The 1990 Nissan NPT-90
An unfortunate successor, but a beautiful one
Nissan during the mid to late 80’s had the most successful GTP program out of any Japanese manufacturer with the Electramotive ZX-Turbo’s. The NPT-90 was the successor of the ZX-Turbo, it never was as successful as the ZX-Turbo, but became one of the biggest rivals to the British competitors, Jaguar.
Photo by: Boca Diecast
Nissan bought Electramotive in 1990 and renamed it NPTI (Nissan Performance Technology Inc) and the NPT-90 was born. The car first debuted at the Topeka 300km in early May 1990. After qualifying a mighty 2nd on its first outing, it fell back and finished 8th. After a retirement at the Lime Rock 150 laps the car first saw success in July of 1990. At the NPT-90’s third outing at the Mid-Ohio 500km it swept the competition off the floor, qualifying pole and taking a win driven by Geoff Brabham and Derek Daly. After some strong finishes including finishing 1st at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1991, Geoff Brabham won his 4th championship in a row in the NPT-90. After 1991, Nissan couldn’t stay dominant and a new Japanese manufacturer took the crown.
Photo by: Sosumi Photography
In 1992 NPTI did compete but by this time the car made an too much downforce which resulted in the tyres not being able to handle the force, meaning the cars ended up in retirements. Yoshi Suzuka who was the main designer behind the NPT-90 was called back to Japan to work on the new NP35 Group C/ JSPC project. Gianpiero Moretti was the only chance the NPT-90 had but later he retired the NPT-90’s for good and NPTI folded. The NPT-90 never ended up dominating GTP like it’s ZX-T predecessors, however this was not the end of Nissan in IMSA.
Keeping it short and sweet, the NPT-90 had a 3 litre twin turbocharged V6, the same one used in the mighty ZX-T. Twinned to a 6 speed Hewland gearbox, the NPT-90 produced a whopping 750HP. It had a lightweight aluminium honeycomb monocoque and overall weighed 950kg. The NPT-90 changed a lot during the 1991-1992 seasons, including the name changed to the NPT-91 half way through the 1991 season.