Although the World Endurance Championship event it was paired with was all but washed out by rain, Nissan gave the disappointed crowd something to celebrate with the public debut of its revolutionary Le Mans racer.
Michael Krumm was at the wheel for three demonstrations runs (see video below) of the car that will race at next year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, following its official unveiling on Thursday at at Nismo headquarters in Yokohama.
The Nissan ZEOD RC will complete an entire 8.5-mile lap of Le Mans next year on pure electric power at speeds in excess of 186mph. When running on its internal combustion engine, the ZEOD RC will recharge its battery using regenerative braking.
Key Nissan executives including Executive Vice President Andy Palmer were on site at Fuji to see the car’s debut.
The car will now head back to the UK to continue its testing and development program. The Nissan ZEOD RC will occupy “Garage 56″ at Le Mans next year ” an entry reserved for cars showcasing new and innovative technology previously not seen at the French endurance classic. Nissan will use the ZEOD RC program to develop technologies for its planned future LM P1 assault.
“This has been a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved to bring the Nissan ZEOD RC to Japan to present the car at Nismo and then show the car at Fuji Speedway for the fans,” said NIssan Global Motorsports Director Darren Cox. “The reaction from the fans has been amazing ” especially the young fans. We had a very poignant moment watching the car on track with Mount Fuji in the background. We know we have a very big mountain to climb to develop this electric vehicle technology for Le Mans but seeing the reaction from the young fans is a key reason why we are doing this.
“It was a pity that the weather spoiled the day on Sunday for the FIA WEC race but we were thrilled to be able to bring the car here for loyal Japanese fans.”