Nissan is packing a tiny three cylinder engine in a race car. The
engine will do a single lap under full electric power but the rest
will be powered by a new 1.5 turbo charged three cylinder engine.
Nissan Unveils Revolutionary Engine to Complement Electric ZEOD RC
-1.5-liter three-cylinder turbo produces 400 horsepower from a 40kg
-More power per kilo than a Formula 1 engine
-New technical partnership with Total lubricants revealed
LONDON Nissan will not only break new ground with the unique
electric power plant aboard the Nissan ZEOD RC at Le Mans this year,
but the accompanying internal combustion engine is set to
revolutionize standards of performance and efficiency.
The Nissan ZEOD RC will become the first entry at Le Mans to complete
a lap of the Circuit de la Sarthe under nothing but electric power in
June. A single lap of each stint (a fuel "stint" lasts
approximately one hour) will be electric powered. Then, the new Nissan
DIG-T R 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbo engine will take over.
The incredibly small engine weighs only 40 kilograms (88 pounds) but
produces an astonishing 400 horsepower. The base engine is only 500 mm
tall x 400 mm long x 200 mm wide (19.68" x 15.74" x
7.78"). While the engine is technically too heavy to take as
carry-on luggage on a plane, it would easily fit inside the luggage
guides seen at major airports around the world.
Revving to 7,500 rpm, the Nissan DIG-T R produces 380 Nm of torque. At
a ratio of 10 horsepower per kilogram, the new engine actually has a
better power-to-weight ratio than the new engines to be used in the
FIA Formula 1 World Championship this year.
With the entire concept of the Nissan ZEOD RC focusing heavily on
downsizing and efficiency, Nissan turned to new lubricants partner
Total to help develop the engine. The French lubricants manufacturer
has worked closely with Nissan engineers to develop fuel and
lubricants to maximize the potential of the engine.
The Nissan ZEOD RC will occupy "Garage 56" at this year's Le
Mans 24 Hours, an additional entry reserved by the Automobile Club de
l'Ouest for new and ground breaking technologies never previously seen
at the classic French endurance event.
Lessons learned from the development of the revolutionary racecar will
also be used in the development of Nissan's planned entry into the LM
P1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2015.
"Our engine team has done a truly remarkable job with the
internal combustion engine," said Darren Cox, Nissan's Global
Motorsport Director. "We knew the electric component of the
Nissan ZEOD RC was certainly going to turn heads at Le Mans, but our
combined zero emission on demand electric/petrol powerplant is quite a
stunning piece of engineering. Nissan will become the first major
manufacturer to use a three-cylinder engine in major international
motorsport. We're aiming to maintain our position as industry leaders
in focusing on downsizing. Lessons learned from the development of the
engine will be seen in Nissan road cars of the future.
"Our aim is to set new standards in efficiency in regards to
every aspect of the car: powertrain, aerodynamics and handling. For
the powertrain, we have worked closely with the team at Total to not
only reduce friction inside the engine but within all components of
the powertrain. Friction is the enemy of horsepower, and tackling that
has been one of the efficiency targets we have concentrated on
After extensive dyno testing, the Nissan ZEOD RC hit the track for the
first time last week with both the electric and internal combustion
engines in place. Both the gasoline and electric powerplants run
through the same five-speed gearbox that transfers power to the ground
via Michelin tires.
"Being chosen by a car manufacturer as a technological partner to
achieve a demonstration of innovation is always a source of pride,
especially on this legendary race 24 Hours of Le Mans. It drives our
researchers to find solutions and get the most out of the technical
specifications as well as the fuel economy properties that our TOTAL
QUARTZ lubricants range provides to all passengers cars," said
Philippe Girard, Scientific Delegate for Total.
The Nissan ZEOD RC will undergo an extensive test program over the
next four months prior to it making its race debut at this year's Le
Mans 24 Hours on June 14-15.
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