Nissan unveils amazing new petrol engine for Le Mans racer
The fact that a Nismo engineer can physically pick up the engine that his team has been working on over the past year and happily walk around with it tucked under an arm is impressive enough.> But things get even more head-scratchingly amazing when you consider that same 1.5-litre petrol unit produces 400bhp and 380Nm of torque. To put that into perspective, the 4.0-litre V8 that can be found in the current generation BMW M3 manages just 14bhp more than the plucky little Nismo unit.
And Nissan's team of Nismo engineers plan to put the engine to good use, as it will be powering the futuristic ZEOD RC racecar at the famous Le Mans 24 Hour race later this year.
If you are suffering from déjà vu, that will be thanks to the ZEOD RC's angular bodywork looking distinctively like the revolutionary DeltaWing that ran in the 2012 Le Mans race.
Nissan collaborated with International Motor Sports Association owner Don Panoz to create the original DeltaWing but the partnership came to an end in early 2013.
Now, the Japanese marque is focussing on producing a more powerful, more fuel-efficient and more impressive endurance race car in the form of the ZEOD RC.
Darren Cox, Nissan's Global Motorsport Director, said: "Our engine team has done a truly remarkable job with the internal combustion engine.
"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 power plant is quite a stunning piece of engineering."
Engineers have pointed out that the DIG-T R engine measures up at just 500mm tall x 400mm long x 200mm wide. If it didn't weigh 40kg, it could easily slot inside a hand-luggage size guide at your local airport.
The Nissan ZEOD RC will undergo an extensive test program over the next four months prior to it making its race debut at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours on June 14-15.