Nissan has released this picture of its electric Nismo RC race version of its Nissan Leaf, set to be unveiled at the New York auto show this week. The "hardcore" EV manages the 0-62mph sprint in 6.9sec, down from 11.9sec despite retaining the standard car's 107hp electric motor. Top speed is also boosted to 93mph and under race conditions, the Nismo should be good for a running time of 20 minutes.
Structurally, the Nismo RC sits 12in. lower, is 6in. wider and has a wheelbase 3in. shorter than the standard Leaf. Weight has been reduced by 40 percent by switching to a carbon fiber monocoque and ditching much of the interior. Other differences between standard and race spec include the Nismo's mid-mounted battery pack for better weight distribution as well as a rear-wheel-drive setup, compared with the standard version's FWD layout.
“There's a perception that electric vehicles fall on the dull side of the automotive enthusiasm scale − which is certainly not the case with this electrifying Leaf Nismo RC,” said Nissan Americas chairman Carlos Tavares.
With the race model, Nissan is considering a zero-emission race series in the future.