After a poor showing at Le Mans testing, Nissan is to fix pace problems with its innovative front-engined, front-wheel-drive LMP1 car by driving it entirely in reverse.
‘It’s very simple,’ said designer Ben Bulbous. ‘At the moment the car has its engine and drive at the front which doesn’t seem to work very well. But by driving in reverse the car instantly becomes mid-engined and rear-wheel-drive which will make it the same as other cars and therefore more competitive. Probably.’
Naturally, reversing at high speed will have some effect on handling, especially since the car will now have rear-wheel-steering. ‘Turn-in will be quite sudden,’ admitted designer Ben Bilious. ‘But the car will be capable of maneuvering in very tight spaces like a forklift truck which will be handy if the track is suddenly blocked by a warehouse.’
A further problem with Nissan’s radical reversing plan is driver visibility, but the team says it has already thought of that. ‘We’ll be training the drivers to turn round and hook one arm around the passenger seat as they reverse, the way your dad does,’ explained designer Ben Bebopbidididiboo. ‘And failing that, I’ve been down to Le Halfords and ordered a shit load of extra mirrors. Bibble.’