Friday, 21 June 2013

Race - Charging ahead

Unveiled earlier today at Le Mans is yet another contender for the 24 Hours race, but not this year! Using the same technology as it's Leaf passenger car, the Nissan ZEOD RC is the world’s fastest electric racing car. It will reach speeds of more than 300 km/h.

The ZEOD RC (Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car) will make its race debut at next year’s Le Mans 24 Hour. The car will compete under the ACO’s ‘Garage 56’ entry – for vehicles that showcase new and innovative technology.

The Nissan ZEOD RC 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 programme in 2012.

Multiple options are being investigated. 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.

While current battery technology does not provide the energy storage capacity to race a solely electric Le Mans prototype, Nissan ZEOD RC designer Ben Bowlby believes the development of the car will be an important step in the “electrification” of the racecars of the future.

“Developing a car like this provides an incredibly challenging test bed for what could be highly-effective options for road cars of the future. Throughout the next twelve months we will be testing multiple drive train options in an extensive test programme,” Bowlby said.

Nissan will partner with Michelin to produce tyres for the new prototype and who previously assisted the Nissan DeltaWing programme. The Nissan ZEOD RC will make its testing debut later this summer.

Whatever next, clockwork rally cars?

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