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TheStreet Open House

Nissan ZEOD RC Set To Hit The Track For The First Time

"But it is not just about what is going to be best for the race. We're developing technologies that will speed up development of road cars in the future. The Le Mans 24 Hour is the toughest endurance event in the world and by participating in the event we can really fast track the development of some of these technologies."

The target of competing at next year's Le Mans 24 Hour is only the first step of a number of challenges Nissan is going to set for the innovative ZEOD RC program.

With Lord Paul Drayson recently setting a new FIA land speed record for electric vehicles under 1000kg, the Nissan ZEOD RC now has a new benchmark to aim for.

"While we're aiming to reach 300km/h (186mph) under electric power at Le Mans, the Nissan ZEOD RC certainly has the capability to go faster than that in a land speed record configuration situation," Nissan's Director of Motorsport Innovation, Ben Bowlby said.

"At the Circuit de la Sarthe at Le Mans you have to have the right gear ratios installed to pull the car out of corners and chicanes. You don't have a 'flying mile' with a long run-up before you enter the timing zone for a land speed record attempt.

"But that could potentially be our next target post Le Mans. Taking the Nissan ZEOD RC to Le Mans and becoming the first car to complete the entire 8.5 mile circuit is our first target."

Nissan's invitation from the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) to compete in the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours was announced by Nissan Chairman and CEO, Carlos Ghosn in Japan in February this year. The car will compete under the ACO's 'Garage 56' entry – an additional spot on the grid for vehicles that showcase new and innovative technology.

Nissan has partnered with French tire manufacturer Michelin to produce tires for the new prototype. Nissan previously joined forces with Michelin on the Nissan DeltaWing program.

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