We Really Hope Nissan Puts Its New Racing Engine Into Cars We Can Buy

Nissan le mans engineNissanNissan Nismo President Shoichi Miyatani hold the powerful, lightweight engine that will power its racecar.

Nissan has revealed the remarkably small, powerful engine that will power its NEOD RC car, which will compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in June.

To illustrate just how unusual this engine is, Nissan showed it off in the arms of Shoichi Miyatani, president of Nismo, Nissan’s motorsports and performance division.

The DIG-T R 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine weighs just 88 pounds. It measures 19.68″ x 15.74″ x 7.78″, small enough to fit in your carry-on bag.

Yet it cranks out 400 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. That’s more power per pound than the engines used in this year’s Formula 1 Championship, Nissan notes.

The engine won’t be doing all the work at Le Mans, however. On each set of laps, the ZEOD RC will run on pure electric power for the first lap, then the DIG-T R will take over. Thus the name, the Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car.

Those who don’t care about car racing should still be excited about the new engine. The focus on producing as much power as possible from as little weight as possible is great for developing new technologies that often trickle down to production cars.

In world of high gas prices and federal efficiency standards, a tiny engine that cranks out this much power would be a wonderful thing.

Here’s the ZEOD RC car:

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