The Nissan Leaf is a wonderfully pleasant thing, isn’t it? Harmless to look at, harmless to drive and playful to own without causing any real damage to your bank account or the environment. It’s all wonderfully friendly, isn’t it? Well, Nissan wants to change that.
Enter, the Leaf Nismo RC. It’s an all-electric racing car and it will be making its European Debut at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain, and it is set to send shockwaves through the current electric racing infrastructure. Puns intended.
The whole package just looks beautifully terrifying. You can see from the photos just how low the car sits to the ground, with the intakes and bodywork ready to channel bucket-loads of air as the streamlined body zips around the circuit. You can still see the design cues of the regular Leaf hiding among the aesthetic of the Nismo RC. The grille, roofline, and taillights all indicate that this isn’t a car too far from what we see on our roads today. That massive spoiler does give the game away a little bit, we’ll admit that. This is because the Leaf Nismo RC is loosely based on the road going Leaf, except which huge spikes in performance and maybe one or two tweaks to the appearance…
The Nismo will deliver 322 horsepower, which is plenty, and 640Nm of torque, which is much more than plenty. That torque will be instantly available too, which means the acceleration will be otherworldly. Nissan have told us a 0-60mph time of just 3.4 seconds.
Michael Carcamo, Nissan global Motorsport Director, said: “Nissan’s experience as a pioneer in electric vehicles for the road, combined with Nismo’s 60-plus years of motorsport innovation, led to the conception of a unique car,”
This isn’t all just for show either, Nissan are saying that this “acts as a testbed for future technological evolution and showcases the limitless potential of Nissan electric vehicles.”
Michael added, "For Nissan, the 'E' in 'EV' also stands for 'Exciting'. Putting this philosophy front and centre, we created the LEAF NISMO RC. It amplifies the fun-to-drive aspect of electric mobility, raising the thrills offered by EVs to a new level,"
Nissan are letting everyone know just how what they can achieve with a twin motor setup powering all 4 wheels. The Leaf is officially the worlds most popular electric vehicle, ahead of the Teslas, with 450,000 units of the Leaf sold since it first hit the market in 2010. They aren’t boring cars either, as anyone who has ever driven one will tell you. The instant acceleration is something that takes getting used to but it puts petrol and diesel-powered cars to shame off the line.
The new ‘Leaf+’ model makes the driving experience even more enjoyable as power output is increased to 215 horsepower and the battery size is also increased. Nissan have been pleased to see that 20% of all Leaf sales are now of the top-of-the-range Leaf+ model.