Nissan Coaxes 400hp from 88-pound, 3-cylinder Turbo Engine for Hybrid Racecar
January 28, 2014 10:17 AM
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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.
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1/28/2014 11:27:45 AM
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.
1/30/2014 2:44:46 PM
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.
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