Nissan Creates LEAF Race Car

As they say of NASCAR: “Race on Sunday, buy on Monday.” Will it work for electric vehicles (EVs)? Nissan hopes so.

As they say of NASCAR: “Race on Sunday, buy on Monday.”

Will it work for electric vehicles (EVs)? Nissan hopes so.

Or at least that's a rationalization for the Nissan LEAF NISMO RC.

NISMO is Nissan's motorsports group that ordinarily works on such things at the company's Super GT and FIA GT1 teams. But in this case, they've created a vehicle deploying the architecture used for the production lithium-ion battery powered LEAF passenger car.

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Unlike the LEAF, there are no rear doors, rear seat, trunk, audio system, navigation, carpeting, or other amenities that make the LEAF such a comfortable vehicle and the LEAF NISMO RC (that's as in “Racing Competition”) an EV race car.

About the car, Carlos Tavares, chairman, Nissan Americas, said, “The Nissan LEAF NISMO RC will serve as a platform for the development of new green motorsports series.”

One wonders, however: can you imagine watching a NASCAR race—live or on TV—that was essentially silent?

Another issue: although the car has a 0 to 62 acceleration of 6.85 seconds and a top speed of 93 mph—certainly reasonable for tracks with plenty of turns (think Infineon Raceway, not Daytona), it is projected to have a running time of about 20 minutes.  Clearly, races would be won, as they say, in the pits.