2011 New York Auto Show Preview: Nissan Leaf Nismo RC is a green racing car

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 21, 2011

Although it is Sunday and usually everybody is lazy, Nissan decided to bring some sun to our day and revealed the Leaf Nismo RC, a sporty version of their electric car where RC comes from Racing Competition. Set to make its debut at the 2011 New York Auto Show, the new car promises to change the way we think regarding the ‘racing green’ term.

According to the manufacturer, the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC was designed and built as a real racing machine and features a full carbon fiber monocoque bodywork.

More over, the three-piece bodywork includes removable front and rear sections, fixed windows, LED headlights and taillights and driver-adjustable rear wing. The 2-door race is the creation of Nissan’s Global Design Center in Japan and features a special 4-coat Pearl White paint with blue NISMO/Zero Emission graphics. Regarding its dimensions, the car features a 3.9-inch shorter wheelbase, is 0.8 inches longer and 6.7 inches wider.

Furthermore, the car is with more than a foot (13.8 inches) lower than the production model while the total weight was reduced to 2,068 pounds, with 40 percent less than the production vehicle. Under the hood, we find a lithium-ion battery composed of 48 compact modules and a high-response 80kW AC synchronous motor that generates 107 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque.

As expected, the car can be recharged to 80 percent of its full capacity in 30 minutes using the quick charging port located inside the rear cowl. Regarding its performances, the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC is capable to hit 62 mph or 100 km/h in just 6.85 seconds and has a top speed of 93 mph or 150 km/h.

The Nissan Leaf Nismo RC is designed and manufactured as a true racing machine as seen in its full carbon fiber monocoque bodywork. This 3-piece bodywork consists of detachable front and rear sections, adjustable rear wing, fixed windows and LED headlights plus taillights. The 2-door race version, based on the distinct exterior styling of the Nissan Leaf, was built by Nissan Global Design Center, Japan.

The exterior is completed with 4-coat special Pearl White finish plus blue Nismo/Zero Emission graphics. The wheelbase measures 0.8 inches longer, 6.7 inches wider and 3.9 inches shorter. Its height shows the most striking difference as the Nismo RC sits 13.8 inches lower than the Nissan Leaf. There is a ground clearance limit of 2.4 inches as compared to the 6.3 inches of the road running car. Moreover, the race car weighs 2,068 pounds, which is around 40% less than the production sedan.

The Nissan Leaf Nismo RC has a much different layout from the production vehicle, presenting a mid-ship location to accommodate the electric motor, battery pack plus inverter with rear-wheel-drive against the front-wheel-drive of the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC. Also, the Nismo RC makes use of a dual-wishbone suspension design at the front and rear plus adjustable brake balance. It runs on 6-spoke wheels measuring 18 inches and P225/40R18 racing tires by Bridgestone.

The Nismo RC is power-driven by a lithium-ion battery with 48 compact modules as well as responsive 80kW AC synchronous motor, which generates 107 hp and 07 lb-ft of torque. The battery can be charged to 80% of its maximum capacity in half an hour with the use of a quick charging port in the rear cow. It is different from other competition vehicles since the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC does not come with a tailpipe, exhaust sound, emissions of CO2 or any greenhouse gases while running.

During the initial testing, the Nismo RC accelerated from 0 to 62 mph in 6.85 seconds, with a top speed of 93 mph. It is projected to have a 20-minute running time under racing conditions.

Some people perceive that electric vehicles lean on the dull side of the automotive enthusiasm scale, which is obviously not the case when it comes to either the electrifying Nissan Leaf Nismo RC or the production Nissan Leaf, according to Tavares. Owners of the Nissan Leaf are getting accustomed to the fresh new idea of zero emission technology. The company believes that the world of motorsports also has the same potential and Nissan is proud to start it all.

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