Nissan has just unleashed the Leaf Nismo RC (Racing Competition) racing car at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. The Japanese auto maker has said the Leaf RC is not just for show but rather it’s a testbed for future technological evolution and showcases their limitless EV potential.
Now, calling the Leaf Nismo RC a race car might be a bit of a stretch, as this looker of an EV wasn’t strictly built to tear the asphalt off race courses but as a moving marketing piece to promote the new Leaf. The Leaf Nismo RC shares its advanced tech with the Leaf road car, which they say is the world’s most popular EV with 450,000 units sold since 2010.
"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," said Michael Carcamo, Nissan Global Motorsport Director.
"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," Michael added.
Underneath the sleek body work hides some serious fire power. The Leaf Nismo RC boasts more than double the power and torque output of its predecessor which was based on the first-generation Leaf. The Nismo RC delivers 240kW and 640Nm of instantly available twist. It performs the century sprint from rest in just 3.4 seconds, thanks to an all-wheel drive, twin-motor powertrain.
By the looks of it, the Leaf Nismo is constructed on a full carbon fibre monocoque which means it probably weighs next to nothing. The lithium-ion battery pack and inverters – sourced from the actual Leaf – is placed low in the middle of the car for the best weight balance possible.
Elsewhere, Nissan says the powertrain in the Leaf e+ road car, has its range increased by 40 percent. The BEV will still be equipped with Nissan’s ProPilot technology and e-Pedal mode for one-pedal driving.
"Anyone who has ever driven a Nissan LEAF will know that it is fun to drive," said Helen Perry, Head of Electric Vehicles for Nissan Europe. "The LEAF e+ adds even more excitement with an amazing 215hp motor, which – combined with a bigger battery and the e-Pedal – makes the LEAF even more exhilarating. It has been a real hit with customers too, with around 20% of all LEAF sales being this top-of-the-range model."