Nissan Unleashes Electric Race Car

The all-new Nissan LEAF NISMO RC, an electric race car with more than double the maximum power and torque output of its predecessor, was unveiled Thursday in Tokyo.

The car was developed by Nissan’s racing arm, NISMO. It will make its track debut Dec. 2 at the annual NISMO Festival at Fuji International Speedway, appearing alongside Nissan’s new Formula E electric race car.

With dual electric motors, all-wheel drive and an aggressive, restyled body shape, the purpose-built car demonstrates how Nissan’s electric vehicle technology can deliver exciting yet quiet, zero-emission power, according to the company. The model is equipped with advanced battery technology and drivetrain components from the Nissan LEAF, the world’s best-selling electric car.

Nissan plans to build six LEAF NISMO RC vehicles to deploy around the world.

The Power

Powering the all-new Nissan LEAF NISMO RC are two electric motors at opposite ends of the chassis. The motors produce 240 kilowatts combined and an 472 lb-ft of instant torque to the wheels. Nissan more than doubled the maximum power and the torque output of the previous LEAF NISMO RC, which was introduced in 2011. Drivetrain technology sourced from the new Nissan LEAF include the high-capacity lithium-ion battery and inverters.

A new all-wheel-drive system gives the LEAF NISMO RC its outstanding cornering prowess, according to Nissan. Power is managed independently to each axle, instantly supplying torque to the tire with the most grip to let the car maneuver quickly and efficiently around the track.

Similar to the previous model, chassis weight balance has been optimized by the midship location of the battery pack, with the electric motors and inverters ideally placed over the front and rear tires.

The LEAF NISMO RC features a multitude of lightweight components and a full carbon-fiber racing monocoque structure, allowing it to tip the scales at 2,689 pounds. The power-to-weight ratio results in an zero to 62 mph time of 3.4 seconds, 50-percent quicker than the previous model.

Race Styling

While the exterior of the all-new Nissan LEAF NISMO RC is spiritually based on the original LEAF NISMO RC, it sports a more aggressive exterior. A long hood and Nissan’s signature V-motion grille highlight the totally restyled front end. The distinctive silver-and-black paint scheme with NISMO red accents-similar to the Nissan Formula E car-make the LEAF NISMO RC seem like it’s in constant motion, even when sitting still at the starting line, according to Nissan.

The car’s three-piece bodywork includes removable front and rear sections, fixed windows, LED headlights and taillights, and an adjustable rear wing for ideal downforce on the tarmac.

The model is slightly longer than its predecessor, with an overall length of 179 inches and a wheelbase that measures 108 inches. The Nissan LEAF NISMO RC sits wide and low to the ground, with its wind-cutting form measuring only 47.7 inches from roof to road, more than 11.8-inches less than the production Nissan LEAF.

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