The Nissan ZEOD RC is revolutionary and innovative in so many ways, it’s hard to choose which aspect of the car to talk about first. But it’s really the engine that’s stealing all the attention—an unbelievably tiny engine, the Nissan DIG-T R, mated to a unique electric power plant for added efficiency. The ZEOD RC will use this special powertrain to record the first-ever electric power-only lap on the Circuit de la Sarthe this June at Le Mans.
The Nissan DIG-T R is sending shockwaves throughout the automobile world. A 1.5L three-cylinder turbo engine, weighing in at only 88 pounds and small enough for a single person to carry, the DIG-T R still stuffs more than 400 horsepower worth of power inside its relatively tiny skeleton.
The ZEOD RC is the perfect car on which to test out the new engine, too, since the new race car was designed specifically to be as efficient as possible. “Our aim is to set new standards in efficiency in regards to every aspect of the car: powertrain, aerodynamics and handling,” Darren Cox, director of Nissan’s Global Motorsport, said. “Friction is the enemy of horsepower, and tackling that has been one of the efficiency targets we have concentrated on heavily.”
The new engine fit exactly into that agenda, and according to Cox, represents the general direction Nissan’s engine technology is now headed. “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.” Here at Lewis Nissan, we’re salivating about seeing the ZEOD RC on the track, yet we’re even more excited to see what Nissan has up their sleeve next.