Nissan Builds 88-Pound, 400-Horsepower Gas-Electric Engine for Le Mans Race (Photos)

Nissan ZEOD RC EngineWhile most gas-electric drivetrains are being designed for consumer use, Nissan is applying those concepts to a more unexpected area: auto racing. When Nissan sends its funky-looking ZEOD RC sports car to this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race – the longest-running endurance sports car race in the world – the vehicle will be powered by a rather unusual engine.

Called the DIG-T R, this 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbo engine is small and light enough for a person to hold … but it’s still able to generate an impressive 400 horsepower. Nissan is hoping that the ZEOD RC’s gas-electric hybrid drivetrain will help it save time by not having to refuel as often as gas-powered cars.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the engine’s impressive specs:

  • DIG-T R is approximately 20 inches tall and seven inches wide and weighs just 88 pounds.
  • With the DIG-T R drivetrain, the Nissan ZEOD RC will be able hit 186 mph, making it the fastest electric race car when its debuts at Le Mans this summer.
  • By generating 400 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque at just 88 pounds, DIG-T R has a better power-to-weight ratio than any of the V6 engines used in Formula 1.
Nissan ZEOD RC Going to Le Mans

Nissan’s ZEOD RC, which will race at 24 Hours of Le Mans this June, is the fastest electric race car to date.

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