Posts Tagged ‘zeod rc’

Next-Gen Nissan GT-R to Use Le Mans Hybrid Technology

Posted by Stephen On Monday, June 9th, 2014

A couple weeks ago, Nissan released their first official teasers for their reentry into the Le Mans in the highly competitive LMP1 category. The car they’ll be racing with will be the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo, and Nissan hopes that it will finally win them a Le Mans championship title.

What Nissan didn’t officially tell us last week is that this upcoming Nissan GT-R LM Nismo will also set the stage for the next production-spec Nissan GT-R. The news comes from an interview between Autocar and Nissan VP Andy Palmer. Throughout the interview, Palmer dropped several interesting hints as to what we can expect from Nissan’s next Godzilla.

2014 Nissan GT-R

There’s one quote in particular that reveals an important element of the next GT-R. At the launch of the GT-R LM NISMO, Palmer was quoted saying, “If you go to the patent office, you’ll find something called R Hybrid, so there’s obviously a connection there.”

What’s that?

The next GT-R will come with a hybrid powertrain, at least as an option?

It seems likely, especially since Nissan had already hinted that the next GT-R might use “electrification” to achieve the performance enhancements we all want without raising emissions. Palmer elaborated, saying, “We’re on a road towards low emissions – and eventually zero emissions – that is relevant to all cars. What’s interesting about hybrids is that they not only improve fuel economy, but they also improve performance, so therefore it is relevant.”

Nissan had already stated that their mission with the GT-R LM NISMO, in addition to taking home a championship title, is to revitalize the connection between motorsports and road cars. So, to base the next commercial Nissan GT-R on this new GT-R race car is actually a logical next step.

“We very clearly want to make technological linkages between future evolutions of the GT-R and evolutions of what we do in LMP1… Just to give you an example, consider wing mirrors. Our ZEOD RC hybrid racer doesn’t have wing mirrors. If you think about it, how stupid are they? They add drag, screw up fuel efficiency and their hopeless as visual aids compared to cameras.”

This explains why the ZEOD RC has round view mirrors instead of wing mirrors. Just like wing mirrors were originally introduced into road cars through the world of motorsports, Nissan hopes to reverse the trend the same way. This is just one example of how they hope to reignite the connection between motorsports and commercial cars.

As for exactly what specs we can expect from the next Nissan GT-R’s powertrain, it’ll likely keep the same 3.8L twin-turbo V6 with 542bhp used in the current model, but rumors hint that it’ll also introduce a hybrid system developed by F1-based Williams Advanced Engineering. This is the same engineering firm that developed the hybrid technology for the Audi R18 LMP1 racer, so it’s sure to be impressive.


New Nissan GT-R LM NISMO to Conquer 2015 Le Mans 24-Hour Race

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Nissan GT-R LM NISMO

At a press conference in Europe last Friday, Nissan confirmed their intention to make a dramatic entry into the Le Mans 24 Hours race starting next year. Except, it won’t be in the Garage 56 category like they were with their quirky-but-cool ZEOD RC; it’ll be with a serious LMP1 category contender coming in the form of a new Nissan GT-R LM NISMO.

Just how fearsome will this new Le Mans NISMO be? Take a look for yourself below; it’s pretty scary:

As you can see, Nissan is deliberately keeping an air of mystery about their newest GT-R. All we can see is the vague silhouette in the image at the top of this post and the quad taillights in the creepy teaser video. Obviously, this doesn’t tell us a whole lot about what we can expect from the 2015 GT-R LM NISMO.

Thankfully, Nissan VP Andy Palmer had more than a little bit to say about Nissan’s entry into next year’s Le Mans. At the press conference he explained, “We want to win in a very different way to that of our rivals. We won’t be turning up in a vehicle which is basically another hybrid that looks like another Porsche, Audi or Toyota – they all look the same to me – our intention is to do something that is a little bit different.”

However, next year’s Nissan GT-R LM NISMO will aim to do more than just break trends; Palmer explained that the Japanese automaker still has “unfinished business” in Le Mans racing. As you can see in the infographic below, it’s one of the few major motorsport events that Nissan has never won.

Nissan Racing Performance

So, while the new GT-R will certainly look good, Palmer also describes it as Nissan’s chance to target victory on yet another frontier. “We know that LMP1 competition is very tough, with serious manufacturer competition, but we are absolutely determined to make our cars competitive and operate strongly against those competitors.”

Finally, Andy Palmer revealed one last motive for entry into the Le Mans LMP1 category, and it’s one that we’ve hinted at before. A passionate Palmer emphasized, “Believe me, I think this is the car that will go down in the annals of time and be one of those cars which will be long remembered, not only for the fact that it will have won Le Mans, but also because it reset the real meaning of NISMO as a link between success on the track and success on the road.”

Now, those are bold, bold words. This guy has either drunk the hyperbole Kool-Aid one too many times, or he knows something we (and Porsche, Toyota and Audi) don’t. Is he nuts, or did Nissan create the NISMO flux capacitor? Only time will tell.

Given NISMO’s recent success, Nissan is justified in believing that now is the time to reignite the connection between the racetrack and the road. This year’s Le Mans promises to be exciting indeed.


Nissan Unveils Tech Specs for the ZEOD RC Hybrid Racecar

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Nissan ZEOD RC

Ever since we got our first look at the Nissan ZEOD RC last October, we’ve been eagerly waiting to hear more about the newest entry into the Le Mans ‘Garage 56’ category of vehicles. This week, Nissan finally give us a peek at the technical specs of its futuristic hybrid racer.

For those of you who don’t remember, Nissan originally unveiled the ZEOD RC under the headline that it would be the first car ever to complete a lap around the 24 Hour Le Mans circuit using only electric power. That means the car must be capable of about driving 8.5 miles at racing speeds using all-electric propulsion.

This week, we get to look under the hood of the upcoming ZEOD RC to see the mechanics behind Nissan’s ambitious endeavor. Even if you don’t follow motorsports, Nissan will eventually use lessons learned from the ZEOD RC to produce street cars (such as the BladeGlider Concept), so pay attention to what they’re doing here.

Powertrain Details for the ZEOD RC

What’ll be under the hood when the ZEOD RC takes to the track this June? A brand-new DIG-T R engine.

It’ll be a three-cylinder, turbocharged 1.5L engine with incredible efficiency. The engine itself will only weigh around 90 lbs (40kg), but will output a surprising 280lb-ft and almost exactly 400bhp. As Nissan astutely pointed out, that’s a power-to-weight ratio of 10bhp:1kg. A Nissan spokesperson elaborated, saying, “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.”

On top of its unprecedented efficiency, the engine is also small enough to fit into a carry-on bag – it officially measures in at 500mm x 400mm x 200mm. It’s capable of 7500 RPM, and is managed through a paddle-shift five-speed transmission together with a separate electric motor.

Speaking of its electric motor, the Japanese car maker says that they’ve borrowed heavily from the Nissan Leaf – especially from the EV’s regenerative braking system – to enable the futuristic racecar to make an entire lap on electric power. By driving 11 laps on petrol, the car will store enough energy from regular braking to allow a final 12th lap on electricity alone.

Nissan Confirms ZEOD RC for 2015 LMP1 Entry

In addition to the ZEOD’s powertrain specs, Nissan also unveiled that they plan to use all the information they’re able to gather from the car’s Le Mans 24 Hour debut in June to enter the car into the 2015 LMP1 season.

As we said in the beginning, Nissan has clearly stated that the ZEOD RC will form the foundation for commercially available vehicles. Andy Palmer has already confirmed production of the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show’s BladeGlider Concept (pictured above) for later this year, and who knows what other surprises the progressive Japanese brand has hiding up their sleeve. But, even if we don’t see street-friendly results from the ZEOD RC, the car is still an amazing accomplishment and we can’t wait to see Nissan achieve their goal at the 24 Hour Le Mans this June.