The Nissan Leaf NISMO RC will be flaunted at the 2011 New York International Auto Show, further emphasizing Nissan’s dedication to offering green vehicles. This is a prototype racecar that’s based on the production Leaf model. But the racecar version won’t have rear doors, rear seats, audio system, navigation, trunk, carpeting, or basically anything that’s not related to racing.
The NISMO RC has a carbonfibre monocoque bodywork that features removable front and rear sections, a set of LED headlights and taillights, fixed windows, and driver-adjustable rear wing.
The NISMO RC is 13.8 inches (35 cm) lower than the road model version and its ground clearance is limited to 2.4 inches (6.1 cm). When compared to the standard Leaf, the race version has a 3.9-inch (9.9 cm) shorter wheelbase, and it measures 0.8 inches (2 cm) longer and 6.7 (17 cm) inches wider compared to the production car.
Positioned at the middle of the car are the lithium-ion battery, electric motor and inverter. The AC synchronous motor has an output of 80kW (107 hp) and total torque of 207 lb-ft (280 Nm).
This power is sent to the rear-wheels through a front-wheel drive that’s similar to the production Leaf. In addition, the car has a total weight of 2,068 pounds (938 kg) – about 40% lighter than the standard model.
This car features a front and rear a double-wishbone suspension design and driver-adjustable brake balance. It rides on a set of 18-inch 6-spoke wheels that are covered in P225/40R18 Bridgestone racing tires. It can accelerate from a standstill to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.85 seconds, and it has a top speed of 93 mph (150 km/h). When performing in a race, it can reach a mileage sufficient for 20 minutes.
Looking at the back panel, the Nissan Leaf name is unmistakable. The same name can be seen under its massive and adjustable wing in the rear. Due to the use of a lithium-ion battery design (which is similar to the one inside the first mass marketed and affordable electric vehicle), the powertrain has zero emissions. The family resemblance is still present even if there are no rear seats, rear doors, carpeting, navigation, trunk, and audio system, to name a few. This is however where the similarities between the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC and the production version of the Leaf end.
The RC stands for “Racing Competition”, and this electric vehicle will be making its official world debut on April 20, during the 2011 New York International Auto Show. The brand reveals that the RC was built specifically to give new meaning to "Racing Green." Nissan is at present the world leader when it comes to production vehicles with zero emissions. The brand’s foray into zero emissions started with the launch of the Nissan Leaf during the late 2010 to the U.S., Japan, and Europe markets.
The brand is now focusing on the racing world in order to draw more attention to what it believes is the untapped potential of many electric vehicles. According to Nissan Americas Chairman Carlos Tavares, by combining the talents of the brand’s well-known motorsports groups Nismo with the of the engineers who were responsible for its FIA GT1 and Super GT racing teams, it was able to come out with the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC.
This racing car, he added, will function as the rolling laboratory that is aimed at accelerating the development of electric vehicles and its aerodynamic systems. It will also serve as the platform when it develops its green motorsports series, Chairman Tavares continued. This new EV is expected to make a number of special demonstration runs at different motorsports venues during 2011. The brand expects that in the future, it hopes to pioneer competition spec series cars with zero emissions.