Nissan R390 GT1

The Nissan R390 GT1 is a racing car that was built for the participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1997 and 1998. It was constructed according to the rules of the GT1 class, which demanded a homologated by the FIA ​​road version.


After Nissan had set out at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995 and 1996 with the Skyline GT -R LM, this but no chance to win against the emerging new generation of GT1 cars in the style of a McLaren F1 GTR or Porsche had 911 GT1, decided Nissan Board specifically for this race to build a new supercar. For the development of the car, he turned to Tom Walkinshaw Racing ( TWR ). Based on the Nissan R380, a sports car from the 60s, Nissan decided to name the new R390 sports car.

The design of R390 was from Ian Callum, who had previously designed the Aston Martin DB7. Thus, the car had a resemblance to the production cars from Nissan, he reached for the front end back on the lights of the 300ZX and integrated the typical Nissan two-part grille. The rest of the form and aerodynamics generated from numerous wind tunnel tests with smaller models in England and later with the original in the Nissan Technical Center in Atsugi, Japan.

For the chassis Tony Southgate was, who had already designed the 1988 victorious at Le Mans Jaguar XJR -9, in charge. The engine of the R390 GT1 was based on the 1989 Nissan R89C used in VRH35Z. The revised version was called VRH35L, had eight cylinders and produced with help of a twin turbocharger from a displacement of 3,496 liters a power output of approximately 641 hp ( 478 kW) at 6800 revolutions per minute. In order to transfer this power perfectly to the asphalt, received the R390 GT1 a launch control ( launch control ) and Traction Control ( Traction Control), which prevented the wheels from spinning by lower fuel injection into the cylinders. Engine and the rear wheels combined a sequential 6- speed gearbox, the 0 allowed an acceleration of the 1098 kg heavy R390 GT1 to 100 in 3.8 seconds.

From the street version required by the regulations, only one copy was built. You 1180 kg, has a throttled to 345 hp motor and is now in Nissan's branch in Zama ( Kanagawa ).

Racing applications

For the 1997 edition of the 24 -hour race of Le Mans brought TWR and Nissan R390 GT1 three of the new at the start. After Nissan had the fastest lap in May during the pre-qualifying, the race cars were among the favorites. In warmer June Nissan came to the times achieved in the pre- qualification approach no longer entirely, but was nevertheless still up there. In the race occurred on all three cars on problems with the cooling of the transmission, which cost some time and even led to the loss in car number 22. A little later resigned also the fastest car, number 21, from after a spin. The only car by stopped, finished the race with 67 laps down to twelfth.

For the 24-hour race in 1998 TWR had improved the reliability of the R390 and also optimizes the aerodynamics. So the car got a so-called " long tail " to German long - tail, ie, the tail was extended to thirteen inches and reduce a new, deeper rear wing to drag on. Also this car was, as prescribed by the regulations, again as a road-going version. In the qualifying we now only focused on the race set-up, while Porsche, Toyota and Mercedes fighting for pole. In the race it was missing over the competition in speed, but reliability was not a problem, so that all four wagons used could go flying in formation across the finish line. They took places three, five, six and ten.


Nissan R390 GT1 (1997):

  • Length in mm: 4590
  • Width in mm: 1990
  • Height in mm: 1143 mm
  • Wheelbase in mm: 2710
  • Weight in kg: about 1098

Nissan R390 GT1 (1998):

  • Length in mm: 4720
  • Width in mm: 2000
  • Height in mm: 1143 mm
  • Wheelbase in mm: 2710
  • Weight in kg: about 1027