a manufacturer for 15 years. The Nismo-tuned Nissan VK45DE V8 engine is now firmly established as the powerplant of choice for the majority of the LMP2 teams. All cars will carry the designation ‘powered by Nissan Nismo’.