Nissan R390 GT1 (1997): Street-legal drag racer

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Race cars were made legal for use on public roads in the 1990s. The most infamous examples are the Porsche 911 GT1 Evo and the Mercedes CLK GTR. This was possible thanks to the FIA ​​regulations for the GT1 category, where it was enough to develop a road unit to homologate the vehicle for endurance competitions. Another who came at that time was Nissan R390 GT1 Which, although less known, is just as curious as its German names.

Of the R390 GT1, Nissan made only two examples, of which only one remains today in the company’s museum in Japan. Introduced in 1997, this impressive Race cars approved for off-road driving designed and manufactured nismo In just 9 months, and received help from two important people in the automotive world.

Nissan R390 GT1: the street-legal endurance racing car

The first of these numbers was TWR (Tom Walkinshaw Race). The famous British racing car manufacturer was inspired Jaguar XJR-15 carbon fiber monocoque chassisA tram based on the XJR-9 which won the 1989 24 Hours of Le Mans. Nismo, for its part, will take care of selecting the engine and adapting it to the requirements of the R390 GT1.

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On this carbon fiber chassis, Tom Southgate of TWR designed a carbon body oriented towards the world of competition. However, the R390’s flowing lines weren’t the only thing on Shouthgate’s mind. Many ideas and details of his style were contributed by another key figure in the project, many Ian Callumthe iconic British designer kept the headlights of the Nissan 300ZX and created a tall silhouette, 4.72 meters long and only 1.14 meters high.

Nissan R390 GT1

The Nissan R390 GT1 was easily recognizable as a racing car, even if its indicators, its typical production car mirrors or its central locking wheels with street tires were striking. Inside, leather upholstery covered the dashboard and sports seats, along with integrated safety harnesses.

long distance runner heart

Concerning the mechanical segment, Nismo had initially planned to use the RB26DETT engine of the fourth generation of the Nissan GT-R (discover its history). However, the iron block was too heavy, and he chose the Nissan R90C competition mechanics. section VRH35L it was an engine 3.5 liter V8 With two turbochargers that developed a power of about 650 hp on the circuit.

Nissan R390 GT1

Combined with the propeller, the motorsport-specific sequential gearbox and, to keep everything under control, double-measured wheels with Associated Press Racing brakes and 295/35 19-inch tires at the rear. The power of the road-going Nissan R390 GT1 was approx. 550hpWith which it traveled from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds and reached a top speed of 354 km/h.

they have just been made of units R390 GT1. The first, finished in red, had to pass a simple frontal crash test to achieve road symmetry. However, during this test, the front radiator which was supposed to absorb the force of the impact failed and severely damaged the car’s chassis. The surviving unit was UK registered, right hand drive and can now be admired Nissan Museum in Japan.

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