Why Nissan's Le Mans car is front-wheel drive

Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll have heard about Nissan's radical new Le Mans car, the NISMO GT-R LM.

Unlike its more traditional LMP1 rivals from Porsche, Toyota and Audi, which are all mid-engined and rear-wheel drive, Nissan has developed a front-engine, front-wheel drive challenger.

Initially, it's believed Nissan wanted to make the GT-R LM all-wheel drive, with the circa 410kW 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 driving the front wheels and electric motors driving the rears.

However, continued teething problems have meant that Nissan seems now to be committing to front-wheel drive.

It's a radical approach for a company whose best result at the 24-hour French classic is third, achieved in 1998 with the far more conventional R390 GT1.

The video above features Nissan's engineers and drivers explaining the thinking behind the courageous engineering decision, but all the talk will mean nothing come the second weekend in June.

Get your free weekly report from the world of fast cars - subscribe to the MOTOR newsletter!

 

Get your free weekly report from the world of fast cars - subscribe to the MOTOR newsletter!