Small but tough, the 20cm wide, 40kg and 400CV engine that Nissan used in Le Mans

Small but tough, the 20cm wide, 40kg and 400CV engine that Nissan used in Le Mans
Small but tough, the 20cm wide, 40kg and 400CV engine that Nissan used in Le Mans

A 400hp engine that fits in a suitcase, weighs 40kg, has 3 cylinders and a turbo bigger than my head (you will have to bill this separately). We are talking about impressive figures, as much as the car for which it was developed from scratch. Find out in the photos in the gallery!

3-cylinder engine to generate part of the power of the ZEOD RC

The CEO and president of NISMO, Shoichi Miyatani, smiled as he held the 40kg of engine that the brand’s engineers pulled out of their sleeves in a display of technological capacity. A 1.5 internal combustion engine and 3 cylinderswhich with some contained measures 50cm high by 40cm long and 20cm widecan generate 400 hp thanks to a turbo that blows at 2 bars of pressure rotating at about 100,000 revolutions per minute.

Deploying all your engine torque of 380Nm at 7,500rpmthis “engine” It was intended to be part of the power unit of a jalopy called the Nissan ZEOD RC.. An experimental prototype that ran the 24 hours of Le Mans in 2014. What was the other part of the power unit? Obviously a couple of electric motors. Hybridization was showing its nose to stay and the Japanese brand knew how to investigate the topic with this automotive milestone, let’s see.

A 3-cylinder turbo engine accompanied by electric motors. Something common nowadays, but a challenge 10 years ago, when Nissan designed it from scratch to test the emerging technology

Photo of – Small but tough, the 20cm wide, 40kg and 400CV engine that Nissan used in Le Mans

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The rocket-shaped Nissan hybrid car

The ZEOD EC took advantage of the showcase of Garage 56 in Le Mans to race as a guest. What better way to push yourself in terms of innovation than competition. The prototype had two 110kW (about 147hp) electric motors that were coupled directly to the transmission along with the internal combustion engine. (I leave you a video below, where you can see it walking).

That translates to The car can run thundering on the tight 3 cylinders only, or in full electric mode leaving a slight whistle wherever it passes. Nissan estimated that for every 11 or 12 laps in combustion mode, the ZEOD RC could complete a full lap of the La Sharthé (Le Mans) circuit in electric mode. This was thanks to the regeneration that occurred.

This way, Nissan managed to leave a new mark in history, setting the fastest lap in electric mode with 4 minutes and 22 seconds, with a top speed of 300 km/h.

The hybrid era was beginning to appear with the use of this light 400hp engine in conjunction with 2 110kW electric motors. The car could be used in electric or combustion mode independently.

View of the Nissan prototype for Le Mans, showing aerodynamic and stylized design.

Photo of – Small but tough, the 20cm wide, 40kg and 400CV engine that Nissan used in Le Mans

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Make a reliable engine, compliant with consumption and emissions regulations

According to Nissan, correct lubrication of the combustion engine was essential to achieve acceptable reliability in the internal components that were subjected to such high stress.

Believe it or not, all this happened 10 years ago and the whole world was left breathless when they discovered an engine this tight.. The potential was tremendous, but for a project like this to reach street cars directly is unthinkable..

However, all the development and knowledge acquired in such a company must have undoubtedly been used for the engines that were produced several years later (especially with the hybrid models).

All the development and knowledge acquired in such a company must have undoubtedly been used for the engines that were produced several years later (especially with the hybrid models).

Photo of – Small but tough, the 20cm wide, 40kg and 400CV engine that Nissan used in Le Mans

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