Remember the Nissan ZEOD RC Le Mans prototype race car unveiled last year? Well, you’re not likely to forget the way it looks, surely. This is the engine that will power it round the famed 24-hour race this year – Nissan’s new 1.5 litre three-cylinder turbo dubbed the DIG-T R.
It may not look like much, but it offers as much as 400 hp and 380 Nm of torque. And no, that’s not a professional weightlifter holding it up either; that’s Nismo President Shoichi Miyatani carrying the small 40 kg engine. It measures just 500 mm tall, 400 mm long and 200 mm wide.
The downsized engine – developed with Nissan’s lubricants partner Total – will not be the only motor powering the ZEOD RC. A single lap of each fuel stint (approximately one hour) will be 100% electric powered, after which the DIG-T R will take over.
Nissan claims that the petrol-powered race engine’s output of 10 hp per kilogramme beats the power-to-weight ratio of Formula 1’s new equally-turbocharged 1.6 litre V6 motors that will be used this year. For a small 1.5 litre three-pot, that’s not bad at all, eh?