While Nissan is planning that their ZEOD RC will be the first vehicle to complete a lap at Le Mans 2014 using only electric power, they have already began setting records by being the first car to run at Le Mans with no rear view mirrors and the first electric car to reach 300 km/h at Le Mans.
Unlike all the other vehicles that are going to be racing at Le Mans, the Nissan ZEOD RC lacks any mirrors relying rather on a system inspired by the Nissan Safety Shield and Nissan Smart Mirror system. (We were really excited about the technology and safety behind the Smart Mirror when it was announced a few months ago.) This awesome Smart Mirror is not just a series of cameras and screens, but also a highly sophisticated computer system that is able to to track other cars and differentiate between cars that are closing in on the ZEOD RC and others that are travelling at about the same speed. Cars that are travelling faster are highlighted with different colour arrows and the system will even identify whether other cars will be passing on the left or the right to increase safety for all involved.
Darren Cox, NISMO Global Head of Brand, Marketing & Sales, believes that if they are able to demonstrate the value of this technology in the high speed competitive racing circuit then it will be become easier to implement them in passenger vehicles. As Darren puts it, “One of the reasons why we race is that motorsport helps our engineers to really fast track technologies and test them in extreme environments. There is no event or competition more extreme than the Le Mans 24 Hours.”
The other record already broken by the ZEOD RC is that of fastest electric car at Le Mans with japanese racing start Satoshi Motoyama pushing the Nissan ZEOD RC to 300km/h on the Mulsanne Straight during the qualifying laps of the Le Mans 24 Hours. This is really impressive and Nissan is getting all this power out a pair of 110kW electric motors that are running alongside the 40kg, 400 horsepower 1.4 liter three-cylinder turbo engine. Take a look at this quick video that highlights Nissan’s achievements – it gets really impressive from about at 00:18 when we get to see first hand the speeds and reactions of the Nissan ZEOD under Motoyama.
Stay tuned to our blog for more about the Nissan ZEOD RC at the Le Mans 24 Hour.