Called The Nissan DIG-T R, it is three-cylinder turbo unit, has a displacement of 1.5 liters and will be able to generate 400 horsepower. The gasoline unit is characterized by its very low dimensions: a height of 50 cm, a length of 40 cm and weighs only 40 kilos.
Moreover, the Japanese promotes the engine sizes by the fact that it would fit into the hand luggage storage compartment from most passenger aircraft.
“Our engine team has done a truly remarkable job with the internal combustion engine,” said Nissan’s Global Motorsport Director Darren Cox. “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.”
In addition to the petrol engine, the Nissan ZEOD RC will also use an electric motor powerful enough for the experimental model to go on a whole tour of the Le Mans circuit in all-electric mode. Basically, the first lap of each stint (a fuel stint lasts about one hour) will be covered only by the energy supplied from the Lithium-Ion batteries before the pilot will use the car’s hybrid system.
The Nissan DIG-T R produces a torque value of 380 Nm at 7,500 rpm. At a ratio of 10 horsepower per kilogram, the new engine is actually more powerful than any new engines to be used in Formula 1 this year. The whole Nissan RC ZEOD concept focused heavily on reducing engine capacity and efficiency. Nissan has chosen to partner Total, playing in the lubricants segment, which helped to develop this engine. The French lubricants manufacturer has worked closely with Nissan engineers to maximize the potential of the engine.
“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 Sarthe circuit which accommodates the 24 hours race at Le Mans has a length of 13.629 km, the lap record being set by Loic Duval in 2010, when he was clocked at 3:19.074 driving a Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. The Nissan ZEOD RC, whose name comes from the Zero Emission On Demand Race Car, will occupy the famous 56 garage in the paddock at Le Mans circuit dedicated to experimental vehicles. Meanwhile, Nissan is already preparing for participation in the LMP1 class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the 2015 season.