A Closer Examination of the Nissan Pulsar GTI-R Front End

I recently posted a story about winter rallies that referenced a Nissan Pulsar GTI-R in the 1992 Monte Carlo Rally that had an image of a Nissan Pulsar GTI-R with an upside down vehicle name on the front without an explanation of what the cause was.  The original image is show below:

Nissan Pulsar GTI-R With The Upsidedown “Nissan”

The “Nissan” name was written on a lightpod cover that had been mounted upside-down.  It turns out that Nissan had problems with aerodynamics and overheating with the Nissan Pulsar GTI-R.  As part of the solution, Nissan mounted an aerodynamic shaped lightpod cover on the front of the car which required that the Nissan Pulsar GTI-R have its lights in place at all times.  The image below shows in a little better detail how the lightpod cover was mounted.  The smooth shape of the lightpod cover would help the flow of air into the rather small grille on the Pulsar GTI-R.

Better View Of the Nissan Light Pod Cover

Another trick used by Nissan, and just barely visible in the image at the top of this post, was to use the rally license plate to help direct more air into the engine bay to aid in cooling.  Note in the image below how the license plate is mounted and bent in such a way to help direct cool air into the engine bay.

Creative Use of the Rally License Plate To Aid Cooling

The image below shows the Nissan Pulsar GTI-R that was driven by Stig Blomqvist/Benny Melander in the 1992 Lombard RAC Rally of Great Britain.  This image was taken at night when the lightpod cover was taken off the car to reveal the four rally lights behind the lightpod cover.

Stig Blomqvist’s Nissan Pulsar GTI-R With The Lightpod Cover Removed

By the way, Blomqvist’s Nissan DNF’d at this rally as a result of an off-road adventure.  The other Nissan Pulsar GTI-R, shown in the above image, with competition number “5” was driven by Tommi Makinen to an 8th place finish, 12 minutes behind the winner, Carlos Sainz, in a Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD.

It appears that Nissan had somewhat resolved the cooling issue by the time of this season ending Lombard RAC Rally, as the Lombard license plate on Blomqvist’s Nissan does not appear to be mounted to deflect air into the engine bay.

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One Response to A Closer Examination of the Nissan Pulsar GTI-R Front End

  1. mikekamm says:

    Steve that is very interesting indeed! Nissan’s top mount intercooler was a poor design and was the achilles heel of that car in the WRC.

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