Hybrid Le Mans racer aims to set new records in June, powered by a new 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine
Darren Moss
27 January 2014

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.

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Comments
4

27 January 2014
No way does a 1.5 turbo engine weigh only 40kgs. That must be a misunderstanding. Perhaps the electric motor is 40kgs.

27 January 2014
I read the press release earlier today, it definitely said it was the engine (500mm x 400mm x 200mm). It talks about 'the base engine' so none of the ancilliaries.


28 January 2014
its the head, block and sump with internals (no manifolds, ancillaries etc...)

27 January 2014
A base block more realistic, still that's amazingly light for a 1.5 capacity.
Engines like that will make electric cars redundant.
If 1.5 = 400bhp.
A 750cc 200bhp?
A 375cc 100bhp?
So the future cars like Golf and Focus could have 375cc petrol engines with electric hybrid.

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