Ok, it might not be a complete failure just yet, but let’s be honest with ourselves here: Nissan’s GT-R underperformed crazily at Le Mans a month ago. It’s kept me up at night, wondering just what in the world they’ve done with the franchise of high acceleration, and building a car that can actually navigate corners well.
Nissan has a history of being an innovator and pioneer in making things that go fast. That’s not a surprise, as anyone who has ever taken a ride in a street legal Nissan GT-R will tell you. It’s a type of acceleration which reminds you of taking off in an airplane. You know that moment right as your pilot is taxing the runway, before he hits the “Go Baby Go” button, sending you in to a jet fueled thrust right before lifting off? Yes, that is a good feeling – but it seems Nissan has forgotten its roots. It’s quite sad, actually. You can blame the unnecessary penalties, experienced but non-winning drivers, or just bad luck, but one thing is certain – they need to find the weak link if they’re planning on winning any time soon.
Comparatively, the Porsche 919 Hybrid (2015 Le Mans Winner) and the Nissan are practically the same on paper. Both weigh the same, and have fraction of a difference in ride height. The Porsche has a 2.0 L (2,000 cc) direct-injected turbocharged V4 engine with lithium-ion battery for energy recovery in mid-mounted longitudinal configuration. The Nissan, a VRX30A 3.0 L (3,000 cc) direct-injected twin-turbocharged V6 engine in a longitudinal front mid-engine configuration.
In fact, the Nissan should be your overall winner in terms of power and agility, but it’s not. This just further proves that it’s not only what you race, but who you have driving will ultimately determine your championship success chances. Honestly, whomever is in charge of talent acquisition should be forced to retire.
If Nissan wants to start bringing home championships, they need to invest in better drivers for their vehicles. They have a combination of 10 drivers who have less wins than a single Porsche driver. It just seems like Nissan is not really putting much effort in finding the right drivers, but instead designing a futuristic and admittedly cool looking car. If that’s all they wanted to achieve, they’ve succeeded.
Photo courtesy Flickr Creative Commons