Like a Leaf on the Wind: NISMO's Racing Modification of the Leaf Unveiled

Since its release, the Nissan Leaf has enjoyed a great deal of success in the green car market. With a reputation for being amongst the most efficient electric vehicles available it is not surprising that Nissan would have more plans for the Leaf even as they continue to fill orders that were placed last year in the United States alone. Nissan’s new plan, however, shifts the focus from providing an electric vehicle to the standard consumer towards something a little faster.

A few days back Nissan released photos of the Nissan Leaf NISMO RC. Developed by NISMO, the motorsports division of Nissan, to be a fully race capable version of the Leaf means that the vehicle has undergone quite a few modifications. The NISMO version of the Leaf sports a full carbon fiber body and has been modified to sit lower and fit around racing tires and other equipment. The electric engine provides 107 horsepower and makes zero to sixty two miles per hour in approximately 6.85 seconds.

Those specifications are paired with the a speed for the NISMO Leaf of only  93 miles per hour that really does not make the Leaf an ideal candidate for the racing scene depending on where it was to be entered. So, the question that is probably being asked is why NISMO would go through all the effort to develop an electric racing car that could easily be blown away on the track at the current specifications. Despite this, it is entirely possible that this is only the beginning for the model.

The future of the NISMO Leaf is uncertain at the moment, but it is expected that Nissan will be providing demonstrations of the model at various shows and racing tracks in the very near future. As Nissan begins to recuperate from the delays caused by the first major earthquakes and resulting tsunami last month it seems that the company is eager to show that they haven’t missed a step along the way.

Photo Credit: Miki Yoshihito