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Engine will power the ZEOD RC hybrid race car

When it comes to racing cars, lighter is always better as long as the components can survive the stresses of racing. In keeping with the “lighter is better” mantra, Nissan has unveiled one of the smallest engines that has ever been used on the racetrack. The new 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder engine will be used to power Nissan’s entry into the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year.
 
The tiny engine, which is called the DIG-T R, weighs only 88 pounds and uses a turbocharger to develop an impressive 400 hp and 280 pound-feet of torque. The engine produces 4.5 hp per pound giving it a better power to weight ration than the new turbo 1.6L V6 engines that will be used in F1 this year.

 
The little engine will be used to help power the Nissan ZEOD RC racecar. The drivetrain in the racing car will be able to switch between electric and gas power during the race, with the battery packs charged by regenerative braking.
 
The engine will be mated to a 5-speed gearbox, which will manage power from both the electric and gas engines.

 
"Our engine team has done a truly remarkable job with the internal combustion engine," said Darren Cox, Nissan's Global Motorsport Director. "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 powerplant is quite a stunning piece of engineering.”
 
According to Nissan, for every hour driven the car will be able to complete a single lap on battery power alone.

Source: Nissan



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haha
By chromal on 1/28/2014 10:39:51 AM , Rating: 5
I wanna swap that into my old mazda mx-5. :)




RE: haha
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/28/2014 10:50:46 AM , Rating: 3
Man, that would be a HELL of a lot of fun!


RE: haha
By villageidiotintern on 1/28/2014 7:29:35 PM , Rating: 2
More fun in my SeaDoo! It's perfect for it.


RE: haha
By ipay on 1/28/2014 11:22:48 AM , Rating: 2
Depends on the power band; it might not have a lot of area under the curves and just be very peaky. That would not be much fun for a street car.

I put Cosworth cams in my STi and it instantly became much less fun on the street just with the modest torque band shift.


RE: haha
By Spuke on 1/28/2014 12:15:40 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Nissan states 7,500 RPM.
That's not peaky AT ALL. That just made this engine even more awesome. This in a stripped Miata would be stupid fun.


RE: haha
By ipay on 1/28/2014 12:18:01 PM , Rating: 2
Uhhhh... The rev limit has NOTHING to do with a peaky power band, or power output for that matter.


RE: haha
By Spuke on 1/28/14, Rating: 0
RE: haha
By ipay on 1/28/2014 1:13:24 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
That's not peaky AT ALL
quote:
I already get it
Apparently you don't if you think rev limits have anything to do with power band profiles.

Reving the piss out of it all the time wouldn't be much fun, rarely feasible in real world driving, and somewhat pointless depending on the power band and fine drive ratio. An engine with a broad power band, esp. torque, is almost always more fun that one that looks like a pencil standing upright.

Don't know who down-rated, but they probably saw someone who doesn't know what they are talking about and voted accordingly.


RE: haha
By Spuke on 1/28/14, Rating: -1
RE: haha
By ipay on 1/28/2014 2:33:12 PM , Rating: 4
Nope. Carving canyons, track days, autox, etc would be better with a nice flat line. You're not going all out in these situations. You don't want to be shifting all the time to stay in a tiny power band, and you will inevitably find yourself falling out of it.

http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/hrdp_0401_torqu...


RE: haha
By Spuke on 1/28/2014 4:04:07 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Nope. Carving canyons, track days, autox, etc would be better with a nice flat line.
Nope. Ever think that someone might have different driving style than you? With proper gearing the car will stay right in the powerband. Race cars operate with narrow powerbands all the time (again proper gearing), why do you think Cosworth made those cams you put in your car? Do you think I'd drop a motor like this into a bone stock Miata?


RE: haha
By ipay on 1/29/2014 4:31:12 AM , Rating: 4
Different driving styles is all well and good, but it doesn't change physics.

quote:
why do you think Cosworth made those cams you put in your car?
Well if you think it was to create a narrow power band you are wrong. Torque was down 18% at red line (8300 RPM, fully built engine) from the peak on the stock cams. With the Cosworth cams I'm only down 11% peak to red line; they helped broaden the torque range. Why? Cause that's what you want in an engine! For most driving conditions.

One of my friends got all crazy and put an enormous turbo in his STi (also pushed out the displacement a bit). A side effect of this is a very narrow power band due to lag, but when the turbo hits, it's violent. On C16 he's tuned to the high 700HP range. At the drag strip, it's no contest; out of the hole I look good, but then that huge snail spools and he walks me like I was standing still. But on a relatively, compact road course without a long straight, he can't keep up. His ~250 peak horsepower advantage that helps him dominate in the quarter, is trumped by the wider power band in a tight road course.


RE: haha
By splatter85 on 1/28/14, Rating: 0
RE: haha
By 91TTZ on 1/28/2014 6:19:05 PM , Rating: 3
It sounds almost like you WANT to have a limited engine instead of a more practical engine with a nice torque curve. That's pretty lame.

I used to mop up on S2000s all day and they'd always have an excuse, "Yeah, well if I had a turbo I would've left you behind!"

Well you don't, and you didn't.

There is no advantage to having an engine produce its power at high RPM. HP is the ultimate number and it doesn't matter whether you produce max HP at 4000 or 10,000 RPM. All that matters is power. An engine that is making 200 HP at 10,000 RPM is still making 200 HP. An engine that is making 200 HP at 5,000 RPM is still making 200 HP.


RE: haha
By ipay on 1/29/2014 3:59:07 AM , Rating: 1
You obviously never met me. I've owned two S2000s; both 2nd gen. One I supercharged and added methanol/water injection. Guess which one was better on the street and the track.

In the same spirit, I've owned and raced many Miatas; I used to have a bit of an old cat lady thing going on but with Miatas. Including a high compression, high RPM normally-aspirated build, a few mildly boosted and heavily boosted turboed ones, one Ford 5.0 swap, and one LS swap.

BTW, if you get creative you can get 3 Miatas in a 2 car garage. (Hint: one has to go parallel to the door.)


RE: haha
By Samus on 1/28/2014 5:07:10 PM , Rating: 2
Since they are still using a manual with standard ratios (they don't disclose the final drive ratio, however) I'd guess it has a conservative powerband. Of course something this small, boosted so large, isn't going to knock your socks off at 1000rpm but I'm sure its completely usable above 2000RPM if the rev limit is really 7500RPM. Otherwise they'd use this opportunity to showcase their CVT technology.

7500RPM rev limit says a lot for drivability. It's safe to assume the cams aren't street-friendly, but people drive 10000RPM limit V8's on the street around here with very radical cams, albeit with high stalls in a slushbox, not a manual.


RE: haha
By 91TTZ on 1/28/2014 6:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Since they are still using a manual with standard ratios (they don't disclose the final drive ratio, however) I'd guess it has a conservative powerband.


You can only guess, and there isn't enough information to come to an educated guess, either.

quote:
Of course something this small, boosted so large, isn't going to knock your socks off at 1000rpm but I'm sure its completely usable above 2000RPM if the rev limit is really 7500RPM.


You don't know that. At that low of an RPM the turbo may not be spooled enough to make much boost (which a tiny engine needs to produce torque)

quote:
. Otherwise they'd use this opportunity to showcase their CVT technology.


Are they even allowed to use a CVT in their race class? You can't just pick and choose what parts you want to put in a race car. Your hands are tied with regulations.


RE: haha
By 91TTZ on 1/28/2014 6:09:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's not peaky AT ALL.


How in the world are you going to make a judgment on how peaky the powerband is just by looking at the RPM limit? For all you know, that turbo might not be fully spooled until 5500 rpm.


RE: haha
By DanNeely on 1/28/2014 11:27:45 AM , Rating: 3
I wonder how long it's expected to last before wearing out. If they're redlining the engine so hard that it will need a rebuild after 48 hours it shouldn't be a problem (other than cost) for the race in question; but would be a major problem for anyone wanting to use it to make their sports car better.


RE: haha
By Dr K on 1/30/2014 2:44:46 PM , Rating: 2
If the race is 24 hrs, they're designed to last 24 hrs before needing work. These engines are on the bleeding edge because they want to win. I don't know specifically with this race, but often they have 1 engine they use for the qualifier race, another engine for the actual race and a spare engine in case they need it. Cost is not an issue for these guys and long life is not a design consideration.


RE: haha
By euler007 on 1/28/2014 12:36:17 PM , Rating: 3
You might want to get a six-pack, because these aren't designed to last very long at a high reliability rate.


RE: haha
By Jeffk464 on 1/28/2014 12:40:34 PM , Rating: 2
This engine belongs in sport class airplanes.


RE: haha
By sorry dog on 1/28/2014 12:56:26 PM , Rating: 2
LSA airplanes are typically 120hp or less. Anymore and they usually aren't considered LSA anymore and can't be certified as such.

But perhaps you meant sport as in racing airplane?

In any case, even in a race plane reliability and durability is given higher design priority. Previous installs of turbo subaru boxer engines have worked out for while, but the necessary gear reduction box has proved to be continuing headache for long term use.


RE: haha
By Dorkyman on 1/28/2014 3:07:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, the power to weight ratio is attractive for aircraft use, but what you really are looking for is extreme reliability, and engines tweaked to this extent have to sacrifice in other areas, including reliability.

There's a reason Lycoming and Continental aircraft engines look the way they do. It's natural selection at work.


RE: haha
By Jeffk464 on 1/28/2014 9:47:25 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds right they just seem so technologically archaic.


RE: haha
By Jeffk464 on 1/29/2014 11:28:58 AM , Rating: 3
Here is an idea that I saw in a motorcycle, bring back mazda's rotary engine. They have ideal power to weight and are suppose to be very reliable just not that efficient.


RE: haha
By ipay on 1/29/2014 11:53:22 AM , Rating: 2
Rotor sealing can still be a problem, but the big issues are fuel consumption and emissions. It's still being researched, but those two things are keeping them out of current production cars.


RE: haha
By gixser on 1/28/2014 4:17:43 PM , Rating: 2
That was exactly my reaction!


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