conceptcarz.com
Nissan Gallery

1998 Nissan R390 GT1

Share on:

Nissan returned to sports car racing in 1995. Nismo (Nissan Motorsport) enjoyed some success with their Skyline GT-R LM in the GT1 class. However, loopholes in the GT regulations quickly had the Nismo cars outclassed, as racing cars were built that bore little resemblance to their GT1 class competitors - including the Porsche 911 GT1 and the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR.

In order to compete in the LeMans GT1 Class, manufacturers were required to build at least one street-legal version of the racing car. Most manufacturers built the race car first and then made a road going version. Nissan, however, built the road car first. It was designed by Ian Callum at Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) and dubbed the R390 GT1.

The car was built in Atsugi, Japan and its name followed the tradition started in the 1960s with Nissan's R380.

The Skyline GT-R LM had been powered by the durable and dependable RB26DETT inline six-cylinder engine. It was a capable engine but it did have its drawbacks. Instead, designers selected the engine from the Nissan R89C. The VRH35Z was a V8 engine with a 3.5-liter displacement and an aluminum block. It had a low center of gravity and a better ability to be used as a stressed member over the RB26. After modifications, the engine was dubbed VRH35L and in full racing tune, offered nearly 650 horsepower at 6,800 RPM. The road going version received a detuned version of the engine, rated at around 550 horsepower.

Tony Southgate from TWR, and Mr. Yutaka Hagiwara of Nismo designed the mechanical and aerodynamic components. The design was tested and perfected using scale model wind-tunnel testing in England and full-size testing at Nissan Technical Center in Atsugi, Japan.

Only one road legal R390 was built. The three racing versions were completed in time for the 1997 24 Hours of LeMans, and all three failed scrutineering. Further modifications were required in order to be allowed to race. The changes subsequently led to overheating problems for the gearbox, and early retirement.

All three cars were finished in black and red livery. Martin Brundle took pole position in pre-qualifying with a time of 3.43.14. At the race itself, car number #22 qualified in 4th on the grid and 2nd in class behind a Porsche 911 GT1. Car number 21 qualified in 12th and car number 23 was 21st. During the race, car number 21 and 22 were withdrawn due to mechanical failure. The third R390 survived the race, but that was after receiving two complete gearbox changes. It finished 12th overall and 5th in class.

Nissan return in 1998 with four cars. Many modifications had been made over the year, including more downforce from a longer rear tail, a new rear diffuser, and a new rear wing placement for reduced drag. All four cars finished, taking 3rd, 5th, 6th and 10th overall.

After the 1998 24 Hours of LeMans, new rules were implemented for the GT classes, making the R390 GT1 ineligible to compete.

During the two year R390 GT1 race program, a total of eight examples were built. Just one R390 road car prototype was built.


by Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2019
Vehicle Profiles
1998 Nissan R390 GT1 vehicle information
Coupe
Designer: Ian Callum

Performance and Specification Comparison

Industry Production

#1#2#3Nissan
2003Porsche (73,284)Lamborghini (1,305)
2002Buick (350,602)Porsche (55,050)Lamborghini (424)
2001Jeep (455,417)Ferrari (792)Lamborghini (297)
2000Ford (965,029)Pontiac (573,805)Chevrolet (547,294)336,779
1999Ford (918,040)Honda (733,878)Chevrolet (609,100)131,782
1998Ford (878,405)Honda (751,032)Chevrolet (561,218)446,393
1997Ford (913,440)Honda (722,431)Chevrolet (650,820)420,741
1996Ford (1,036,048)Honda (680,711)Pontiac (541,844)446,393
1995Ford (1,012,818)Chevrolet (665,955)Honda (643,336)461,642
1994Ford (1,220,512)Chevrolet (651,647)Honda (650,105)405,147
1993Ford (1,026,338)Chevrolet (692,116)Honda (608,149)431,810

Related Automotive News

1993 Jaguar XJ220 Supercar Debuts on  Collecting Cars Global Auction Platform

1993 Jaguar XJ220 Supercar Debuts on Collecting Cars Global Auction Platform

LeMans Blue Model Has Only 2,652 Miles (4,269 KM) On Odometer An extremely rare 1993 Jaguar XJ220 with only 2,652 miles (4,269 KM) on its odometer has just hit the Collecting Cars global auction block. International bidding will extend through...
Acura Engineers Field Four Homegrown Entries At Pikes Peak; Pro Peter Cunningham Challenges The Pack

Acura Engineers Field Four Homegrown Entries At Pikes Peak; Pro Peter Cunningham Challenges The Pack

Four entries to be driven and crewed by full-time Acura R%26D engineers Modified MDX Sport Hybrid boasts larger displacement 3.7-liter V6 engine and three electric motors for more than 400 horsepower, makes racing debut Winningest American sports ca...
World Record Parade For Jaguar's Fastest Ever Production Supercar

World Record Parade For Jaguar's Fastest Ever Production Supercar

Silverstone Classic to celebrate yet another motoring milestone Unprecedented numbers of XJ220s to mark 25th anniversary Amazing paddock display and special parade on famous GP circuit Early Bird tickets on sale until the end of March Jaguars r...
NEW TECHNICAL DETAILS OF THE NEXT GENERATION ACURA NSX REVEALED AT SAE 2015 WORLD CONGRESS AND EXHIBITION

NEW TECHNICAL DETAILS OF THE NEXT GENERATION ACURA NSX REVEALED AT SAE 2015 WORLD CONGRESS AND EXHIBITION

New information disclosed on innovative powertrain, body and manufacturing technologies further solidifies the NSXs position as a world-class supercar NSX legacy of innovative, lightweight body design for high performance is advanced with worlds...
1991 24 Hours of Le Mans: Facing the Giants

1991 24 Hours of Le Mans: Facing the Giants

It had been more than thirty years but the Silver Arrows would compete, and win, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Jaguar would also earn its first victory in more than thirty years when it took the overall honors in 1988. And then there was Porsche, the most...