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ZEOD RC Makes Nismo Pitstop

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Oct. 17 – Tsurumi, Kanagawa – The Nissan ZEOD RC was unveiled Thursday at Nismo headquarters near Yokohama, after eight months of development, design and construction, the first step in bringing EVs to the track.

The ZEOD – Zero Emissions on Demand – racer was created a mere 33 weeks after Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn announced in February the goal of returning to Le Mans 24 Hours next year with electric power.

And it will. The Automobile Club de l’Ouest invited the ZEOD RC to occupy “Garage 56”, for vehicles showcasing new and innovative technology. The prototype of the electric racer was revealed at this year’s Le Mans, but has since seen revamped styling, new cooling inlets and aerodynamic updates.

Nissan is using ZEOD RC as a test bed to develop new EV technologies for a planned future LM P1 program.

On Thursday, the ZEOD RC was unveiled by Nismo President Shoichi Miyatani, Nissan Global Motorsport Director Darren Cox, and Nissan Director of Motorsport Innovation Ben Bowlby.

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

“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.”

ZEOD RC will become the first car to complete an entire race lap of the 8.5-mile Le Mans circuit on only electric power. The car will reach speeds in excess of 300km/h (185mph), while the driver can 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 its battery via regenerative braking.

The EV racer will move this weekend to the Fuji paddock throughout the course of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

“This weekend is an important milestone in the journey to Le Mans for the Nissan ZEOD RC,” said Darren Cox.

“Our goal for the program is to draw back the curtain for the fans to see the innovative technology that Nissan is developing. We could not think of a better place than the Fuji round of the World Endurance Championship for the actual ZEOD RC to appear in public for the first time.

“We’re going to let Michael Krumm take a look at the car for the first time and he will join Lucas Ordóñez in a test-driver role in helping develop the car.”

“Nissan ZEOD RC will utilize technology never before seen at Le Mans and will provide a very unique experience for the fans,” Ben Bowlby said.

“To see the car go down the Mulsanne Straight at 300km/h in virtual silence will be very unique. Developing the battery technology to incorporate this into a Le Mans prototype is an enormous challenge, but the lessons learned will not only be very beneficial for the future LM P1 program, but also we can use this information to assist in the development of future versions of the Nissan LEAF and other electric vehicles for the road.”

Fans at Fuji Speedway will also see Nissan’s power in action in the LM P2 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship.  The Nismo-tuned Nissan VK45DE V8 engine has dominated the season so far, taking pole position and victory at every round, while eight Nissan-powered LM P2 cars will be racing at Fuji.

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