This really needs to happen for obvious reasons.
Only hours after the official online reveal of the all-new Nissan Leaf, there's already discussion about a performance version. An all-electric hot hatch, if you will. Autocar learned from Nissan design chief Alfonso Albaisa that the Japanese automaker understands the need for the new Leaf to appeal to a buying audience the first generation car never really did: young people. "The previous Leaf's design wasn't popular with the majority of people, so its look couldn't contribute to sales," Albaisa stated.
"The new car is lower, wider and sportier, with the point of this design being to get greater accessibility of the market." To further help expand upon that, a "racier version" is also being considered, one with Nismo parts and know-how. Albaisa added that developing a Leaf Nismo would be pretty easy to do, and it makes all the more sense if Nissan wants to reach those younger buyers. If Nissan can successfully give the Juke the Nismo treatment, then why not do the same for the new Leaf? Incidentally, we may not have to wait too long until a more performance-oriented Leaf arrives. Although it won't bear the Nismo name, the Leaf E-Plus is expected sometime in 2019.
In addition to improved batteries, it'll also feature a stiffer structure, but no other details are known at the moment. But we think the Leaf E-Plus is the perfect starting point for a Nismo version. Add some suspension modifications, an aero body kit, and other necessary elements, and you're nearly there. It just has to deliver on the performance front, especially in light of the Tesla Model 3's arrival. And speaking of which, the Model 3 is due to have Ludicrous Mode in the near future. Nismo engineers: that's your bogey.