Prior to the past weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, whose top prize
once again went to Audi
, Nissan revealed a revolutionary race car it plans to enter next year in Le Mans’ special ‘Garage 56’ entry for technically advanced, innovative vehicles.
Here are exclusive photos of the new race car, taken at its debut in Le Mans.
The race car is called the ZEOD RC
(Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car) and as its name suggests can drive, when desired, with zero emissions. Nissan will use it to develop technologies that could one day be implemented on a new race car destined for Le Mans’ premier LMP1 category.
Few details about its powertrain were revealed at the launch, but Nissan said the driver will have the ability to select between electric and gasoline power sources, a concept Nissan is also considering implementing on some of its road cars in the future. The automaker also said the ZEOD RC utilizes the same lithium battery technology found in its Leaf electric hatch and is capable of speeds in excess of 186 mph.
A source told Motor Authority that the ZEOD RC will be able to run one lap of Le Mans’ Circuit de la Sarthe on pure electricity for every six laps done using gasoline, with the batteries topped up via regenerative sources. The powertrain is believed to be an extended-range electric setup, though Nissan has said it will trial various setups between now and next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The first tests of the ZEOD RC will start as early as this summer.
For our complete coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, click here
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