Nissan is documenting the construction of the Zero Emissions On-Demand Race Car (ZEOD RC) that’s scheduled to occupy the Garage 56 Technical Exhibition spot for the 2014 24-Hours of Le Mans. The last time we checked in with this car, Nissan had announced that it was going to be a pure battery electric vehicle and we discussed what it would take to make that happen. It seems that since that article was written, Nissan has come to the same conclusion as almost all of the other automakers trying to produce green supercars: hybrid is the way to go. The cost, weight and range of current battery technology is still not good enough to be the foundation of a performance oriented car. Electric power specs mentioned in the video are prefaced with “when running in pure electric mode” which probably means the ZEOD RC will be a series hybrid. I will update with more information as it becomes available.
In this first chapter of the ZEOD RC build, the Nissan engineers showcase the carbon fiber main tub. They talk about some of its unique features which mainly revolve around driver safety. Nine months is all the time that Nissan will have to complete the construction and testing of the car. Spaniard Lucas Ordóñez, the winner of the first Gran Turismo Academy competition, will be the ZEOD RC’s test driver. The official public debut is scheduled to occur at the World Endurance Championship race at Fuji Speedway with Michael Krumm behind the wheel. Lets hope the Deltawing based ZEOD RC will usher in a new era of green race cars. We will be following these build videos very closely.
You may have seen pictures of the GreenGT H2 from the eco-friendly race car group shots taken at this year’s 24 hours of Le Mans. The H2 is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that drives two electric motors on the rear axle. It will take the experimental technology spot in Garage 56 (the Nissan Deltawing was in Garage 56 this year) for the 2013 race. This animation shows the layout of the car and how the fuel cells work in conjunction with the car’s air compressors.
*UPDATE* Techologic Vehicles and GreenGT posted another video to show off the sound the H2 makes when the fuel cell is fired up:
The Nissan Deltawing finally got a chance to prove itself two weeks ago coming in fifth at the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. The car survived two collisions, one at Le Mans and one during practice for Petit Le Mans, before finally getting a chance to finish a race and showing the world what it could do.
The entire Deltawing concept has revolutionized how people think of race cars. The car has proven that it has competitive speed while using half the power, fuel and tires thanks to greatly reduced aerodynamic drag and a well thought out design. Now we get the privilege to see how it drives and to understand the engineering that makes it work up close thanks to Chris Harris and the DRIVE channel. Harris takes the car around Road Atlanta for 5 laps to get a feel for its character before having the its creator, Ben Bowlby, guide him through the suspension systems. They touch on a few interesting engineering concepts. Watch the video and we’ll talk about them afterwards.