Nissan continues to impress with its technological advancements via the presentation of the new DIG-T R internal combustion engine for its ZEOD RC Hybrid racing model that will break ground at Le Mans this year.
Not only does the new three-cylinder turbo'd unit weigh a mere 40 kg or 88 pounds, which means that a grown man can hold it in his hands, as evidenced from the picture above, but it also has an impressive output of 400-horses and 380Nm (280 lb-ft) from a displacement of just 1.5-liters.
According to Nissan, "at a ratio of 10 horsepower per kilogram, the new engine actually has a better power-to-weight ratio than the new engines to be used in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship this year." That's pretty impressive stuff there.
Furthermore, the new DIG-T R 1.5L engine that can rev up to 7,500 rpm is extremely compact at 500mm tall x 400mm long x 200mm wide (19.68” x 15.74” x 7.78”), so much so that, Nissan claims "it could easily fit inside the luggage guides seen at major airports around the world".
The ZEOD RC is equipped with two engines, the aforementioned petrol unit and an electric motor, both running through the same five-speed gearbox that transfers power to the ground via Michelin tires.
Nissan said the racing model will become the first entry at Le Mans to finish a complete lap of the Circuit de la Sarthe under electric power alone in June. It will occupy “Garage 56” at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, which is an additional entry earmarked by the Automobile Club de l‘Ouest "for new and ground-breaking technologies never previously seen at the classic French endurance event".
“We knew the electric component of the Nissan ZEOD RC was certainly going to turn heads at Le Mans but our combined zero emission on-demand electric/petrol power plant is quite a stunning piece of engineering," commented said Darren Cox, Nissan’s Global Motorsport Director.
“Nissan will become the first major manufacturer to use a three-cylinder engine in major international motorsport. We’re aiming to maintain our position as industry leaders in focusing on downsizing. Lessons learned from the development of the engine will be seen in Nissan road cars of the future," he added.