Motorsports Nissan

Con of the future

Kelly Racing Nissan Altima V8 Supercar rendering

A little while back you may have heard the news that Nissan will be coming back to top level touring car racing in Australia next year. But they don’t really have a V8 sedan, so what car would they enter?

We can tell you they will be using a Nissan Altima and has produced this artist’s rendering of the Kelly Racing Nissan Altima V8 Supercar. You can download it for yourself, if you like.

The latest fifth-generation Altima was only revealed a few days ago, at the New York Auto Show. It’s a front-wheel drive model, powered by a 2.5 litre four-cylinder or a 3.5 litre V6.

Let’s repeat that: a front-wheel drive model powered by a 2.5 litre four-cylinder or a 3.5 litre V6.

But, under the new V8 Supercar “Car of the Future” regulations the Nissan Altima is eligible for entry into the series when the category commences its new world order next year. All of a sudden the Altima will become a rear-wheel drive, V8 powered racing taxi. (Actually, that last bit is true, too, thanks to a deal that will see the new Altima introduced to the NYC taxi fleet.)

That’s right, thanks to the introduction of a control chassis and a control engine all that will differentiate one V8 Supercar from another will be its outer skin and bagdes; which, you’ll be pleased to know, are real. Yep, the badges will be about the only real things on the bloody car.

What a con!

Nissan Altima

Car of the Future: The Next Generation

The layman’s guide to Car of the Future …

A three-year project in the making, V8 Supercars’ Car of the Future will make its racing debut at the beginning of the 2013 V8 Supercars Championship.

So just what is the ‘Car of the Future’?

Car of the Future (COTF) means new competitors, new cars, more races, safer drivers and more race excitement for fans with new manufacturers and a ‘new generation’ V8 Supercar on the Championship grid from next year.

Towards that goal, two prototype cars – one a Falcon and one a Commodore – were built, tested and developed with the sponsorship support of Dunlop last year and represent the next generation of cars that will compete in the V8 Supercars Championship.

Five-time series champion Mark Skaife oversaw the development of the original concept before a key team of engineers, designers, car builders, V8 Supercar team personnel and drivers worked on the project, which was officially unveiled at last year’s Sydney Telstra 500.

Regardless of how many new manufacturers enter the V8 Supercars Championship under the COTF rules, the change is an important and necessary one for the future of the class and its viability.

That said, the ‘DNA’ of V8 Supercar racing will not change from 2013 when this new generation of cars takes over and Nissan – the first of expected new marques – joins Holden and Ford on the grid.

The cars will still feature V8 engines, be rear-wheel drive and have four opening doors.

Currently, the chassis beneath the skin of the Falcon and Commodore are all extremely similar, so COTF introduces a control chassis — it’s cheaper and also aimed at making it easier for other marques to build a car and join in the action.

The manufacturer has a few options for what engine it will use.

It may use its own V8 engine with a parity system applied to ensure it’s on even performance levels with the existing cars, or elect to use a ‘category’ engine if it prefers to use already-established technology.

Reducing costs is a key focus of COTF and it’s expected that the cost of building a new car will reduce by around half in comparison to a current specification machine.

There are many benefits and objectives of the COTF project.

These include:

  • Ensuring the long-term viability and growth of the sport.
  • Opening up V8 Supercars to new manufacturers to compete.
  • Making cars cheaper to build and repair.
  • Making cars safer, lighter and stronger.
  • Increasing the motoring market relevance of V8 Supercars.
  • Maintaining the ‘DNA’ of V8 Supercars (V8 engines, rear wheel drive etc).
  • Increasing the number of V8 Supercars events in the future in a condensed calendar across multiple countries.
  • Ensuring higher quality racing.

After all, if the cars are cheaper to build, teams are more likely to be able to have additional cars constructed and available.

Expanding the calendar and racing more often — a long-held goal of V8 Supercars, which aims for 18 events in future — becomes far more practical.

Also, more events means more racing for everyone: TV viewers, fans and sponsors.

Technically, there are some changes to the new generation cars to increase their relevance to the motoring market, and from a safety point of view there are plenty of advancements to protect drivers.

So, what’s different about a 2013 COTF car versus a current V8 Supercar?

  • Chassis design and specification will now be fixed. All chassis to be dimensionally identical, but different accredited vehicle builders can construct them.
  • Engine is mounted 100mm further back and down. Protects engine in case of frontal impact and improves weight distribution.
  • Increase in wheel and tyre size to 18-inch provided by Dunlop. Bigger brakes can therefore also be fitted.
  • Windscreen becomes polycarbonate. It’s 250 times stronger than glass.
  • Collapsible steering column with collapsible section in the engine bay, rather than the cabin.
  • Different transmission, moving to a transaxle, which incorporates the differential and gearbox in one assembly.
  • Adoption of IRS (Independent Rear Suspension) with control pickup points and a control specification of uprights and wishbones.
  • Fuel cell moved further forward in the car to protect from rear impacts.

As much as COTF may seem complicated, the end result is that race fans, whether casual or hardcore, should have plenty to look forward to.

The cars will essentially look the same from the outside; they’ll still make that unique V8 Supercar growl and the best drivers from this part of the world, and sometimes the other, will still be fighting it out for the title.

Cutting costs, having more races, making the drivers safer and welcoming new competitors to tackle Ford and Holden can’t be a bad thing!



“We already have an outstanding product so this is a case of evolution, not revolution.”

“The major changes are under the skin or in the design architecture primarily to make the cars cheaper to build and to repair. We also want to ensure the market relevance by keeping the car as close as it can possibly be to the car on the show room floor.”

“We want for the whole of the industry to be able to run the cars more cost-effectively. So for everybody – the team owners, the fans and supporters of our sport – it will keep our teams more viable and provide better racing.”

“We encourage new manufacturers to be with us. If we are able to have two or three manufacturers over the next three or four years we will be in a very healthy position. There are untold benefits for both V8 Supercars and I believe particularly for Nissan, as the first manufacturer to join us.”

“Australia is a very different place in 2011 than in 1993. Today Ford and Holden combined have roughly 20 per cent of the market. The other 80 per cent of the market needs to be embraced by V8 Supercars. The reality is you can’t have your whole sport based on 20 per cent of the car market.”

“One aspect that needs to be improved about our sport is momentum and rhythm. We want to be able to build the cars more cheaply so teams can have cars in stock to go racing. The end result will be a better show. There will be more, higher quality racing and this will see V8 Supercars continue as the most cost effective, competitive and exciting touring car category in the world.”

30 replies on “Con of the future”

We have been talking about this at work

Should call is ausnascar…. cause that is what it will be. Or NASCAR with right hand turns.

I rather watch grass grow then this now.

Bring back australian touring car championship!!!!


We also want to ensure the market relevance by keeping the car as close as it can possibly be to the car on the show room floor.

Not even a v8 on offer… not even a rwd on offer in any country let alone here.

This is almost exactly what occurs now. The only thing that the current cars share with their road going companions is their badge and lights. Even the door panels are different shaped/size, they cut a few mm deep to the B pillar to get it to fit the shell as the road cars are too long for the

The current v8 engines are almost exactly the same, I’ve had one engineer in the paddock quote me about 75%+ of the parts are shared.

Yep, you’re right Ryan and that in itself is already disappointing.

But at least Falcadores are RWD and can be bought with a V8. That is, the relevant ingredients are there, even if the racing product has pushed the boundaries a little. The more we see 4/6 cylinder FWD models turned into V8 Supercars the bigger the blow to the integrity of the category.

Long live the Australian GT Championship. Or any other motor sport category which has a semblance of integrity to its machinery.

Scott’s second post highlights the con job on offer here.

The only thing relevant for V8SC is the need to spread the costs of competition between the heavily bleeding local manufacturers.

Well Nissan do offer V8’s in some of their SUVs and Infiniti’s and they do offer RWD product.

I don’t see what the big deal is – of you are after “integrity” in Motorsport then you probably would have stopped watching V8 supercars years ago anyway. To me this makes this highly controlled racing series potentially just a bit more interesting – I might even watch a few races…

So the nit picking begins, or continues! V8 Supercar has made the only decision that they could make in an attempt to continue the growth of the category, both in Australia and Internationally. Believe it or not, the majority of the motorsport world regards two make series like we currently have as archaic and uninteresting. I think this is a great way forward for V8 Suprecar, as well as decreasing the financial burden on manufacturers and teams alike, this format will open the series up to a much greater fan base than it has ever had. I have previously owned a 3 Holdens, and having been suitably disappointed by quality shortcomings on all 3 occasions, I changed to a Japanese manufacturer. The technological advances that will come into the series with Japanese and German manufacturers will make the local teams heads spin, regardless of a ‘salary cap’. I cant wait for COTF next year, and although I am not a fan of the Kelly bros, I wish them every success in their Nissans (would love to see a retro 1984 G.Fury livery). I just hope that in the future Mazda recognise the value of having a presence in V8 Supercar going forward, and enter the Mazda 6 that i now drive.

I did stop watching touring car racing years ago, for pretty much the same reasons I find COTF unappealing.

Firstly it was crap how it was okay for the series to pretty much be a one make Sierra category but having a fancy pants Nissan was not on.

Secondly forcing us into a two make category was insular and too inward looking for me. That the cars have become virtual copies anyway, well what’s the point. Why not put support behind Formula racing of some sort?

I’d much rather they stuck with Super Touring, while not without issues, at least it can be believed.

If V8SC is not working I fail to see how turning fwd road cars into rwd racecars is going to provide a long term future. A short-mid term boost perhaps.

Do it properly and start a totally new category (or adopt one from overseas) instead of trying to band-aid what is essentially a flawed concept.

I’d rather watch a one make Porsche category tbh. At least a 911 is desirable. But as I said GT racing is of more interest to me. The 12hr with its variety was like the 1000 races I grew up with.

V8SC isn’t shrinking, it’s growing remarkably. IT’s now no longer V8SC:Australia, but simply V8SC, due to the FIA deeming it’s now an international series. They’re supporting the F1’s in Abu Dhabi this year and also *cough*Korea*ausmotive exclusive you’ve heard it here first. The TV figures don’t convey the massive ground root support these cars have, events in NT get ~1/3 of the territories population to them, likewise the support in Townsville, Sydney etc is just amazing. TV gets ~170,000 people.

In the mind of the everyday punter, there isn’t the same recognition about the equipment that goes into the car compared to the road car. If it looks the same and makes the right noise, then that’s enough for most people. I’m a bit like you Liam with your purist belief in “win on sunday, drive it off the showroom monday”, but V8SC has made it work for the last few years. Reducing costs, enhancing safety and setting up competitive racing will help raise the profile of motorspor and the series.

I too like GT racing, especially now with the larger fields and Carrera Cup is a brilliant thing to watch as well. But having a basic formula isn’t such a bad thing and can make the racing and watching of racing much better, ala NASCAR.

All that said, can we please have a DTM series 😉

I see arguments for both sides as valid but I still dislike the fact that Nissan has a product more suitable in the Infiniti M56 (V8 RWD) but would rather try and glorify the perception of this Liberty/ Accord competitor by putting racing stickers on it just so they can move a few off the showroom floor.

The people who turn around and buy one of these cars are not going to be motor racing enthusiasts. They are not going to see it racing and go wow I want one of them…Thats why Toyota sponsor the AFL to sell Camrys and Corollas and not waste their time in V8SC.

By all means have a hero car in your product line up for people to aspire to but surely that position is already filled by the GTR?

So go race the GTR in another series or show us a product a bit more relevant.

Paul, Nissan raced the GTR last year in the FIA GT1 World Championship. The GTR actually won the championship with Lucas Luhr and Michael Krumm. What engine powered the GTR? A 5.6 litre V8, RWD an engine/drivetrain combination which has never been produced for sale to the public. The GTR is not entered in this years GT1 World Championship, i am not sure why.
Also, the Infiniti is not marketed in Australia, so why would Nissan use their Infiniti branded vehicles in an Australian based racing series? I see your reasoning, but COTF regulations do not require the base vehicle to be sold in this country as a road going V8 RWD so marketing a locally sold passenger vehicle in direct competition to the existing racing stock makes better sense, don’t you think?
Ryan, I too would love to see a DTM style championship here. I think that is the ultimate goal for V8SC, and I think it may not be long before we see Mercedes, Audi or BMW join the series. One wonders whether the Mercedes-Vodafone relationship may be continued here when the current T8-Holden agreement expires. Also, Craig Lowndes has publicly said that he would like to pilot an Audi if the opportunity were to arise, and given Craig’s strong relationship with Audi it would not surprise if it happened sooner rather than later.
Liam, I agree with you that Super Tourers were not appealing. There was absolutely no chance of a local product being successful in that series, therefore interest died. Too many variables, RWD, FWD, 4WD, turbo, naturally aspirated, 2 litre, 2.5 litre, ballast etc etc. They sounded like hair dryers, were slow and sounded rubbish. Only a twit like Paul Morris could believe they were a good idea for Australia. On the other hand, COTF is a controlled V8 RWD platform, with manufacturers invited to apply their chosen donor vehicles bodywork to a template designed to produce parity and regulate costs. The cars will sound no different, and will continue to look good. Nothing unappealing there!

Haydn The GTR you mention is powered by a racing derivative of the same VK engine in the M56 which is rear wheel drive.
Infiniti plan to launch to the Australian market soon, probably sooner than the Altima will appear here.
Whether the M56 is on the list I dont know but my point was relevance to market which is still maintained.

Some of the information you have cited here is not entirely correct… “introduction of a control chassis and a control engine” – Yes there is a control chassis but there is NOT a control engine and never has this concept ever existed. Holden and ford will continue to produce their own engines and Nissan Motorsport/NISMO are producing their own engine to run in their car. This change from what I can see will give the racing of a single make category (similar to carrera cup and the mini’s of years gone by) without being a single make category.

Although this site is very opinionated against V8 Supercars, what we have here is something different and special. There is a lot of overseas interest (from people I know and have met while traveling) that watch V8 Supercars. V8 Supercars is becoming more appealing than DTM and World Touring Cars . Now that a new platform is being introduced that allows any manufacturer to join at a reasonable cost, the category can only grow and increase interest by allowing more than local commodores and falcons (which by the way are struggling to maintain the current level of involvement).

Roger, from the press release (published by Nissan) at the end of this article:

“It may use its own V8 engine with a parity system applied to ensure it’s on even performance levels with the existing cars, or elect to use a ‘category’ engine if it prefers to use already-established technology.”

On your second para, you may be right, if V8SC can look well beyond our shores to attract further interest/investment they could be on to a pretty good thing.

I’m also happy to admit that my terms of reference when criticising touring cars in Australia has been without even a second’s thought to creating a a new formula to be sent around the world. If that can work we need other countries/regions adopting V8SC regulations and running their own series.

My hang up is on the fact the manufacturers seem to want to make us believe there is a direct link between these racecars and the cars on the showroom floor. That’s a con.

But, if you forget any historical links to basing a series on production based models and consider V8SC as a unique category it probably does make more sense.

Trouble is, for now, it doesn’t look like that’s what V8SC want us to do.

I too think that the Nissan it is a little hard to swallow, but the way I see it these cars are not Holdens or Fords or Nissans – they are race cars sponsored by those companies. What we have here are motorsport TEAMS racing against each other. I love this aspect of it, and making the cars all on parity brings the teamwork to the fore.

I write about Indy car racing for a living and the V8s were my favorite part of the Surfers Paradise weekend. I had the pleasure of covering the Bathurst 1000 in 2005 and it was everything I hoped it would be (except for the snow flurries). I understand that the Holdens and Fords have become increasingly similar over the past decade in terms of components mandated by the regulations, but I am extremely disappointed to see that V8SC is going even further down the spec car path. I was always amused that most of the cars that NASCAR “stock cars” were modeled on for the last 20 years are front-wheel drive V-6 sedans, and allowing the Nissan Altima into V8s is quite similar. Toyota’s arrival into NASCAR did not create major negative waves, but the series as a whole has dropped about 30 percent in every measure from its peak circa 2001-06. Keep up the good work with your website – it’s a daily read for this Yank!

Toyota can join next and we’re back to the early 80’s….

I wonder if they have banned Mazda already?

I’m still amazed they didn’t use an Infiniti badged car, after all the advertisiing they were running at Albert Park (and yes, I know they sponsor RBR). Would have been a logical way to launch a ‘premium’ product into the Australian market.

3 Comments Lima,

This is the longest thread on ausmotive ever!

I can see both points of view with COTY. However, I kind of agree with Tom that it is teams competing. People who love cars already know the cars bear no resemblance to street cars. Nobody complains that a ferrari F1 or citroen WRC bears no resemblance to a road car. To be frank DTM cars bear little relationship to street cars either. For the average punter it is about supporting your brand.

Keep up the good work with ausmotive! Awesome site you have going here. Hopefully you have a bit more visibility due to this thread!

“Real” touring car racing in the old Group A or Super Touring regulations doesn’t exist anywhere in the world these days, V8SC is just as close to it as DTM or the WTCC/BTCC-style S2000 regulations.

Why? Safety, and I agree. Group A and Super Touring were series running race-prepared cars based on production models never designed to get anywhere closer to a race track than the spectators’ car park, and consequently they were simply too dangerous and not appropriate for a top-level driver/team-oriented series. You simply cannot compare touring car racing with GT racing and say “production-based racing works” because a GT racing car like a 911 GT3 or a R8 LMS is a purpose-built model designed for racing, unlike a normal car for normal people.

For the hardcore car nerds, we already have a production-based series in Australia, it’s called the Australian Manufacturers Championship. Last time I saw it on TV station was at a cafe last week at lunchtime on SpeedTV, with a grid of about ten cars racing on the short version of Eastern Creek in front of what looked like just as many marshals as spectators. There must be a reason that they don’t get to race at big events (let alone as the main category), attract sponsorship from companies bigger than Bob’s Exhaust Repairs, have cities lining up to host street races, sell TV rights for more than three FIA World Championships combined or have their presence make a significant impact on spectator numbers at the GP in Melbourne – it’s boring.

V8 Supercars on the other hand is sticking more or less with a system that works. They should only start looking at changes once it becomes less popular as a spectator sport in Australia than soccer, league, cricket, union or basketball.


Wake up guys… Ford produce V8s and Falcons run V8s… Holden (Freakin rat crap bailout spending MY TAX DOLLARS) produce V8s and Commondores run V8s…

Nissan use 4cyls and V6s… In my eye they may as well use a Rotary Engine it’s so far from what the models use!

Lol as long as it been used as a taxi I’m ok for it to be raced.. V8 supercars = taxi racing anyways..

im picking Toyota will be there in 2014. They have just confirmed 2 entrys in the NZ v8 Championship next season . They are goin to run the same tube chassis set up as supercars will be, and have confirmed that they will be using a US sourced TRD 5.0l v8, Simalur to the one currently used in the GT500 cars in Japan. This team has factory backing and i picking that they iron out a few thing in NZ before entering V8SC

Sounds to me all the Ford/Holden fans are worried another brand might come along and show them how it’s done! If they can make it cheaper to race, attract more teams, and have a better mix of manurfacturers then why not? The more the merrier if you ask me!
So what if it’s not buying a falcadore from your local dealer whacking a number and some racing stripes on it? Really? How many racing categories do this anyay? And how much attention do they get? Not as much as V8SC I bet.
People have said it might as well be NASCAR, sounds good to me, have you seen how many people turn up to those events?
We’re never gonna get back to “The good ol days” boys forget it! Watch it or don’t, I dont think the Chiefs of V8SC are gonna change back coz in my opinion they’re on to a winner.
And by the way I’m a Holden fan, but It’s good to see other brands coming back, and hopefully some new one too!!

Comments are closed.