As it was announcing its plans for the performance Nismo division, Nissan announced its return to Le Mans with a race car incorporating electric technology.
Nissan said it will return to the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2014 with an innovative project that promises to continue the pioneering spirit of last year’s Nissan DeltaWing experimental entry.
Nissan President and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn made the pledge to return to Le Mans during a special event yesterday in Yokohama, Japan to open a new headquarters for Nismo Nissan’s global performance and motorsports brand.
While not involved with the DeltaWing project, Ghosn hinted that a new approach to innovation and excitement will be at the project’s core, while confirming that the company will return as the “Garage 56″ entry for innovative concepts with an all-new race car incorporating electric technology.
The entry will test innovative new powertrain technology and provide the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) with data to enable all parties to evaluate the incorporation of this electric technology ahead of a potential return to endurance racing in the future.
“We will return to Le Mans with a vehicle that will act as a high-speed test bed in the harshest of environments for both our road car and race car electric vehicle technology,” said Mr. Ghosn.
The Japanese company said Ghosn’s revelation promises a continued commitment from Nissan to performance and motorsport innovation – and a bold ambition to change expectations of what is possible in performance.
Nissan will reveal further details about the new project in the near future.
More conventional Nissan power will continue to be seen at Le Mans in the meantime. The 2013 Le Mans entry list displays 17 Nissan-Nismo-powered cars, the highest entry by a manufacturer for 15 years.
The Nismo-tuned Nissan VK45DE V8 engine is now powering a majority of the LMP2 teams. All cars will carry the designation powered by Nissan Nismo.