Nissan unveils petrol engine for ZEOD RC Le Mans 24 Hours car

The petrol engine that will form part of the powertrain of the Nissan ZEOD RC Le Mans 24 Hours racer will fit into the overhead locker on a airliner

Nissan unveils petrol engine for ZEOD RC Le Mans 24 Hours car

The Japanese manufacturer has confirmed that the bespoke engine in the ZEOD, which will take the Garage 56 spot at Le Mans reserved for an experimental machine, is a 1.5-litre three-cylinder direct-injection turbo.

The 400bhp Nissan DIG-T R engine weighs just 40kg and at just 500mm tall and 400mm long would easily fit the hand-luggage size guides for most major airlines.

Nissan global motorsport director Darren Cox said: "Downsizing is very important in the automotive industry; we already have three-cylinder engines in our range and there are more coming.

"This is the first time that this configuration has been used at the top-level of motorsport, but that is because we are pushing the boundaries in terms of light weighting.

"There are a lot of expensive materials in there and the crankshaft is a work of art. The engine is a stunning piece of engineering."

At the wheel of the Nissan ZEOD

Cox stressed that the engine had been developed by globally in the same way at the ZEOD's chassis, but said that elements of that development had taken place in the UK.

The ZEOD ran for the first time in petrol-electric configuration last week at the Bruntingthorpe proving ground in the UK. Cox explained that a further 20 days of testing are planned for around Europe in the run-up to Le Mans on June 14/15.

Cox would not reveal the name of the driver, but stated that it wasn't nominated ZEOD tester Lucas Ordonez for scheduling reasons.

The ZEOD - which stands for zero emissions on demand - has been designed to complete one lap of the 8.47-mile Circuit de la Sarthe purely on electric power during each stint between refueling stops.

The car will not work as a conventional hybrid.

Instead, retrieved energy will only be returned to the track during the one fully-electric lap each stint, during which the ZEOD should hit 300km/h (186mph) on the Mulsanne Straight.

Nissan has revealed a technical partnership with oil company Total to develop new lubricants for the new lightweight engine.

shares
comments
A new dawn for US sportscar racing

Previous article

A new dawn for US sportscar racing

Next article

Toyota releases teaser images of TS040 HYBRID WEC car

Toyota releases teaser images of TS040 HYBRID WEC car
Load comments
How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge helped Toyota to keep clear Plus

How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge helped Toyota to keep clear

Despite going stride for stride for pace at Portimao, Alpine’s grandfathered LMP1 couldn’t convert pole position into a sustained victory fight against Toyota. And due to rules and car limitations that are set in stone, the French manufacturer will be searching for solutions in its own battle of endurance

WEC
Jun 14, 2021
Toyota hits the ton — charting 100 world championship sportscar starts Plus

Toyota hits the ton — charting 100 world championship sportscar starts

The Japanese manufacturer is celebrating its 100th world championship prototype start in this weekend's Portimao 8 Hours round of the World Endurance Championship. Here are the major milestones on the road to three figures since the earliest low-key days of its entry into the Group C arena nearly 40 years ago

WEC
Jun 12, 2021
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Plus

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

OPINION: Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Plus

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory

WEC
May 4, 2021
Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship Plus

Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship

Beyond the slender grid of headline-grabbing hypercars, there are numerous subplots and changes to look out for in the new season of the WEC, which gets underway at Spa this weekend. Here's the seven key things you need to know about

WEC
Apr 30, 2021
What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Plus

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

WEC
Apr 29, 2021
How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era Plus

How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era

The 2021 World Endurance Championship kicks off at Spa this weekend, but for the first time since its 2012 inception there will be no works Aston Martins in the GTE-Pro class. As its new era in Formula 1 begins, Aston leaves behind a legacy of success courtesy of its Prodrive-run factory programme that was a hit from the word go in 2005

WEC
Apr 27, 2021
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Plus

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021