Even though most of the time cars are tested in a full and complete mode with every part present that will make it to the track. Nissan recently tested is new GT-R LM Nismo LMP1 Race Car that is expected to make its way to Le Mans soon to compete with some names that have been racing on this circuit for many years. The testing itself was not the subject of the attention this car received, but rather the fact it was being tested completely naked, showing off the inner workings without the racing cover on it.
Whether the body just needed some tweaking, a new paint job, or Nissan wanted to grab some attention is unknown, but the car does look pretty awesome without the shell on top. It gave a look at what a race car looks like underneath the skin and allows us to see the work and toil that goes into the cockpit along with all the working parts as we can watch them move and perform their jobs with ease and precision as the driver races the car around the test tracks.
The Nissan LMP1 is also much different than many of the other cars at Le Mans, which may have been another reason for the “naked” testing session. This car will be a front-engine and front-wheel drive competitor that is set up to have a huge amount of power up front pulling the rest of the car around the track with speed and force that will hopefully win some races and show the difference in this setup and what the benefits can be. This car was recently seen in the run of Super Bowl ads, at Nissan dealerships, and is also featured at the Chicago Auto Show, but with its best dress on.
So what is the major difference with this setup to many of the cars already on the Le Mans circuit? Most of the cars use a mid-engine and rear-wheel drive setup that puts the engine directly behind the driver and has the rear wheels pushing the car around the track. For many years this has been the norm and known to be the best way to race a car on any track or street. Because this has been universally accepted, and front-wheel drive and front-engine racers have failed in the past, most racing companies stick with the rear setup.
As a very bold move on the part of Nissan, both to enter Le Mans racing and to bring a car to the fray that is set up completely different, the entertainment will come in watching this car and what it can do compared to the others on the track. As for the “naked” testing, the car offered a look that was truly dynamic and really sinister looking which may make a great feature in a movie about a car that goes crazy and evil, but otherwise it gives a great look inside what Nissan Racing has been doing and will be showcasing on the tracks of Le Mans in the near future.
Here are a couple of videos of this beast: