Nissan is building just six examples to show off the power and performance of its EV technology.
You probably don't associate the Nissan Leaf with track racing, but Nismo's Leaf Nismo RC has been in production since 2011. And now there's a new model based on the recently launched second-generation Nissan Leaf road car. Unveiled in Tokyo and set to make its official debut during the Nismo Festival at the Fuji International Speedway on December 2, the new Leaf Nismo RC is powered by dual electric motors that produce a combined output of 322 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque – that's more than double the output of its predecessor.
Nissan also claims 0-62 mph is achieved in 3.4 seconds, which is 50 percent quicker than the previous Leaf Nismo RC. It's an effective showcase of how far EV technology has evolved in seven years. The high-capacity lithium-ion battery and inverters have been sourced from the road-going second-generation Nissan Leaf.
"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 Daniele Schillaci, Nissan's Executive VP and chief of Marketing, Sales and Electric Vehicles. "It's our most thrilling expression yet of the philosophy of Nissan Intelligent Mobility."
A new all-wheel-drive system gives the Leaf Nismo RC "outstanding cornering prowess." Power is managed independently to each axle, instantly supplying torque to the tire with the most grip. Placing the electric motors and inverters over the front and rear tires also improves the chassis weight balance.
Thanks to its lightweight components and a full carbon-fiber racing monocoque structure, the electric race car tips the scales at just 2,690 lbs. The exterior also looks more aggressive than the last model, featuring a restyled front fascia, long hood, and Nissan's signature V-motion grille. The car sits wide and low to the ground and is 300 mm lower than a regular Leaf. Nissan will build six examples of the new Leaf Nismo RC to demonstrate around the world, so expect to see it in future Formula E races.