Nissan isn’t sure where or when their new electric Leaf Nismo RC will be racing, but we’ve got some very cool video to share.
It’s got a full carbon-fibre monocoque chassis and body panels – measuring a foot lower, 20mm longer, 170mm wider, and 40% lighter than the street car. The Nismo racer also features custom suspension and a fully driver-adjustable rear wing. The drivetrain is almost entirely the same as the street going Leaf – including the 80kw electric motor and 24kWh (that’s kilo-Watt-hour) lithium-ion battery pack. The only major difference is that the electric motor was moved to the middle of the car, and now powers the rear wheels instead of the front.
In the world of electric race cars – speed is relative: 0-60mph takes about 6.8 seconds, and it tops out at 93mph. But, as you can see in the video, there is something missing in the noise department. Then there’s the issue of runtime. Right now – that 24kWh battery pack is only good for 20 minutes at racing speeds. Even on the quick charger a pit-stop to recharge the battery will take 30 minutes to hit 80% charge.
So – it’s not about to take the 24 Hours of Le Mans by storm just yet, but Nissan is looking at some specialty events, and as the technology progresses I’m sure we’ll see some actual electric racing.
Speaking of Le Mans, here’s more recent video of the Leaf running the Circuit de la Sarthe: