Nissan has been spied testing a pair of curiously modified GT-R prototypes at the Nürburgring course in Germany this week.
These spy shots have sparked rumours of a sequel to the 2009 Spec-V model, taking the fight to upcoming GT3 and Turbo variants of Porsche’s new 991 911.
However, closer inspection suggests that the two prototypes are merely preparing for Nissan’s works GT-R entry in next month’s Nürburgring 24 Hour race.
Nissan officially unveiled its entry earlier this month, with which it hopes to defend the SP8T class victory of the privately entered Schulze Motorsports entry in 2011.
The 2012 entry will consist of two cars, staffed largely by Nissan’s Nürburgring-based GT-R development team and headed by Nissan’s ‘Mr GT-R’, Kazutoshi Mizuno.
Compared to the shots of the N24 racer, the prototypes appear to have many of the N24 specific elements disguised, including the flush-mounted driving lights, centre-lock wheels, and bonnet pins.
The prototypes clearly display the N24 racer’s high-mount fixed rear wing, along with a rear lip wing that is yet to be seen on any production GT-R.
Why these prototypes have been disguised is unclear, particularly as the racer has had its official unveiling.
For the record, Mizuno-san has confirmed that the N24 racer is based on the Club Track edition, a Japan-only track-focused model available only to members of the exclusive ‘Prestige Club of GT-R’.
The N24 racer adds a front splitter with integrated brake ducts, and the high-mount rear wing. Mizuno-san confirms that these aerodynamic parts will ‘no doubt be reflected in GT-Rs of the future’.
Wider centre-lock wheels, uprated springs and a 120 litre fuel tank (with race filler) have also been fitted to the race car, along with several other N24 required safety modifications.
“The reason we chose to enter the Nürburgring 24 Hours is to perform harsher endurance tests for future performance improvements,” said Mizuno-san in Nissan’s N24 announcement video.
"Our hope is that this race is a prelude to the GT-R that people will see five years from now," he added.
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