ZEOD-RC, with the capability to reach speeds of more than 300km/h, is set to prove its abilities in next year’s La Mans race, it was announced today.
ZEOD RC, standing for the Zero Emission on Demand Racing Car, will provide Nissan with an opportunity to test innovative electric technologies including variants of electric drive power train. In 2014, it is going to compete in the world’s oldest 24-hour sports car race near the French town of La Mans in the category of innovative vehicles.
"Nissan has become a global leader in the development of zero emission automotive technology and the Nissan ZEOD RC will allow us to further develop those capabilities using the toughest endurance race in the world as a mobile test bed for our planned La Mans Prototype 1 (LM P1) power train," said Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President and Executive Committee member at Nissan Motor Company Limited.
Nissan has become a global leader in the electric-car market after introducing its Nissan LEAF (standing for Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family car) in 2010.
"The Nissan ZEOD RC is a natural progression that follows on from the development of the Nissan LEAF road car and the LEAF RC race car prototype. The technologies developed through the programme will form part of future innovations for road cars,” Palmer said.
Nissan LEAF uses an 80kW front mounted engine, the same that is being used in the Nissan LEAF RC race car. However, the current battery technology of LEAF doesn’t suffice the needs of an electric racing car competing at a Le Mans type of event. Ben Bowlby, the designer of ZEOD RC, believes the development of the racing car will help to tackle the obstacles on the way to ‘electrification’ of motorsport.
"The programme is designed to develop multiple technologies to evaluate how they could be used for a future LM P1 class return of Nissan at Le Mans. We are investigating multiple options. A Zero Emission on Demand option where the driver can switch between electric and petrol-powered drive is a future direction for road cars, so that will be tested in addition to pure electric power and other new technologies
Run as a Nissan / Nismo full factory programme with input from Japan, Europe and the USA, the programme design team is headed by Ben Bowlby who has been newly-appointed as Nissan's Director of Motorsport Innovation and previously worked on the Nissan DeltaWing.
Nissan today kicked off a unique aspect of the programme - fans getting the chance to unveil the car in the public area of the Le Mans circuit. Nissan intends to draw back the curtain for fans to provide continued updates via its partnership with YouTube and its Nismo.TV channel.