Nissan’s second-generation Leaf has now spawned a second-generation LEAF RC race car
Nissan’s performance arm Nismo has revealed the next Leaf Nismo RC, an all-electric race car derived from the road-going Leaf EV. Although the Leaf RC will not enter competition, its job of inspiring a new generation of racing car fans is thought to be just as important inside Nissan.
Powering the Leaf RC are two electric motors, one mounted on each axle, producing around 120kW for a total output of 240kW. These motors feed drive to the axles independently, allowing the car to distribute its power and 639Nm of torque for best results depending on the driving situation. Feeding these motors is a lithium ion battery pack mounted between the axles.
This is no road-going Leaf with some racing addenda though, as the much lower, much wider body shares nearly nothing with the production car, aside from some familiar design elements around the nose and C-pillar. In fact, the shape gives us a good idea of what a small, VW Scirocco-like hatchback based coupe could look like, if Nissan wanted to build one.
Under the new lightweight skin the Leaf RC sits on a bespoke carbonfibre chassis, which helps keep the weight down to just 1220kg – an impressive feat considering it’s lugging around a sizable battery pack. Performance figures are reasonable, the car reaching 100km/h in just 3.4sec, a number less impressive in this day and age when a production E-class estate will match it.
A total of six units will be built by Nismo, but none will enter competition. Instead they are being sent to motorsport events around the world as part of Nissan’s continued effort to bring electric cars into the mainstream.