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Nissan unveils new zero emissions racer in Japan

After eight months of development, design and construction, Nissan’s Zero Emissions on Demand electric racecar (Zeod RC) was unveiled this week at the headquarters of Nissan’s performance arm, Nismo, in Yokohama, Japan.
The Zeod RC will race next year at Le Mans 24 Hours after being invited by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest to occupy the Garage 56 entry for vehicles showcasing new and innovative technology.
Nissan is using the Zeod RC as a test bed to develop new electric vehicle technologies for Nissan’s planned future LM P1 program. The initial prototype was revealed at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, but this week’s unveiling showcased revamped styling, new cooling inlets and aerodynamic updates.
“The ZEOD RC utilizes our technology gained through the development of the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC, the first EV racer based on the mass production zero emission vehicle,” said Nismo president Shoichi Miyatani. “The Leaf RC’s energy management and efficient energy recovery system that is suitable for racing are just examples. We believe these technologies serve as important steps for using EV for motor sports.”
The Nissan Zeod RC will become the first car to complete an entire race lap of the 13.6km Le Mans circuit on only electric power. The car will reach speeds in excess of 300km/h and lap the French circuit faster than an LM GTE car.
The driver will be able to switch between electric power and a small lightweight turbocharged IC engine. The car – which shares the same battery technology as the Nissan Leaf – will recharge the battery via regenerative braking.
“The Nissan Zeod RC will utilize technology never before seen at Le Mans,” said Nissan director of motorsport innovation, Ben Bowlby. “To see the car go down the Mulsanne Straight at 300km/h in virtual silence will be unique. Developing the battery technology to incorporate this into a Le Mans prototype is an enormous challenge, but the lessons learnt will not only be very beneficial for the future LM P1 program, but also we can use this information to assist in the development of future versions of the Nissan Leaf and other electric vehicles for the road.”

18 October 2013


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