After months of development, design and construction, Nissan’s Nissan ZEOD RC electric race car was unveiled Oct. 17 at the headquarters of Nissan’s performance arm, NISMO, in Yokohama.
The Zero Emissions on Demand racer (ZEOD) has been built in 33 weeks after Nissan Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn announced in February Nissan’s goal of returning to the Le Mans 24 Hours with electric power.
Nissan said the ZEOD RC will race next year at Le Mans 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 show car of the electric racer was first revealed at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, but today’s unveil at the NISMO headquarters showcased the evolution of the design featuring 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 8.5-mile Le Mans circuit on nothing but electric power. The car is expected by Nissan to reach speeds in excess of 300 kilometers per hour (185 mph) and lap the famous French circuit faster than an LM GTE car.
Per Nissan, the driver will be able to switch between electric power and a small lightweight turbocharged internal combustion engine. The car – which shares the same battery technology as the Nissan Leaf- will recharge the battery via regenerative braking.
Fans will get the chance to take a close look at the Nissan ZEOD RC in the Fuji paddock throughout the course of the this weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship.
“This weekend is an important milestone in the journey to Le Mans for the Nissan ZEOD RC,” said Nissan Global Motorsport Director Darren Cox. “Our goal for the program is to draw back the curtain for the fans to see the innovative technology that Nissan is developing. We could not think of a better place than the Fuji round of the World Endurance Championship for the actual ZEOD RC to appear in public for the first time. We have interrupted our intense testing in the UK to fly the car to Japan for this display for the Japanese fans.”