Nissan's hybrid Le Mans racer officially showcased in Japan

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Nissan's hybrid Le Mans racer officially showcased in Japan

The space-age Nissan Zero Emissions On Demand (ZEOD) race car will wow crowds at next year's 24 Hours of Le Mans event, where it will take on the powerful diesels of Audi and the mighty V8 petrol engines of Toyota using little more than a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine and electric motors.

Previously teased in prototype form at this year's Le Mans race, the ZEOD you see here has received a number of technical and styling tweaks, including new cooling inlets and improved aerodynamics.

Nissan claims the electric racer can reach speeds in excess of 185mph and lap the Le Mans circuit faster than those vehicles in the LM GTE class that include highly tuned Porsche, Corvette and Ferrari models.

The most unique aspect of the ZEOD is that drivers will be able to switch between electric-only power and a hybrid mode that activates a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine with about 300bhp.

Nissan's head of Motorsport Innovation Ben Bowlby said: "To see the car go down the Mulsanne Straight at 186mph in virtual silence will be unique.

"Developing the battery technology to incorporate this into a Le Mans prototype is an enormous challenge, but the lessons learnt will not only be very beneficial for the future LMP1 program, but also we can use this information to assist in the development of future versions of the Nissan Leaf and other electric vehicles for the road."

The car is currently being showcased at the latest round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Fuji.

Nissan ZEOD RC

Nissan ZEOD RC