Calsonic Nissan R89C Super Detail – (HCH45):
The Nissan R89C is perhaps one of the lesser-known Nissans, as it was a Group C sports prototype. It was intended to replace the original March built series of prototypes that Nissan had previously used, and the R89C was part of Nissan’s increased involvement in the project.
The R89C was a car like no other. Its monocoque was solely composed of Kevlar and carbon fibre, to push the weight down as far as feasibly possible. It also featured Nissan’s new twin-turbo VRH35 3.5-litre DOHC engine, which was mounted in a specialised installation chamber for improved chassis rigidity, and it subsequently produced 950 horsepower. In 1989, these figures were obscene, and could only be matched by competitors such as Porsche and Toyota.
Regardless of the R89C’s astronomical statistics, Nissan struggled to solve reliability problems, as well as finding pace from both the chassis and engine. This was especially true in the 1989 World Sportscar Championship season. Subsequently, the R89C managed to score in just three races. In the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship, the R89C was just as disappointing, being overpowered by the more finely-tuned Toyotas and Porsches. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, three R89Cs entered the race. None finished, due to mechanical issues.
Whilst the R89C certainly won’t be remembered for its stunning performances, high levels of reliability and lightning quick acceleration, it certainly isn’t a failure. It signalled Nissan’s ambition, the fact that they could actually produce some of their more outlandish concepts.
This model expertly encapsulates all of the smaller details in the R89C, together with the more blatant things. The ginormous rear spoiler is as prominent as ever, the huge wheels and the futuristic styling – it’s all reimagined wonderfully in this red, white and blue R89C.