As Nissan neared completion of its ZEOD RC electric racer, the automaker approached Michelin with a challenge: make us some racing tires with low rolling resistance that also have a high level of grip.
Nissan wanted the tires for it ZEOD RC (Zero Emission on Demand Racing Car) electric car, which it is getting ready to debut this month at the FIA World Endurance Championship during the Fuji Speedway round in Japan. The idea is to be prepared for the 2014 Le Mans series by hitting at least 186 miles per hour on electric power. That wouldn't set the EV land speed record, but it would be pretty darn fast. France's Le Mans series is thought to be a true racing battleground, and an ideal way to show off one of the fastest EV racers ever built. The ZEOD RC will be part of the race's "Garage 56," a spot reserved for cars showing off new technology. Nissan was invited to compete at Le Mans by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, which puts on the display of tomorrow's tech.
More than half the cars competing at Le Mans use Michelin tires, Chris Baker, director of motorsports for Michelin North America, told Greenville Online. The Nissan project fits well with the tire maker's philosophy of surviving the assault of race car challenges and then applying those breakthroughs to Michelin street tires. Le Mans is known as a speed and endurance contest over 24 hours – and if you blow out your tires, you can't win.