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Nissan’s 40kg engine that delivers 400 hp and can be held in your hands


Weighing just 40 kgs, the new 1.5l engine from Nissan is so small that you can hold it between your hands. Considering the three cylinder turbo-charged unit delivers 400 hp and 380 Nm torque, the weight and size managed by Nissan, is commendable.

Speaking about their superlight engine, Nissan says it has a better power to weight ratio, compared to that of F1 engines this season. Called DIG-T R 1.5L, this new Nissan turbo’ed engine has a power to weight ratio of 10 hp to 1 kg. Highlighting it’s size, which stands at 500mm tall x 400mm long x 200mm wide, Nissan says, “it could easily fit inside the luggage guides seen at major airports around the world.”

nissan 40 kg engine 1The Nissan race car which will have this engine, Nissan ZEOD RC Hybrid, also has a electric unit. Both, electric and petrol unit transmit power via a 5 speed gearbox. The car will be seen in action at the Circuit de la Sarthe later this June. This will make Nissan’s entry as the first at Le Mans to complete a lap on pure electric.

After that, Nissan ZEOD RC Hybrid racing model will head to this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, where it will occupy Garage 26. Nissan’s race car, as per Automobile Club de l‘Ouest, gets to participate under “new and ground-breaking technologies never previously seen at the classic French endurance event”.

“We knew the electric component of the Nissan ZEOD RC was certainly going to turn heads at Le Mans but our combined zero emission on-demand electric/petrol power plant is quite a stunning piece of engineering,” commented said Darren Cox, Nissan’s Global Motorsport Director.

“Nissan will become the first major manufacturer to use a three-cylinder engine in major international motorsport. We’re aiming to maintain our position as industry leaders in focusing on downsizing. Lessons learned from the development of the engine will be seen in Nissan road cars of the future,” he added.


About the author

Sagar Patel

Sagar Patel

A first drive in a manual rickety old van was enough to pave the road forward for Sagar Patel. When not driving or riding, his dexterity shifts gear to voice passion through words via reviews, and news, all the while, closely monitoring updates from the auto industry.

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  • James Macey

    Amazing bit of kit and reminds me of the old F1 turbo engines. Didn’t Daihatsu campaign cars in international rallying with a 993cc turbocharged 3 pot? From memory, the G11 type charade ran a single cam carb fed CB61and the G100 (GTti) ran the forged internals DOHC CB70/80, which was a cracking engine (much like the current Ford ecoboost 3cyl)!