YOKOHAMA, Japan – Nissan revealed a glimpse of its Le Mans challenger – the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO – during a commercial break for Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday.
Last year’s Super Bowl was the most watched television program in U.S. television history with over 110 million viewers. The 2015 game was therefore served as a perfect opportunity for Nissan’s “With Dad” commercial, to air for the first time, revealing the much-anticipated Nissan GT-R LM NISMO.
The Japanese manufacturer has interpreted the sport’s technical regulations in an innovative way, producing a front-engined, front wheel drive car that is powered by a V6 3-litre twin turbo petrol engine and a kinetic energy recovery system.
“It gave us great pride to reveal the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO during the Super Bowl,” said Roel de Vries, Global Head of Marketing and Brand Strategy at Nissan. “The combination of the Super Bowl and the Le Mans 24 Hours – two of the most watched sporting events in the world – presented us with a unique opportunity to showcase our most ambitious motorsport program in recent times.
“The GT-R is our flagship road car,” de Vries said. “This, the ultimate GT-R, continues a sporting bloodline that goes back three decades with NISMO, the motorsport and performance arm of Nissan. Le Mans drives innovation so success on the track will lead to greater innovation in our road car range. We are the new kids at Le Mans; our opponents are the best in the world but we are ready.”
The new car will contest the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the highest category in world sports car racing. Starting at Silverstone, UK on 12 April the series travels around the world to Spa in Belgium, onto the Le Mans 24 Hours and Germany’s Nurburgring, before going global with races in the U.S., Japan, China and the Middle East.
In addition to the reveal of the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO, Nissan has announced the first driver for the racing program. Marc Gene, a veteran of eight LMP1 class entries in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has joined the team and will drive the GT-R LM NISMO
“Nissan NISMO is a great team already. From the very beginning I have experienced a very good atmosphere in the team. The mechanics and engineers are all very professional and most have Le Mans experience,” said Gene. “From my side, my experience in works teams will definitely help Nissan as I have already faced the challenge we are all now facing. Our goal is to reach the podium and ultimately win Le Mans. However we are all aware that at Le Mans there are no shortcuts and we will only achieve our goals with time and hard work, especially now that it is probably the most competitive Le Mans ever with four different manufacturers.”
Nissan also announced three multi-year partnerships that will feature prominently in its LM P1 program.
Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer is the Official Watch Partner and Official Timekeeping Partner. The LM P1 drivers will all wear TAG Heuer watches and the partnership will be activated globally by both parties, with several exciting developments to be announced in the coming months.
Motul is the Official Lubricants Partner for the program, working closely with NISMO’s engine department to develop high-performance products to enhance competitiveness and efficiency. Motul has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with NISMO over the past two decades and this natural expansion into the LMP1 program comes soon after the Super GT Championship victory for the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R.
The LM P1 program will use tires supplied by Michelin. The French manufacturer has developed tires especially for the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO and been an integral part of the car’s extensive test program.