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Nissan to build all-electric Le Mans car for 2014

Nissan, Le Mans 1998Nissan will contest the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2014 with an all-electric contender that will take the 'Garage 56' entry reserved for an experimental car.

Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn announced that the company would be back at Le Mans next year with "a pioneering Nissan race car showcasing electric technology and with zero emissions".

The car has already been granted the so-called 'Garage 56' entry that was taken by the Nissan-backed DeltaWing experimental racer in 2012 and will be filled by the GreenGT hydrogen fuel cell prototype this year.

Ghosn hinted that the project could result in Nissan's first bid for outright Le Mans victory since the R390 of 1997-98 (pictured) and its R391 successor in '99.

A statement from Nissan read: "The entry will test innovative powertrain technology and provide the Automobile Club de l'Ouest [ACO] and the 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."

Nissan Leaf NISMO RCNissan is one of the world leaders in electric car technology and has already developed the Leaf NISMO RC (pictured) to showcase the potential of that technology in motorsport.

Nissan global motorsport director Darren Cox, who was the architect of the company's involvement in the DeltaWing project, said the potential to transfer the firm's electric road car expertise to motorsport was a major attraction.

"We have said all the way through this journey that we have to have the maximum relevance to our road car technology and Nissan is the leader in electric vehicle technology, so we should be doing something in that line on the racetrack," he said.

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DeltaWing led to Nissan Le Mans call