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 5:15:00 PM
You obviously never drove an S2000. You must unlearn what you have learned. You shouldn't rely on torque to fix your goof up in the corner. A small (low-torque high rev) motor loves being driven in the upper RPM range. I would cruise at 3.5-4k RPM in the S2000 and if you want power it's simple. DOWNSHIFT. Welcome to the world of race cars.
Don't get me wrong, the STi is an awesome car, but it's not as rewarding as an S2000 when taken to the limits because the turbo, AWD and electronics can help amateur drivers achieve close to professional times on the track.
And revving the piss out of that motor all day was a blast. The boxer purr and turbo whine is awesome, but doesn't compare to an engine ROARING at 9,000 RPMs.
1/28/2014 6:19:05 PM
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.
1/29/2014 3:59:07 AM
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.)
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