If you weren’t already convinced that Nissan was the kind of automaker which didn’t blindly follow trends then the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo should provide overwhelming proof that Nissan can be a maverick.
Vehicles built for endurance races like the 24-Hour Le Mans are mid-engine, rear-wheel drive racers all across the board. This is largely due to the unique restrictions of the race but this arrangement is popular because Le Mans features tight curves where under-steer could be detrimental. A rear-positioned engine prevents under-steer.
Going against the grain, Nissan has built a front-engine, front-axle hybrid motor vehicle. In addition to curves, Le Mans has a lot of straight-aways. This means that a more aerodynamic car could make a huge difference. This is exactly what Nissan has done, designing a racer that creates an enormous amount of downforce.
Front-wheel drive also means a more efficient race car. Couple that with the GT-R LM Nismo’s electrical energy recovery system, and the efficiency reaches superior levels. A more efficient entry will fare better at an endurance race for obvious reasons.