Ever see one of those videos where a baby deer is born and immediately starts walking? Well, this isn’t one of those. For starters, the Nissan ZEOD RC isn’t exactly a newborn. Nissan took the design of the DeltaWing, gave it a hybrid engine and called it something new. And it hardly started galloping straight out the box, either: this was just a low-speed demonstration run, held at Fuji Speedway where it debuted this past weekend.
Still, seeing the car that’s destined to take the first lap of Le Mans under electric power alone actually start up and run is something of a landmark in the development of electric racing cars – even if this is, despite Nissan’s best efforts to avoid the term, a hybrid, not a pure EV. The name stands for Zero Emissions On Demand, not zero emissions all the time. But then ZEATT wouldn’t make for a very good name anyway, would it? See for yourself in the video below.
OYAMA-CHO, Japan – The Nissan ZEOD RC made its debut run at Fuji Speedway on Friday with former GT1 Champion Michael Krumm at the wheel, moving from design board to the track in only seven months.
The ZEOD is on display during the six-hour FIA World Endurance Championship in Japan at Fuji this weekend.
“It’s like being in a different world. As soon as I sat in the cockpit, it was brand new. Even the buttons are completely different from a conventional race car,” Krumm said.
“I have driven the LEAF NISMO RC before, but it was great to be in a full Le Mans-spec cockpit.”
Former GT Academy winner Lucas Ordonez will also work with Nissan in preparing the ZEOD RC for its “Garage 56″participation at next year’s race at 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“It was great fun. This was a low-speed demonstration, but I could feel a great response from the car,” Krumm said.
“Normally, electric vehicles don’t have a transmission, but this car has a full racing gearbox connected to the motor. 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.”