Nissan explains why its GT-R LM Nismo is FWD [Video]
Nissan is hoping to answer the biggest question surrounding the GT-R LM Nismo.
Nissan has released a new video explaining why it decided to go front-wheel drive with its latest GT-R LM Nismo race car.
When Nissan announced earlier this year that it planned to attack the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans with a front-wheel drive racer, many were left scratching their heads; throughout history the vast majority of race cars have relied on rear-wheel drive to maximize handling.
As Nissan explains it, FWD afforded some packing advantages over the typical RWD setup. The GT-R LM Nismo uses a long hood, which allowed engineers to maximize the car's aerodynamics, netting better stability and fuel economy. By placing the engine over the drive wheels, Nissan was also able to give the GT-R LM Nismo added grip for acceleration.
Nissan concedes that FWD does make the car understeer more than its RWD counterparts, but the automaker was able to overcome that pitfall with traction control management and specially tuned aerodynamics.
It remains to be seen if the unique layout will help Nissan reach the podium on race day, but the company did have success with a front-wheel drive racer in the late 1990s.