Nissan Leaf NISMO RC - Click above to enlarge
Nissan will unveil a racing variant of the Leaf electric car at the New York Auto Show, but the Nissan Leaf NISMO RC has little in common with its more pedestrian "sibling." NISMO started with a lithium ion battery pack and badging from a stock Leaf, then built a completely new vehicle around it.
There are no rear doors; the carpeting, navigation and stereo system are gone; and the battery pack has been relocated to the middle of the vehicle for better weight distribution. Speaking of weight, the NISMO RC is about 40 percent lighter than the production Leaf, as a carbon fiber monocoque platform and more compact dimensions cut total weight to just 2,068 pounds. The race-ready Leaf is also a foot shorter and 6.7 inches wider, and with a scant 2.4 inches of ground clearance.
While the Nissan Leaf NISMO Nismo RC is a different animal than its production namesake, it still carries a familial resemblance, at least up front. Nissan employed LED lighting all around, a driver-adjustable rear wing and plenty of NISMO/Zero Emission graphics to ensure that onlookers know this is no fossil-fuel burner.
Nissan says the NISMO RC will be used for demonstration purposes, so don't expect this Leaf to compete any time soon. The automaker does say, however, that it's considering a zero-emission spec series for the future. With an estimated run time of 20 minutes under racing conditions, the 30 minute quick-charge time (to achieve 80 percent capacity) would make for some leisurely pit stops. When the Leaf NISMO RC is in motion, its 80kW AC motor generates 107 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque; good enough for a 0-60 time of 6.85 seconds and a 93-mph top speed. No land-speed records there, folks, but we're betting this particular Leaf would be a blast to drive anyway. Hit the jump to read over Nissan's press release.
Gallery: Nissan Leaf NISMO RC
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