Acting as a second power source for the Nissan ZEOD RC Le Mans racer, the Nissan DIG-T has more power per kilogram than a Formula 1 engine. Nissan’s 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbo produces 400 horsepower from a (approximately 88 lbs) 40kg engine.
The Nissan ZEOD is an electric racer that has a gas engine to continue running after the electric power is depleted. “The Nissan ZEOD RC will become the first entry at Le Mans to complete a lap of the Circuit de la Sarthe under nothing but electric power in June. A single lap of each stint (a fuel “stint” lasts approximately one hour) will be electric powered. Then, the new Nissan DIG-T R 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbo engine will take over.” – – Nissan
Now, consider this: the Nissan ZEOD RC is a completely different type of machine racing at Le Mans. There has never been a vehicle that raced competitively at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that could battle using just electric power. Nissan is putting a lot of faith in the overall design of the Nissan ZEOD RC as it does nothing in a conventional way.
“The Nissan ZEOD RC will become the first entry at Le Mans to complete a lap of the Circuit de la Sarthe under nothing but electric power in June. A single lap of each stint (a fuel “stint” lasts approximately one hour) will be electric powered. Then, the new Nissan DIG-T R 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbo engine will take over.
The incredibly small engine weighs only 40 kilograms (88 pounds) but produces an astonishing 400 horsepower. The base engine is only 500 mm tall x 400 mm long x 200 mm wide (19.68″ x 15.74″ x 7.78″). While the engine is technically too heavy to take as carry-on luggage on a plane, it would easily fit inside the luggage guides seen at major airports around the world.
Revving to 7,500 rpm, the Nissan DIG-T R produces 380 Nm of torque. At a ratio of 10 horsepower per kilogram, the new engine actually has a better power-to-weight ratio than the new engines to be used in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship this year.” – – Nissan
It’s a curious thing: Presenting new technology at the 24 Hours of Le Mans can be rather rewarding. Consider the risks Audi took with its diesels or that amazing Mazda 787B. History tends to remember the risk-takers over those who play it cool.
Speaking of remarkable engines…
According to Nissan: The Nissan ZEOD RC will undergo an extensive test program over the next four months prior to it making its race debut at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours on June 14-15.