Lucas Ordonez has become a pivotal member of the Nissan Motorsports team. He was the original winner of the Nissan GT Academy contest, which brought together video game racers to see who could rise to the challenge and transition their skills in real cars on real tracks. Ordonez has gone on to drive for Nissan at a variety of racing events including the 24 Hours of Spa and Le Mans. Now he's going to be tasked with pushing an electric racing machine around the famed French circuit.
The vehicle is called the Nissan ZEOD RC, and it's an extended-range electric racing machine boasting architecture similar to that of the DeltaWing. This means a wide track out back that narrows to a much narrower front end. Nissan is currently testing out a range of electric powertrains for the ZEOD RC, and it plans to run the car during next year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. It will run out of the special Garage 56, which is earmarked for technically innovative vehicles, much like the original DeltaWing that came before it.
We've heard that the car is powered by a system not too far removed from what is currently employed under the skin of the Nissan Leaf. Here, however, it's capable of pushing the ZEOD RC up to a top speed of 186 miles per hour. Since it's an extended-range electric vehicle, it is capable of utilizing gasoline as well. Reports suggest that the car will be able to run one complete lap of the circuit under purely electric power before it switches to gasoline for another six laps to regenerate more electric juice.
Just as the DeltaWing looks to push the idea of what racing cars can look like and are capable of, the Nissan ZEOD RC takes this idea even further. The 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans should be an exciting event, thanks in part to Ordonez piloting this sleek machine around the track.