When you strip off the bodywork, the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo LMP1 car looks even more unreal.
These are the first clear shots I've seen that really show the engineering going on in the car, from its cab rear-ward design to its venting front diffuser to oh man are those turbos mounted right on the top of the engine man this thing is awesome.
I pulled these frames from Nissan's Superbowl ad which you can watch below if you're getting confused.
These frames are the ones that get me going, because the possibly flow-through-aerodynamics bodywork obscures a lot of the hard tech going on with this car.
This view gives you a good sense on how this car still puts its engine within the wheelbase, but that its weight distribution will still be much more front-biased than any of its rivals.
This is the fundamental thesis why this car may run at Le Mans without a rear wing, as brought up by Mike Fuller of Mulsanne's Corner. The idea is that the aero balance should follow the weight balance.
More weight up front means less need for downforce at the back means less need for a big rear wing means less drag means more top speed on a huge straightaway. Le Mans has one such straight.
Here's our first look at how small and how tall the rear end of the car is. Mulsanne's Corner theorizes that there might be some interesting work going on in the rear suspension to allow air to flow cleanly out the rear diffuser. This is what that flow-through aero is all about, and it would lessen again the need for a big rear wing.
Man, this car looks so unbelievably strange. Like a pancake with a strawberry on top.
This last little flyby shot shows us a few things about the car's engineering, but man, just look at how close that steering wheel is to the driver. This is standard for a prototype car nowadays but it never looks normal.
Here's a better view of the ultra narrow end of the carbon chassis, coming all the way to a point. What exactly is going on here I do not know. We know this car's front wheels are driven and the rears are... just hanging out? That's how Nissan's PR is putting it, but those who have seen the car describe the rears as electrically driven by an extremely complicated setup that I don't have a full grasp of yet. Check out this article by RACER and search for mentions of driveshafts and "high differential housing." Normally I would expect a big gearbox to end around here, but I'm completely out of my element with this.
The other question that these shots bring up are the rear brakes. As Leo Parente and Jeremy Dale point out, a big question for this car is going to be the brakes.
Mulsanne's Corner believes that this car is using significantly smaller brakes than its competitors, leaning much much harder on the hybrid system to slow the car down.
If you've been watching F1, you'll know that the most successful team of last year, Mercedes, also tried out this concept. Mercedes ran away with the championship, but they had a number of early problems with the system. They had a couple of retirements, which was alright over the length of the full F1 calendar, but seems a little risky for Nissan, since they really only have one go at a race that matters, Le Mans, this year.
Can you see how small the brakes are at the back of this thing? I can't make it out very well, but the rumor is they're minute for an LMP1 car.
The camera cuts away just before we can get a good view of the rear suspension and the room for the diffuser. Naturally.
Man, this car is bonkers.