This summer the Nissan ZEOD RC will become the first entry at Le Mans 24-hour race to run a one-hour lap of the Circuit de la Sarthe using nothing but electrical power. Equally impressive, though, is the new Nissan DIG-T R 1.5 liter turbo engine that will kick in once the electrical-only portion of the run is completed.
The 500mm by 400mm by 200mm combustion engine weighs just 40 kg (around 88 lbs.), and produces 400 horsepower. The company collaborated with French lubricant manufacturer Total to develop the engine.
According to the announcement from Nissan:
“Our engine team has done a truly remarkable job with the internal combustion engine,” said Darren Cox, Nissan’s Global Motorsport Director. “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.”