Nissan’s Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car (ZEOD RC), which resembles a coupe version of the last year’s DeltaWing, debuted in its first public run at Fuji Speedway in Japan on Friday. The ZEOD RC is Nissan’s newest prototype, powered by a fully-electric drivetrain capable of rocketing the car to an impressive 186 mph.
In the cockpit during this run was Michael Krumm, a former GT1 Champion. "It's like being in a different world,” said Krumm. “As soon as I sat in the cockpit, it was brand new. Even the buttons are completely different from a conventional race car."
In the video below, you can see that Krumm was overall quite pleased with the test run. He was impressed with the car’s response, and pleasantly surprised with the racing-spec gearbox. "Normally, electric vehicles don't have a transmission, but this car has a full racing gearbox connected to the motor,"Krumm said. “The gearbox is the same as a normal racing car. It has an electric powertrain that gives you a very new feeling. It was really fun."
The ZEOD RC will make its race debut at the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mansunder a special entry technology category known as “Garage 56.”It uses a small turbocharged gasoline engine as well as electric power, using the same battery used in the Nissan Leaf. Nissan has planned to make the ZEOD RC the first car to complete the 8.5-mile lap at Le Mans powered solely on electric energy, and doing so at over 185 mph. The gasoline engine, as well as brake regeneration, help charge up the battery for the all-electric laps.
Nissan's hopes are high for Le Mans next year, particularly after the DeltaWing’s unexpected departure from last year’s event after an accident. The DeltaWing was voted our 2013 Racing Car of the Year.
Helping generate buzz around the new ZEOD RC is a display which will run during the FIA World Endurance Championship, also in Fuji this weekend.
Watch the video below to see the full interview with Krumm and tell us what you think of Nissan’s new racing prototype.