Nissan to join V8 Supercars in 2013?

UPDATE: It's official - Nissan to enter V8 Supercars from 2013.
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A report in the Daily Telegraph suggests that Nissan is expected to enter the V8 Supercars championship next year as part of the Car Of The Future program started by Mark Skaife in 2010.

The official announcement, rumoured to be at Melbourne's Crown Casino tomorrow, will apparently see Nissan return to the series it dominated back in the early 1990s.

Nissan's then R32 GT-R was outlawed as it proved too good for Holden and Ford's entry. Don't hold your breath though, because the current supercar-killing R35 Nissan GT-R isn't going to be joining the series.

The Car of the Future rules are strict in that any new entrant will have to make use of a naturally aspirated V8.

Nissan does have a few V8s in its parts bin, two that come to mind are the 5.7-litre V8 it's putting in the new Patrol (298kW of power and 550Nm of torque) and the 5.0-litre V8 in the Infiniti FX50 (291kW and 500Nm) but, then again, the Car of the Future rules will outlaw both engines.

In order to keep the competition even, Nissan's car will be nearly-identical to both its Holden and Ford rivals except in the outer shell.

As to what model Nissan will enter into the series, that will remain to be seen. Of course the GT-R would be a dream candidate (and would likely give the V8 supercars a run for their money) but given the AWD, two-door shape and 3.8-litre twin-turbo configuration it will have no chance of getting past the rules, so perhaps it'll be a a Nissan Altima shell?

It's all unverified and mostly guess work at the moment but if the report in true, tomorrow is going to be a big day for V8 supercars. The championship will certainly benefit from the addition of another brand or two. It will more than likely entice massive new interest in the series, which has been relatively stagnant in recent years.