Nissan has revealed the first technical details of its new three-cylinder 1.5-litre engine that makes up part of the powertrain of its radical ZEOD RC hybrid race car due to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
The ZEOD RC, which aims to become the first car to complete a full lap of the Le Mans circuit using only electric power, uses a new three-cylinder, 1.5-litre turbocharged engine. The 40kg powerplant provides the racer with 395bhp and 280lb ft of torque, and will propel the ZEOD RC to its 185mph top speed. The engine has a rev limit of 7500rpm, and runs through a five-speed paddle-shift transmission.
Nissan has harvested the regenerative braking system from the Nissan Leaf to help power the ZEOD RC's electric motor. The company says that in order to build up enough energy to complete a single lap of the 8.47-mile Circuit de la Sarthe, the racer must first complete 11 laps on petrol power alone.
During that time, the car will generate enough electricity to fill its battery by harvesting energy from normal braking, thus it will be able to then complete a lap on electric power alone.
The ZEOD RC was revealed in October, with Nissan announcing it would occupy the 'Garage 56' entry for vehicles showcasing new technology at this year's race. Nissan is planning to use data collected from the car to help develop its own planned entry into LMP1 endurance racing.
Although the car is the spiritual successor to the Deltawing racer of last year, Nissan has stressed that "every last nut and bolt" on the ZEOD RC is new.
A three-seat sports car concept based on the Deltawing's proportions, dubbed BladeGlider, has recently been confirmed for production by Nissan product chief Andy Palmer.