in the mid-90’s Nissan was fully focused on endurance racing. Under the new rules GT1 FIA it was possible to create racing cars homologando a single unit of street, who only had to pass a simple test of the shock. Porsche and Mercedes were the batteries quickly with the 911 GT1 and CLK GTR, so Nissan moved tab, and created the R390 GT1. A car that would be two units of street. Two amazing machines of which only one survives today.
Nissan R390 GT1 street had a single purpose: to allow the participation in competition of her racing version.
Nissan contacted for the creation of the R390 GT1 with TWR – Tom Walkinshaw Racing, one of the most reputable companies in manufacturing of racing cars in the Uk. The project was developed in haste and running, in just 9 months. TWR started from the base of the carbon-fibre monocoque of the Jaguar XJR-15 of street – based XJR-9 of competition that were victorious in Le Mans in 1989 – while NISMO focused on the engine. The rush also made a dent in the japanese, that they had need to work as they could.
Thought of using a motor derived from the Nissan GT-R for the street, but it was too heavy – iron block – so we finally opted for an evolution of the engine that formed part of the Nissan R90C (a car of resistance created at the beginning of the 90’s). Was called VRH35L, and it was a 3.5 V8 supercharged in parallel by two turbochargers. An engine in the competition, delivering up to 650 BHP of power, which, united to the weight of just one ton of racing car, allowed a performance of heart attack.
Brakes AP Racing, rear tires measures 295/35ZR19… all in the R390 GT1 indicated that he did not belong to the streets.
Nissan manufactured two units of street of this R390, but one of them was destroyed. Testing the resistance of the shock front, the radiator located in the front – that should absorb the force of impact – failed, and the shock left the chassis of the car badly damaged. Only one street survived, and is found today in the Museum of Nissan in Japan, preserved as the gold cloth that is. In terms of their design, the street unit was designed by Tom Southgate in TWR, and in his design there was a collaborator of luxury.
Ian Callum, who contributed to the design of TWR details, and an aura of refinement. The optical 300ZX and the calender were maintained intact, and indeed, the look of the carbon fiber body of the car was dictated by the competition. The street car was delivering about 550 CV – some sources say 350 HP – in comparison to the 650 HP of the race car, and enrolled in the United Kingdom, where he could move without problems. Its gearbox was identical to the racing car, a sequential six-relations, as is customary in the circuit.
Only measured 1,14 meters tall, and 4,72 meters long, for a weight of just one ton.
If you want to know more about performance in competition R390 GT1, I recommend you to read the article that my co-Pistonudos published a few months ago. The street car was introduced alongside the racing car – in 1997 – and never managed to roll a lot, although it was possible to fly it in the video game Gran Turismo. Never sold, but the evil tongues say that its retail price would have been 100 million yen, which by that time amounted to about $ 800,000.
At the time, was the car of “production” – or rather street – japanese faster: according to Wikipedia quickened up to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds and its top speed was an impressive 354 km/h. Only the McLaren F1 and the TVR Speed 12 were faster in his time.
Source: Nissan Heritage | Pistonudos