Nissan ZEOD RC

"GT Academy winners Wolfgang Reip and Lucas Ordóñez – plus three-time Japanese Super GT champion Satoshi Motoyama – have a totally new set of buttons to learn when they jump behind the wheel of the Nissan ZEOD RC."

Says Nissan's NISMO racing division.

In this video,Wolfgang Reip explains how the ZEOD RC steering wheel works.

Interestingly, both Reip and Ordóñez began their racing career pushing buttons on PlayStation controllers.  Now, they're pushing even more buttons on the ZEOD RC's steering wheel.

In this exclusive video, you'll see what it takes to master the controls of a vehicle that features a pair of electric motors producing 300 horsepower and an 88-pound internal combustion engine producing 400 horsepower from a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder setup.

As Nissan's NISMO division explains, operating the various steering wheel control are essential to the vehicle's on-track performance:

The electric and gasoline systems drive the car through the same gearbox, which is located between the two. The internal combustion engine is placed right behind the fuel tank and battery at the rear of the tub, while the electric motors are located at the rear of the car.

Each has its own electrical system, which is activated by the driver: a 12 volt system for basic systems including lights and radio, and a separate 400 volt system used exclusively for the electric motors.

“There is certainly a lot to learn from the driver’s perspective as this car is very different than anything seen at Le Mans previously,” Reip said. “I’ve only done one race in a prototype and most of my racing has been aboard GT cars where the steering wheel in particular is much simpler. Once you have done a couple of days in the car, it does start to feel like your office and you know where everything is. There was a lot to learn to start with.”

The Nissan ZEOD RC will compete at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours as the “Garage 56″ entry, an additional slot on the grid reserved by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest for cars showcasing new and innovative technology. Nissan is using the ZEOD RC program as a development platform for its planned LM P1 class debut in 2015.

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