Ever see one of those videos where a baby deer is born and immediately starts walking? Well, this isn't one of those. For starters, the Nissan ZEOD RC isn't exactly a newborn. Nissan took the design of the DeltaWing, gave it a hybrid engine and called it something new. And it hardly started galloping straight out the box, either: this was just a low-speed demonstration run, held at Fuji Speedway where it debuted this past weekend.

Still, seeing the car that's destined to take the first lap of Le Mans under electric power alone actually start up and run is something of a landmark in the development of electric racing cars – even if this is, despite Nissan's best efforts to avoid the term, a hybrid, not a pure EV. The name stands for Zero Emissions On Demand, not zero emissions all the time. But then ZEATT wouldn't make for a very good name anyway, would it? See for yourself in the video below.
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MICHAEL KRUMM TAKES NISSAN ZEOD RC WHEEL IN FUJI SPEEDWAY DEBUT

OYAMA-CHO, Japan – The Nissan ZEOD RC made its debut run at Fuji Speedway on Friday with former GT1 Champion Michael Krumm at the wheel, moving from design board to the track in only seven months.

The ZEOD is on display during the six-hour FIA World Endurance Championship in Japan at Fuji this weekend.

"It's like being in a different world. As soon as I sat in the cockpit, it was brand new. Even the buttons are completely different from a conventional race car," Krumm said.

"I have driven the LEAF NISMO RC before, but it was great to be in a full Le Mans-spec cockpit."

Former GT Academy winner Lucas Ordonez will also work with Nissan in preparing the ZEOD RC for its "Garage 56″participation at next year's race at 24 Hours of Le Mans.

"It was great fun. This was a low-speed demonstration, but I could feel a great response from the car," Krumm said.

"Normally, electric vehicles don't have a transmission, but this car has a full racing gearbox connected to the motor. The gearbox is the same as a normal racing car. It has an electric powertrain that gives you a very new feeling. It was really fun."


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  • 15 Comments
      Aaron
      • 1 Year Ago
      Impressive Japanese from a white guy. Sounds like he's been in Japan for quite some time.
      Smoking_dude
      • 1 Year Ago
      The faster an electric engine turns the harder it has to work against its own electric field. So having a gearbox for racing really makes sense. I really love the desing of this car. Imagine a street version of it.
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wait, now it's the first lap of Le Mans? Does that mean the parade lap or is it going to run one on gas and then switch to electric for a hot lap?
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        Oh, wait, I get it now. It's the first lap in history, not the first lap of the race.
      danfred311
      • 1 Year Ago
      This car is a lie. Token electric drive to mask that it's a combustion engine car. Liars.
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @danfred311
        Agreed. It's at best a parlor trick.
          dearest rat
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          I really have not researched this car at all, but my assumption is that is has a capacitor, and regenerative braking, which would supply the battery with juice without any emissions. I think this is not a parlor trick at all, but something rather significant in terms of hybrid/electric vehicles in motorsports. Rome was not built in a day, and this is a step in an exciting direction. Formula E has promise, but this is happening right now!
          TF110
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          Z E O D- Zero Emissions On Demand. Not zero emissions always.
      JB
      • 1 Year Ago
      The engineering seems like they were striving more for uniqueness than performance. I think that chassis layout is far from a vehicle that is optimized to race around a track.
        Julian Villar
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JB
        The point of Deltawing and the ZEOD was to be as efficient as possible while being fast and it goes around the track quite quickly, also this car was also always intended to be a racecar from it's inception so it's chassis being far from optimized is just nonsense.
      Joshua Ratz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hate the body style, but love the technology that powers it. This will be a good contender for LMP2 next season when they make it really quick.
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