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Nissan Releases Front-Wheel-Drive Le Mans Racer During Super Bowl Ad

Nissan Releases Front-Wheel-Drive LeMans Racecar During Super Bowl Ad

Generally during the Super Bowl, car manufacturers will figure out an in-your-face way of letting the public in on their latest car they’re trying to sell, that’s a given.

During this year’s bowl game, Nissan had a something a bit more subtle in mind as they pushed their World Endurance Championship car known as the Nissan LMP1 to the forefront of the viewer’s attention all while casually unveiling the Nissan Maxima.


What’s different about the car that’s drawing so much attention? Unlike a conventional Le Mans platform or almost any car of any race series, the engineering is designed around a front-wheel-drive platform and also is packaged like nothing we’ve seen before.

Here was Jalopnik’s take on the latest Nissan offering: “A relatively conventional twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V6 gasoline engine is the engine that supplies the front wheels with power, but a kinetic energy recovery system (ERS) rounds out the car’s power supply to bring the horsepower figure up to 1,250.


One of the biggest challenges in the Nissan LMP1’s design is the 8-megajoule ERS required to get that much power out of the V6/ERS combo. The ERS design allows them to carry less fuel onboard for the relatively fuel-efficient V6 turbo, but unfortunately, it’s also very heavy.


Horsepower from the ERS can go to the front or the rear wheels, depending on where the car needs the additional power. Marshall Pruett of RACER explains:

Picture the loooooong driveshaft extending from the front of the car to the back of the car, terminating at the rear axle line. It connects to a differential housing that scales upward – high enough for driveshafts to reach across and over the through-flow aero tunnels.


Those driveshafts connect to individual gearboxes that also sit in tall housings. With the high differential housing connected to the high outrigger gearboxes via driveshafts, the rear wheels are turned by short driveshafts from the base of the gearboxes.”

It will be interesting to see how the new design does come race time. Nissan has finished with a highest of third, so we will have to see how it unfolds this coming season.

Be sure to check out the enthralling ad spot below!