Nissan ZEOD: all you need to know
Inspired by DeltaWing, powered by battery: take a poke around Nissan's revolutionary Le Mans coupe
Posted: 09 Dec 2013
"The race track is a very cost-effective place to test new technologies, as you ‘skunkworks' it and don't have to worry about consumers," says Bowlby. And the ZEOD offers some radical answers to racing's perennial questions. It weighs 600kg - 300kg lighter than the top-tier cars - and the battery onboard, although heavy, is quite useful. It means they don't need an alternator or starter motor and the recovered energy powers all the electrics - water pumps, headlights, etc. The ZEOD doesn't even require a reverse gear, it simply runs the electric motors backwards if needed.
Further making use of the carte blanche, Nissan has also chopped off the wing and rear-view mirrors - a first for a racecar. That small change alone gives a huge drag saving, improves the battery's range and increases the fuel efficiency of the petrol engine. But Nissan won't go into the race blind, instead opting for cameras and sensors from the company's road cars to tell the drivers when there's someone hanging off their bumper and when it's safe to overtake. All these measures make the ZEOD 40 per cent more efficient than the DeltaWing, which wasn't exactly known for being gluttonous.