Whoever believed electric cars couldn’t be fun clearly did not see Nissan’s latest racing concept, the Leaf Nismo RC. Okay, some may call it ridiculous, but the fact that we’re all going electric one day makes this new concept a sight to behold. Basically, Nissan has taken their Leaf model, added full carbon fiber bodywork, a tweaked engine, and some much needed graphics to turn their "green" little hatchback into what they are hoping will be a spunky racer.
The Nissan Leaf Nismo RC concept features full carbon fiber monocoque bodywork with removable front and rear sections, fixed windows, LED headlights and taillights, and a driver-adjustable rear wing. The concept is painted in a special Pearl White paint with blue NISMO/Zero Emission graphics. Compared to the production version model, the RC Concept is 3.9 inches shorter, 0.8 inches longer, 6.7 inches wider, and 13.8 inches lower. The changes made to it accomplished a 40% weight loss.
For the powertrain, Nissan used a high-response 80kW AC synchronous motor that delivers a total of 107 HP and a peak torque of 207 lbs-ft. This motor is charged by a lithium-ion battery composed of 48 compact modules. Unlike the production version Leaf, the RC concept’s electric motor shoots power to the rear wheels. At the first testings, the Nismo RC concept made the 0 to 62 mph sprint in 6.85 seconds and hit a top speed of 93 mph. In racing condition, it has an autonomy of 20 minutes.
The Nissan Leaf Nismo RC concept will be making special demonstration appearances at various motorsports venues in 2011, but first it will be displayed at the 2011 New york Auto Show.
UPDATE 05/16/2011: Nissan has unveiled a new video of the Leaf Nismo RC showing the concept being tested at the Sodegaura Forest Raceway on May 13, 2011. Hit the jump for the video.
Updated 06/03/2011: Nissan announced that the Leaf Nismo RS will make two demonstration runs at the Le Mans series: the first at 21:15 on Thursday, June 9th and the second at 12:10 on Saturday, June 11th local time. With this occasion the company has revealed new images of the racing car. You will find them in out picture gallery.