Nissan launches 2015 LMP1 World Endurance and Le Mans programme
|By Gary Watkins||Friday, May 23rd 2014, 13:15 GMT|
Nissan will take on Audi, Toyota and Porsche in the World Endurance Championship from the start of next season.
The Japanese manufacturer admitted last year that it was already planning its move into the LMP1 category for 2015, which was a condition of the entry for its ZEOD RC experimental racer in this year's Le Mans 24 Hours.
Now, Nissan has confirmed that it will mount a two-car attack on the full WEC with a car to be known as the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO.
Nissan vice-president Andy Palmer explained that his company wanted to exploit the new energy-based P1 rules introduced for this season by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest at Le Mans and the FIA.
"We applaud the ACO and FIA for the work they have done to get the rules right," he said.
"LMP1 is not just an arms race - all our rivals in the class have taken different technical approaches and we will be doing the same."
He explained that Nissan wanted "to win in a very different way to that of our rivals".
"We won't be turning up in a vehicle that is a basically another hybrid that looks like another Porsche, Audi or Toyota — they all look the same to me. Our intention is to do something that is a little bit different."
Nissan, which made its announcement in London on Friday afternoon, has yet to disclose technical details of the car or where it will be built.
Shoichi Miyatani, boss of Nissan competition and tuning arm NISMO, said: "The design and build of the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO is a global project with its DNA firmly rooted in Japan.
"The team comprises engineers and technical crew from Japan, the US and Europe."
He added that NISMO would be "contributing strongly" to the project.
It is understood that work on the project is advanced and that the car will be testing in October.
The Nissan LMP1 will carry the name of the marque's road-going GT-R musclecar because it "symbolises the ultimate in Nissan's performance", according to Miyatani.