Nissan Leaf Nismo RC hits the track
Nissan is pushing further into electric performance car territory.
Unveiling a race car remake of its eco-friendly Nissan Leaf, the Japanese brand's performance arm Nismo has completely amped-up the charming electric commuter.
As with the previous generation Leaf, the race car is loosely based on the road going version.
Featuring a radically different design outside, the Leaf Nismo RC features three-piece removable coupe-style bodywork, V-Motion grille up front, adjustable boot-mount GT wing spoiler for increased downforce at the rear and fixed lightweight windows. The black and silver paint scheme echoes Nissan’s debut Formula E entry for the 2018-19 championship.
Under the panels, the lithium-ion battery has been moved to lower centre of gravity further and two 120kW electric motors are placed over the front and rear axles, providing a finer weight distribution for sharper cornering.
Nismo’s ride and handling tuning expertise has also been deployed although suspension changes haven’t been detailed.
Newer EV technology sees performance increase dramatically over the first Leaf Nismo RC, with a combined output of 240kW and 640Nm available from a standstill at all four wheels, utilising torque vectoring to accelerate the RC from 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds.
Helping achieve that is a drastic weight reduction over the road-going car via the use of carbon-fibre parts and panels that weight in at 1220kg on the scales – 337kg less than the normal Leaf.
Nissan will produce six Nismo Leaf RC vehicles, the first shown during Nismo Festival held at Fuji International Speedway in Japan. Other models will be on display around the world to showcase Nissan’s electric future at each Formula E event.
Alex Rae is Drive’s Melbourne based reporter with over 10 years’ experience in the automotive industry as a photographer and journalist. Having studied both engineering and the arts, Alex understands what makes things tick while appreciating that sometimes it’s all about form over matter…