Friday 20 April 2018

The 'racing' Nissan engine you can hold in your arms

Nissan's electric ZEOD RC car
Nissan's electric ZEOD RC car
The new engine is so small you can hold it in your arms.
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

NISSAN has developed a tiny, but powerful, three-cylinder petrol engine that is so small it could fit in the overhead locker on an airplane.

It just mightn't make the weight, though, even though it only pushes the scales to 40kg and there are those who could carry it without sweat.

The extraordinary thing is that it will be of a Le Mans spectacular from Nissan this June when it lets its electric ZEOD RC car loose on the famous circuit.

They want the ZEOD RC to be the first car to complete a full lap using electric power only.

But the 1.5-litre engine will be a critical element in the ZEOD RC's overall powertrain.

The 40kg petrol engine pumps an extraordinary 395bhp and will help push the car to a 185mph top speed.

It revs to a maximum 7500rpm and has a five-speed paddle-shift transmission.

The ZEOD RC's electric motor will be powered by the regenerative braking system from the Nissan Leaf.

That will allow it to generate enough electricity to fill its battery from the energy of normal braking.

A single lap of each stint will be electric powered, then the new 1.5 litre three-cylinder turbo engine will take over, Nissan say.

For the record it is only 500mm tall, 400mm long and 200mm wide.

And Nissan claim it has a better power-to-weight ratio than the new engines in FIA Formula 1 this year.

Irish Independent

Life Newsletter

Our digest of the week's juiciest lifestyle titbits.

Also in Life