Nissan ZEOD RC-08

Yes, this is a car, although it doesn’t look like one. Say hello to the Nissan ZEOD RC, an electric racecar that was recently unveiled at Nismo’s Yokohama HQ. A test bed to develop new electric vehicle technologies for Nissan’s planned future LMP1 programme, the ZEOD RC will race at Le Mans 2014 after being invited to occupy the “Garage 56” entry for vehicles showcasing new and innovative technology.

The initial prototype showcar of the revolutionary electric racer was revealed at this year’s Le Mans race, and the ZEOD RC is a dramatic evolution of the design featuring revamped styling, new cooling inlets and aerodynamic updates.

It will become the first car to complete an entire race lap of the 13.7 km Le Mans circuit on nothing but electric power. Nissan says that the ZEOD will reach speeds in excess of 300 km/h and lap the famous circuit faster than an LM GTE car.

Nissan ZEOD RC-06

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.

“The ZEOD RC utilises our technology gained through the development of the Nissan LEAF Nismo RC, the first EV racer based on the mass production zero emission vehicle. 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,” said Nismo president Shoichi Miyatani.

The test drivers who will help develop the ZEOD RC are from Nissan’s stable – Michael Krumm and Lucas Ordóñez. “His (Krumm) experience in winning Super GT and FIA GT1 World Championships for Nissan will be a very valuable asset to the programme. Michael is also a Nissan LEAF owner and a passionate believer in the future of electric vehicles for the road,” said Darren Cox, Nissan global motorsport director.