Friday, September 22, 2017

Why is Nissan Still Testing the R34 at the Nürburgring?

If you are a car guy (and if you are reading this blog I would assume you are) you must have noticed that, later today's afternoon, an increasingly number of rumors about the new Porsche 911 GT2 RS unofficially breaking the Nürburgring lap record started to spread over social media feeds. 

Once arrived at home I turned on the TV and, eager to find out more, I selected this video by YouTube vlogger Misha Charoudin. Although I never met him (maybe in the future?), Misha is a cool guy and does an incredible good job in bringing moments of daily life around the Nürburgring from the prospective of a genuine car nut who also happens to run operations for Apex Nurburg, a rental car business next to the Green Hell.

Increasing rumors hinted that this week a special event was going to take place during a manufacturer test session and Misha headed to the track to verify if Porsche was really going to challenge the lap record. To his (and my) surprise, however, as soon as he arrived trackside he spotted (minute 3:34) a BNR34 M-spec lapping the german course. The car passed again for a second lap (minute 7:35) and this time Misha managed to take some clear footage of it.

The tape leaves no doubt: this is unmistakably the same development spec car with a light blue roll-cage that I featured in my dedicated post "Nissan's Nürburgring Meister" back in May. This really does leave me wondering because, while back in May I thought that the R34 was placed in Nissan's promotional video back in 2014 for marketing purposes and an added "cool" effect, this time there was no filming around and no R35 was spotted at the 'Ring on that day: it really appears as Nissan was actually lapping the car for data collecting or testing purposes.

To my knowledge, that specific M-spec is permanently stationed in Germany at Nissan development center next to the Nürburgring and, at least from an external point of view, appears to be in its pure stock form (exhaust included!). And here comes the million dollar question: why is Nissan still testing at the Nürburgring a car that is almost 20 years old and that shares no components with any of the current production models? Why still collecting data with a model that, from a conceptual point of view, is light years behind the next generation of hybrid-powered sportscars?

It will be interesting to dig out more, but for now, seeing such an iconic car still being valued as a point of reference for tests in 2017 is beyond cool.

Until next time.

7 comments:

  1. Have R34 and live next to the Nurburgring.....is that not reason enough :)

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  2. Easy. They are still trying to officially beat the R33's 7:59 lap time.

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    1. LOL. Already done years ago.

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    2. Think the same Aki, R33 GT-R Vspec all the way 💪🏼😈🖤

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  3. I assume that they want to add some of the R34 spirit to the upcoming GTR, they finally knew what the r35 was lacking. at least I hope so ...

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  4. Its the very last M-Spec NUR ever built. Its based in Bonne and NISSAN use it for hot laps around the ring for visiting guests.

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