Nissan is keeping an eye on the development of the Holden V6 twin turbo engine as it reaches the ‘critical point' in deciding its path regarding its Supercars future beyond 2018.
The Japanese giant inked a two-year commitment to the category in September last year with the Nissan Altima V8 program, but is currently evaluating its global motorsport program for 2019.
The emergence of Supercars' Gen2 framework allowing the use of four and six cylinder engines is of particular interest as the marque makes it decision whether to extend its commitment to Supercars.
Triple Eight is the first team to commit to moving away from V8 power plants with the squad currently developing a 3.6 litre twin turbo V6, which is set to make its debut in 2018, before a full roll out in 2019.
Nissan will continue to run its V8 Altima package next season while discussions at headquarters in Japan continue regarding its global and local motorsport plans, including Supercars.
Should the marque continue into 2019 it is likely to opt for a change of body shape with the Altima no longer sold in Australia.
Nissan Australia boss Richard Emery is however keeping an eye on Holden V6 engine development regarding his brand's future Supercars plans, with NISMO offering several engine options which could be developed for the category.
“I think we've always consistently said we want to be in motorsport,” said Emery.
“That's a global attitude, not just a local attitude. It's just making sure we have the right local decisions to fit in with the global program.
“We are reaching our critical point again in terms of where this program, as in with Supercars, is. That kind of timetable is no different to what it was, has been the last couple of years.
“We've certainly been keeping in contact with those who are involved with that process from a global motorsport perspective.
“I'm not close enough to know how close they are to making some of those decisions. I'll know when I need to know. That will steer us somewhat to what we finalise our '19 program onwards.”
“Their (NISMO's) core business is engines. There's obviously derivatives of our sportscar endurance engine that was used in a number of different forms. It's in LMP3 now, LMP2, GT3 of course.
“There's plenty, they're not off the rack and have to have a lot of work done on them, but I suspect our path to being ready is a little bit shorter perhaps than theirs (Triple Eight).
“That's not to say we could put off the decision making but certainly there's a number of options available to us, not just that engine there's also the Super GT engine.
“I reckon that will somewhat depend on what their (Nissan's) attitude is to GT racing and how it applies to what we do here and what engines they would make available to us, if that was the pathway we chose.”
Emery confirmed that a decision to work on a particular engine from its pool is yet to be made.
However, if one of Nissan's current engines is selected, he expects there will be some work required for it to be adapted for use in a Supercar.
“There hasn't been any definitive, we're working on that engine, at this point in time,” he added.
“Some of the engines we have in our global program might work but in terms of putting it down, and the conversations we have with these guys (Kelly Racing), they'd like it to be further advanced.
“That's just the reality of corporate life in terms of honing to a particular decision to a particular engine.
“I think just packaging it into the chassis is the issue.
“These guys have some experience with the GT engine when we had the GT3 car running around, so they know what the engine configuration looks like roughly.
“But in terms of fitting in with the chassis, in terms of packaging the cooling, that's where the work needs to be done.
“I think we probably can do it quicker than others because of how much NISMO is an engine business.
“That's not to say you still want to have plenty of time, more time than you need because you never know what's going to happen.”