Michelin has joined Nissan to develop tires for a racecar that is designed to achieve 186 mph at the Le Mans circuit on electric power alone.
Nissan plans to enter the car into next year’s Le Mans, the racing battleground in France where vehicles compete in a 24-hour speed and endurance competition. Michelin currently supplies tires for more than half the cars competing at Le Mans, the tiremaker said.
Nissan approached Michelin with the challenge to develop fast racing tires with low rolling resistance, according to Chris Baker, director of motorsports for Michelin North America. The challenge fit the company’s philosophy of pursuing highly technical racing challenges that develop breakthroughs that eventually make its way to Michelin’s street tires, Baker said.
Nissan’s ZEOD RC prototype, or Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car makes its on-track debut in Japan during the Fuji Speedway round of the FIA World Endurance Championship The ZEOD racecar utilizes the same lithium battery technology as Nissan has in its Leaf, the carmaker said.
During the Le Mans circuit, the car will complete a single lap using electric-only power with every fuel stint of racing.