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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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Pikers ... only 400 HP
By M'n'M on 1/28/2014 11:39:43 AM , Rating: 2
Back in the mid 80's 1.5l turbo F1 engines made 1000 HP in race trim and 1400, some say 1800, HP in qualifying form. IIRC there were no regulated boost limits.

RE: Pikers ... only 400 HP
By Ghost42 on 1/28/2014 12:00:06 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, not really all that impressive from a HP to LB aspect when compared to engines in the past.

Top Fuel cars come in @ about 17-20HP per LB, but then again they can't be run for more then 10 seconds at a time.

RE: Pikers ... only 400 HP
By sorry dog on 1/28/2014 1:02:38 PM , Rating: 2
4 to 1 is pretty impressive in my book for an engine that must last 24 or more hours.

That's a little better than a modern race 2 stroke (Mercury Drag is about 400hp from 180# powerhead)and up there with turbine power to weight (although turbine reliability is different)

RE: Pikers ... only 400 HP
By Johnmcl7 on 1/28/2014 1:53:02 PM , Rating: 3
F1 engines are not comparable particularly a qualifying engine which could be tuned so high it would only need to last a few laps before failing. What makes the engine in the article impressive is that it will need to be able to run 24 hours flat out and efficiently making the technology a lot more relevant.

RE: Pikers ... only 400 HP
By sorry dog on 1/29/2014 11:06:10 AM , Rating: 2
Assuming the engine rules haven't changed I believe they are only allowed so many engines in a season (gearboxes too). If they exceed that then their start position is penalized.

Of course the devil is in the details... don't know if they are allowed complete teardowns in between or allowed to fix blocks with windows in them.

RE: Pikers ... only 400 HP
By Motoman on 1/28/2014 9:03:32 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't they run on methanol back then? Makes a huge difference vs. gasoline.

RE: Pikers ... only 400 HP
By sorry dog on 1/29/2014 11:18:11 AM , Rating: 2
Not really. Methanol use was partially because of safety. If on fire it could be put with water, versus gasoline where water just spreads your fire around.

Alcohol can make more power compared to motor fuel from higher peak cylinder pressures, but the same can be said of 114 octane gas. Google Sunoco race gas and you'll see lots of blends that exceed alcohol at better stoic ratios.

Oxygen enriched fuels like nitrous shouldn't be compared since you talking about other processes at that point.

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