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.

  • 2011 Nissan LEAF NISMO RC
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  • 0-60 time:
    6.85 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    93 mph
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Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the Topspeed.com team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with Topspeed.com ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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  (1211) posted on 12.26.2011

This car will not use full electric; I bet they have activated the diesel option of this racing car in case the car loses it power!

  (683) posted on 12.4.2011

Wow! It looks so attractive on its color combination! The graphic design of it also adds more appeal for this race car. However, I don’t like the fact that it is an electric vehicle, so unreliable!

  (248) posted on 08.3.2011

It seems that Nissan is building a racing prototype for this vehicle. Well, I don’t think that with the speed performance like that it’s appropriate to call this ride as racing car! It’s kind of less powerful!

  (242) posted on 08.3.2011

The Nissan Leaf was held as the World Car of the Year. The technology used in the car is quite impressive and it makes the car more reliable among electric-powered vehicle.

  (599) posted on 07.5.2011

Oh! So there’s a racing competition for electric cars? We all know that this version never perform good!I wonder on how far it can go! It seems that I need to watch this race in order to find out.

  (776) posted on 07.5.2011

I like the version of the Nissan leaf that debut in the New York Auto Show last April! However, for this racing car I think there’s no used to comment on the look since the performance really matters most!

  (506) posted on 05.25.2011

Wow, they really lived up to all the hype on this one. It’s really surprising to see how good it actually handles. Now even more looking forward to seeing this released.

  (647) posted on 05.19.2011

Well, they probably can work on some rules that would be used for doing the battery changes. Besides, once they get the hang of it, the pit crew will be able to do battery changes much quicker.

  (539) posted on 04.20.2011

Hmm, you’re right. Refueling would probably be a problem for this one. Maybe they can use swappable batteries, though that one would still be slower than simply plugging in a gas pump.

  (142) posted on 04.20.2011

20mins in racing is short lol. IMO, they need to increase battery life even if that adds weight. Anyway, this can be less complicated than recharging the battery. All they gotta do is change the battery on every pit stop, and weak used batteries can be recharged and so on.. They would probably require a lot of batteries to replace to make an electric race long. I think this would be entertaining to see.

  (92) posted on 04.19.2011

ok... i guess that they can make this happen. but once it races, what? the cars can’t race for not even half an hour, refuelling is just not an option because it takes half a day to charge the car.. no real racing-enthusiast is going to want to even hear about this

  (4) posted on 04.19.2011

Well motorsport will undoubtedly move into an electric sport soon. It has to, in order to be seen as socially responsible. But AdamA3 I don’t think you should criticize Nissan, they are making electric cars because hopefully solar power, nuclear power etc will eradicate the use of fossil-fuels one day, and so electricity will be a ’green’ power.

  (8) posted on 04.19.2011

Firstly, I think it is a bit of a con how the nation suddenly thinks that electricity is a renewable source of energy? This is having a pop at the normal LEAF more than this ridiculous racing car. Spend less time on stupid projects like this and find a real solution to finding renewable fuels!

  (858) posted on 04.19.2011

Lame! Don’t try to make me laugh! Electric car in a race? Oh please, I will be praising you guys if you could make this car run through the use of full electric without using the diesel option for this.

  (398) posted on 04.19.2011

Oh no! Don’t try to fool us Nissan! This car will not use full electric, i bet they have activated the diesel option of this racing car in case the car loses it power!

  (336) posted on 04.19.2011

Well, the idea does look good on paper, but will it actually work when they put it into the actual races? This would definitely be something that I want to see.

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