It seems these days Nissan is trying to prove that their Leaf EV is capable of being more than just an around the town electric golf cart with better seats. After announcing that an almost factory-spec Leaf would be taking part in the 89th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the Japanese automaker will now be taking the Leaf to the 79th 24 Hours of Le Mans. However, it won't be competing in the regular race, but rather the experimental support race.
The electric Audi R8 and a hydrogen-powered Mazda RX-8 competed in this same event last year. The car that will be taking part in the event will in fact be the Nismo RC that premiered at this year's New York Auto Show. It's powered by the same 80-kilowatt AC electric motor as the production Leaf and produces 107hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. Nissan has made some necessary changes (to say the least) to the Nismo RC, such as converting it to rear-wheel-drive and placing the motor in front of the rear axle.
In addition, the lithium-ion battery has been moved towards the center of the car for improved weight distribution. A roll cage, racing seats, and a racing harness have been added as well. The Nismo RC will hit the track on June 9th and 11th for two demonstration runs.