Nissan Leaf Races Fighter Jet To Remind People It Still Exists

Electric Vehicles / 4 Comments

What other reason could there be?

If you've ever wondered whether a Nissan Leaf would win a drag race with a fighter jet over an undetermined distance, wonder no longer. According to a video shared by Nissan Japan, the Leaf wins by less than a car length.

The CarBuzz office spent at least a minute wondering why Nissan did this, but we've got nothing. It makes even less sense looking at Nissan's current range, which includes the Z and the 2023 Nissan GT-R, which remains the ultimate performance bargain.

Even more surprising is the lengths to which Nissan went to prove the drag race was real. Following the rerelease of the promotional video, Nissan posted another video showing various angles to prove it wasn't faked.


The fighter jet in question is an Aero L-39 Albatros, made from 1971-1996 and used by the Soviet, Czechoslovakian, Libyan, and Syrian Air Forces. Syria still has 61 units in service, while Libya has 10. In both cases, the L-39s are used for training until the pilots are good enough to graduate to the MiGs and Mirages.

Beating a Soviet-era fighter jet off the line is easier than you might think. The Albatros weighs roughly 7,600 pounds, which takes a few seconds to get up to speed, even when using a turbofan jet engine. Meanwhile, the Leaf has a 214-horsepower and 250 lb-ft-of-torque front-mounted EV motor. The most powerful Leaf can reach 60 mph in 7.4 seconds and on to a governed top speed of 106 mph.

The L-39 has a takeoff speed of roughly 134 mph, which is confusing. We can clearly see the jet take off at the end of the battle. We can only assume Nissan removed the limiter and slapped better tires on the car.


The main question remains, however: Why? Nissan's new Ariya easily overshadows the Leaf, but then again, it should, considering it costs nearly twice as much. But this overshadowing may be a clue.

To be blunt, the Leaf was a forgettable car, to begin with. Now that the Ariya is available, many people likely forgot the Leaf even existed. This video's main aim is probably to remind people that Nissan makes two EVs and that one is a decent alternative to the Chevrolet Bolt.

The Leaf is also built in the USA, which means it qualifies for a substantial tax credit, while the Ariya - built in Japan - does not. According to Nissan's website, you can get a Leaf for as little as $20,540, easily making it the most affordable EV available in the USA.


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