The Nissan Leaf Race Car is Back and Twice as Powerful
Back in 2011, Nissan decided to turn the Leaf into a race car, and the result was the original Leaf NISMO RC. Now there’s a new version that Nissan claims is more than twice as powerful as before.
Revealed in Tokyo this week, the new Leaf NISMO RC uses two electric motors to power all four wheels. The body has also been restyled for better aerodynamic performance. Its roofline is now nearly a foot lower than a regular Leaf. And, of course, there’s the massive wing out back to provide the necessary downforce.
The two 161-hp motors combine to make a system total of 322 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. With a carbon-fiber body and other lightweight components, Nissan was able to keep the weight down to about 2,690 pounds (1,220 kg). That allows the Leaf NISMO RC to launch from 0 to 60 mph in a claimed 3.4 seconds, making it 50 percent quicker than its predecessor. To get around the track more quickly, power at each axle is controlled independently, sending torque to the wheels based on which one has the most grip.
As before, the new Leaf NISMO RC is more than a one-off concept that will never see a race track. Nissan says it plans to build six examples, which it will send to various events around the world.