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The Nissan Leaf Race Car is Back and Twice as Powerful

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/30/2018 Motor Trend Staff
2018-LEAF-NISMO-RC-track-12.jpg

Back in 2011, Nissan decided to turn the Leaf into a race car, and the result was the original Leaf NISMO RC. Now there's a new version that Nissan claims is more than twice as powerful as before.

a black and red car© Motor Trend Staff

Revealed in Tokyo this week, the new Leaf NISMO RC uses two electric motors to power all four wheels. The body has also been restyled for better aerodynamic performance. Its roofline is now nearly a foot lower than a regular Leaf. And, of course, there's the massive wing out back to provide the necessary downforce.

a red car parked on the side of a building© Motor Trend Staff

The two 161-hp motors combine to make a system total of 322 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. With a carbon-fiber body and other lightweight components, Nissan was able to keep the weight down to about 2,690 pounds. That allows the Leaf NISMO RC to launch from 0 to 60 mph in a claimed 3.4 seconds, making it 50 percent quicker than its predecessor. To get around the track more quickly, power at each axle is controlled independently, sending torque to the wheels based on which one has the most grip.

a red car parked in front of a building© Motor Trend Staff

As before, the new Leaf NISMO RC is more than a one-off concept that will never see a race track. Nissan says it plans to build six examples, which it will send to various events around the world.

Source: Nissan

2018 LEAF NISMO RC 01© Motor Trend Staff 2018 LEAF NISMO RC 01
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