Stock Nissan Leaf will join Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 26

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 26, 2011

At the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this year, a stock all-electric Nissan Leaf will participate and it will be piloted by Chad Hord, according to the event’s organizers. On June 26, we will witness the 2011 World Car of The Year compete in the second oldest motor sport in America after the Indy 500.

In a press release, the organizers said that electric automobiles have been “popping up like dandelions” across the country, and so it’s to be expected that they will be a part of the 89th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Of course, electric cars have appeared at the Pikes Peak previously. In fact, they got their own class in 2010. It’s dubious at best if a completely stock Nissan Leaf is capable of beating the current EV Hill Climb record holder Ikuo Hanawa of Japan and the EV Sports Concept HER-02.

Chad Hord, who will get behind the wheel of Leaf, has a lot of experience. Currently, he drives an off-road racing truck in the TORC series. The 110hp Leaf has a top speed of 90 mph.

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb consists of a 12.42 mile course with 156 turns. It starts at 9,390 feet and its finish line is at the 14,110 foot summit above Colorado Springs. Tickets are priced from $40.00. A Family Four-Pack is priced at $125.00 while VIP admission has a price tag of $80.00.

One of the principles that Nissan follows is that even small details can lead to large effects. The front of the Nissan LEAF for instance makes use of an upright V-shaped design with the up-slanting and long light-emitting diode headlights.

These same headlights make use of a blue internal reflective design as if to say that that this car is indeed special. However, the headlights are not only there for design purposes. The way it has been designed is that it can split and then redirect the airflow away from its door mirrors. This helps reduce not just the wind noise but the drag as well. This is not the only benefit that the headlights provide.

Since it makes use of LED technology, it uses 10% less electricity compared to standard lamps. Thus, this ensures that the Nissan LEAF is able to attain the world-class range autonomy. By bringing the trim colors to the interior, the LEAF offers a cabin atmosphere that is stylish and pleasing. When the Nissan LEAF was first introduced, its body color came in an Aqua Globe theme. Environment-friendly, this same "blue earth" color theme is present in the new LEAF.

In addition, it can also be observed in the interior especially with illumination on the instruments and the highlights on its dashboard. One feature of the Nissan LEAF is that it makes use of a very advanced and exclusive IT system. Since this system is connected to a global data center, it can give the driver the needed information, support, and even entertainment, 24/7. On the dashboard, a monitor is mounted that can show the driver a choice of charging stations in the vicinity and even the reachable area or the amount of remaining power.

There is also an innovative feature being offered -- it’s of being able to use mobile phones in order to set the charging functions or activate the air conditioning. While some models offer this feature, what makes the LEAF unique is that it is possible even if the vehicle is currently powered down.

There is also a remote-controlled timer inside that can be pre-programmed in order to recharge the batteries. Chief Product Specialist Tooru ABE reveals that having an IT system results in the LEAF getting a significant advantage.

Chief ABE adds that the brand wanted this vehicle to not just serve as a partner for the driver but to deliver enhancement for its passengers. The brand also wanted a vehicle that could start a zero-emission community and by having these different IT features, make sure that the LEAF will be that vehicle, he continues.

While the LEAF does represent an important part when it comes to creating a period of zero-emission mobility, the brand admits that playing a significant role as well is the internal-combustion engine technologies. This is expected to impact the global transportation scene for the years to come.

As such, Nissan is planning to implement this zero-emission vision by applying a holistic approach which includes giving consumers that ability to choose from a wide-range of environment friendly technology. For certain consumers, this will be the only car they would want as it is more than a perfect match. For some though, having the LEAF as part of the family is more than a logical choice. The LEAF is also an optimal choice when it comes to the daily commute.

For the company, the eventual goal is clearly zero-emissions and this is why it remains to be committed to continuing its innovation on eco-friendly technologies that not only increase efficiency but at the same time lower emissions. It is because of this that Nissan continues to have a comprehensive package of automotive technologies in its vehicles like CVT, Clean Diesel, HEV, and Idle Stop. The brand has invested and is currently doing research in FCV technology.

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