Hybrid racer to make its debut at Le Mans next year, shown for the first time in Japan this weekend
Darren Moss
17 October 2013

The Nissan ZEOD electric racer has been revealed at the company's HQ in Japan.

The Zero Emissions on Demand race car will race at the 24 hours of Le Mans endurance event next year, and will occupy the 'Garage 56' entry for vehicles showcasing new technology. It will become the first car capable of completing a full lap of Le Mans using nothing but electric power.

Able to reach speeds in excess of 185mph, Nissan says the car will lap the famous Le Mans circuit faster than a conventional racer in the LMGTE class. Super FT and GT1 champion Michael Krumm will join Lucas Ordonez to continue developing the car, with both drivers already mooted to race the ZEOD at Le Mans.

Following an initial unveiling at Le Mans earlier this year, this finished model features revised styling, new cooling inlets and different aerodynamics.

Nissan says it will use the ZEOD to develop new technology for its planned entry into LMP1 endurance racing. 

The company says technology developed from the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC has gone into the ZEOD, including that car's regenerative braking system. Over the course of 11 laps, and 55 'brake events', drivers will be able to collect enough energy to run a full lap on electric power alone. It'll need re-fueling every 12 laps, as part of Garage 56 entry rules.

Nissan says ZEOD drivers will be able to choose between electric-only power, using twin electric motors, and a hybrid mode which activates a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine with about 300bhp. The powertrain runs through a five-speed paddle-shift transmission.

Nissan's head of Motorsport Innovation Ben Bowlby said the ZEOD would utilise technology "never before seen at Le Mans."

"To see the car go down the Mulsanne Straight at 186mph in virtual silence will be unique. Developing the battery technology to incorporate this into a Le Mans prototype is an enormous challenge, but the lessons learnt will not only be very beneficial for the future LMP1 program, but also we can use this information to assist in the development of future versions of the Nissan Leaf and other electric vehicles for the road"

Although the ZEOD is the spiritual successor to the Nissan-backed DeltaWing racer, the firm stresses that "every last nut and bolt" on the ZEOD is new.

The car will be showcased throughout the latest round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Fuji.

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17 October 2013

I don't know how will this appear in Le Mans, but all these are dangers and alarms for Audi. They should work harder to keep their place.

17 October 2013

I hope it will make some kind of noise, I can just imagine it coming up behind a slower car and the driver won't know it is there and will crash into it.

17 October 2013

How much external noise can a LeMans driver hear anyway with earplugs, a helmet and a racing engine screaming away just behind them?

17 October 2013

sabamehrm - I don't understand what you mean by how it will appear? Audi are complacent and have been for a long time at LM......let's see how Porsche do next year as if they don't beat them in 2014 then they probably will in 2015. And it'll be a nice refreshing change when they do.

owenmahamilton - Me too and what you've said is pretty much exactly what happened to the DeltaWing Sad

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