The Nissan GT-R LM Nismo is a sports prototype racing car built by the Nissan Motor Company and their motorsports division Nismo. Designed for the Le Mans Prototype 1 Hybrid (LMP1-H) regulations of the FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the GT-R LM is unique amongst Le Mans Prototypes for utilizing a front mid-engine layout for its internal combustion engine as opposed to the rear mid-engine layout used by nearly all other competitors in the category. It is Nissan's first prototype since the R391 competed in 1999, although the company has supplied engines in recent years. The car is branded after the Nissan GT-R road car and shares similar engine and drivetrain configurations, but is not related to the sports car. The GT-R LM Nismo program was announced on 23 May 2014, while the car was publicly shown for the first time in a Nissan commercial during Super Bowl XLIX on 1 February 2015.
Chief designer Ben Bowlby was given the brief from Nissan to not design an "Audi copy". Bowlby placed the GT-R LM's combustion engine in front of the cockpit, a layout that has not been used in prototypes since the Panoz LMP01 Evo in 2003. Unlike the Panoz's rear-wheel drive powertrain, the GT-R LM powers the front axle through a gearbox located in front of the engine. The engine, co-developed by Nissan and Cosworth, is a 3.0 L (180 cu in) 60-degree V6 with dual turbochargers and direct injection, and is seen by Nissan as the most fuel efficient design. Behind the engine and beneath the cockpit is a kinetic energy recovery system using two flywheels developed by Torotrak. The flywheels gain energy from the use of the front brakes then discharges that energy back to the front wheels via a driveshaft running over the top of the combustion engine. The flywheels can also output power to a secondary driveshaft which is connected to a limited-slip differential at the rear of the car which feeds epicyclic gearboxes located in each rear wheel hub, allowing the GT-R to be all-wheel drive if necessary. The combustion engine outputs approximately 500 hp (370 kW; 510 PS) while the flywheel system is intended to have an additional output of approximately 750 hp (560 kW; 760 PS).
With the weight bias of the GT-R LM heavier in the front and power primarily directed at the front axle, the wheels are offset to balance the car. Tyres in the front are 14 in (360 mm) wide, while the rear tyres are only 9 in (230 mm) wide. Cooling for the engine, gearbox, and flywheel systems is located in the nose of the car, allowing the bodywork around the cockpit to be utilized as airflow tunnels. The use of the tunnels required the turbochargers to be placed on top of the engine, exhausting out the top of the bodywork in front of the windshield. The rear drivetrain is designed without traditional halfshafts that would be required to traverse the tunnels, opting instead for the epicyclic gearing system to work around the tunnels.
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