Nissan Motors and its performance partner NISMO has finally revealed the engine that will feature in its 2014 ZEOD RC electrified race car. The engine is a turbocharged 1.5-litres three-cylinder putting out an incredible 400 horsepower and peak torque of 380 nm. The new mill tips the scales at just 40 kg (88 lbs).
According to Nissan, at a ratio of 4.5 horsepower per pound, the new engine even has a better power-to-weight ratio than the new turbocharged 1.6-liter V-6 engines to be used in Formula One this season.
In the ZEOD RC, the engine will form part of an advanced plug-in hybrid drivetrain. Nissan says the driver will be able to switch between electric power and gasoline power, and the batteries will be charged via regenerative braking. Both the electric and gasoline powerplants run through the same five-speed gearbox that transfers power to the ground via Michelin tyres.
For every hour that the ZEOD RC races, the car will be able to complete one lap of Le Mans’ 8.5-mile Circuit de la Sarthe on electric power alone. This will make it the first race car in history to complete a lap in a sanctioned form of motorsport with zero emissions.
The ZEOD RC will undergo an extensive test program over the next four months prior to it making its race debut at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours on June 14-15.