Nissan promises more thrills from latest Leaf Nismo RC electric race car
Last year's Leaf overhaul not only delivered a huge range bump, more power and more torque, but it also came wrapped in a much less awkward body style than the all electric vehicle that preceded it. Nissan treated the world's best-selling electric car to a sporty makeover in July of this year, and has now revealed a powerful track variant called the Nismo RC.
Nissan's motorsport division has doubled down on power and torque output, while treating the new all-wheel drive RC to an aggressive restyling – all of which should lead to more excitement on the racetrack.
"The all-new Leaf Nismo RC shows how we're setting our sights even higher when it comes to raw power and performance – making electric vehicles even more exciting for customers," said the company's Daniele Schillaci. "It's our most thrilling expression yet of the philosophy of Nissan Intelligent Mobility."
At each end of the car's chassis is an electric motor, which combine to produce 240 kW (321 hp) of power and 640 Nm (472 lb.ft) of "instant torque to the wheels." That's more than double the figures accompanying the launch of the first Leaf Nismo RC in 2011. This allows for a standstill to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint in 3.4 seconds.
Some drivetrain technology from the Leaf road car has made its way into the RC, including the batteries positioned in the middle of the car for optimum weight distribution and the inverters that sit with the motors to the front and rear. Nissan says that power is independently managed at each axle so that the tire with the most grip on the tarmac can be supplied with instant torque.
The RC has been given a silver and black paint job, with red accenting, measures 4,546 mm (178.9 in) long and crouches low at 1,212 mm (47.7 in) from roof to tarmac. A full carbon fiber racing monocoque means that the car's weight comes in at just 1,220 kg (2,689.6 lb), the body has removable front and rear sections and an adjustable rear wing.
The Leaf Nismo RC will make its track debut on December 2 at the Fuji International Speedway for the annual Nismo Festival, together with Nissan's new Formula E electric race car. Only six Leaf Nismo RC cars are scheduled for production, which will be sent around the world as demonstration models for Nissan electric vehicle racing technologies. The car can be seen in action in the video below.