We generally take it as a given that, as far as performance goes, rear-wheel drive is better than front. All-wheel drive can be better than either, in some cases, but you need power going to the wheels that aren't also handling the steering while leaving the others just tagging along for the ride. Right? Well Nissan is here to upend that notion with the new GT-R LM Nismo, presented here at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.
After supporting the DeltaWing project a couple of years ago and fielding its own ZEOD RC prototype last year, Nissan is returning to Le Mans this year with another oddball endurance racer. Only this time, it's going for gold, competing against the likes of Porsche, Audi and Toyota for the overall win in the top-tier LMP1 class. Tying this front-drive, 1,250-horsepower hybrid racing prototype to the all-wheel-drive GT-R may be tenuous, but we have to hand it to Nissan for shaking things up.
In the process, Nissan has also confirmed the hot shoes who'll be tasked with manhandling this beast around the Circuit de la Sarthe (and the rest of the tracks on the 2015 FIA WEC calendar). Joining former Le Mans winner and longtime Ferrari test driver Marc Gené will be Super GT champion Tsuigio Matsuda as well as Harry Tincknell and Olivier Pla (both experienced from the largely Nissan-powered LMP2 field), Nissan factory driver Michael Krumm and GT Academy graduates Lucas Ordóñez and Jann Mardenborough, both of whom have made their way into professional racing on the merit of their video gaming abilities. We'll be looking forward to watching them try to get the best out of this most innovative Datsun.