Nissan withdrew from the 2016 World Endurance Championship because it would have had to develop and race a new version of its front-wheel-drive GT-R LM NISMO at the same time.
The Japanese manufacturer confirmed it had shelved the LMP1 programme on Tuesday.
Mike Carcamo, who took over the running of the project in September, explained that design of the 2016 car was complete, but revealed that manufacturing had yet to begin with the start of the season only four months away.
"There was a complete redesign in two months," he told Autosport.
"Manufacturing and testing of a vehicle takes much longer, so rather than putting ourselves at risk of trying to race and develop at the same time, the decision was made not to race."
He explained that Nissan could not be sure of "meeting our own performance targets in line with what we think our competitors will do next year".
"This is a difficult decision for Nissan, but we think it is best for the series and the other teams," he continued.
Carcamo confirmed that the second-generation GT-R LM would have had a new electrical hybrid system regenerating and deploying via the rear axle.
It would have replaced the fully-mechanical system of the original car that was conceived to regenerate via the front axle and deploy via the skinny rear wheels and tyres.
This system never made it to the race track, which meant Nissan tested with front axle recuperation and deployment.
This was then abandoned for the car's debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours, during which the GT-R LMs ran without their hybrid systems engaged.
He revealed that the suspension and gearbox had also been redesigned and that the aerodynamics had been revised.
Carcamo wouldn't be drawn on whether the GT-R LMP1 project could continue in the future.
"That decision has not been made," he said.
He stressed Nissan's long-term commitment to motorsport and pointed out its successes in 2015 in Super GT, the Blancpain Endurance Series and the LMP2 division across the WEC and the European Le Mans Series.
"That was why the decision was made: we want to compete at the best level and ensure our success," he explained.
The announcement of its withdrawal from the 2016 WEC follows its pull-out from the final five races of this year's series.
It initially stated in August that it was stepping back from racing in order to concentrate on testing and development, a decision that covered the Nurburgring, Austin and Fuji rounds.
It subsequently pulled out of the final two rounds at Shanghai and in Bahrain after a test at Austin straight after the WEC round in September.
The GT-R LM ran once more at the NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans in December.