With Porsche joining Audi and Toyota at the front of the LMP1 grid at Le Mans next year, Nissan is the next to be throwing its hat (and considerable R&D budget) into the proverbial ring. But only if it's allowed to do something radically different, according to the latest report in Car magazine.

Just what that means remains to be seen, but Nissan is reportedly in active discussions with the ACO (the body that governs the race) to see how far it can stretch the regulations. The ACO has taken an intriguingly different approach to equalizing performance, mandating the maximum amount of energy that can be used per lap instead of telling teams what kind of engines they can use. That's how Porsche is entering with a four-cylinder engine, Toyota with a V8 and Audi with a diesel six. But when it comes to the shape of the car itself, the rules are considerably more restrictive.

Unfortunately the rules would prohibit Nissan fielding the ZEOD RC (with its narrow front track) in the LMP1 class, relegating it instead to the Garage 56 slot for experimental racers (which the DeltaWing filled before). And the realities of endurance racing would effectively prohibit anyone from fielding an all-electric racer. Within those confines, though, Nissan is eager to find enough wiggle room to make something both visually and technically different from other LMPs. And if the ACO won't let it do so at Le Mans, it could turn to another race or series (like the Nürburgring 24) that would.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      I terms of publicity, would it really matter if the ZEOD was in the LMP1 class vs Garage 56? The fans and journalists will see it racing fender to fender with the LMP1s on the same track, and they will compare the times, even if placements are listed on different sheets.
        Jared East
        • 1 Year Ago
        I'll bet they will see it in the garageā€¦. Garage 56 is normally p2 speeds so no reason to compare to P1.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well, I hope ACE and GARY will pilot this car. I look forward to it!!!
        • 1 Year Ago
        ...that joke comes up every time a picture of this car, or the Deltawing, is shown. Time for some new material.
        • 1 Year Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      The article leads one to think that ACO rules would not allow such a narrow front track. This is not true. There are no track rules. There are maximum overall width rules, and no minimums.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Got to hand it to Nissan, they are serious about electric without a doubt.
      • 1 Year Ago
      At this point, something "radical" for Nissan would be something that conforms to all the same regulations that the rest of the LMP1 class has to conform to, while still being competitive.
      Dave D
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm looking forward to seeing it race and how it will do. It's looking like it will be the first series hybrid racer so it will go a long way towards proving, or disproving, the viability of that type of powertrain for racing. I wish they weren't artificially limited to LMP2 type top speeds so we could see how it did compared to the more traditional hybrids in LMP1 and the LMP1 ICE cars.
      • 1 Year Ago
      We're calling the ZEOD radical? A hybrid has won the last two years in a row, and DeltaWing already raced before. In no way is the hybrid ZEOD radical. Wake me up when it's all-electric and uses battery swaps for pit stops. Le Mans pit stops already take a long time anyway, so I don't see the difficulty here.
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