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Nissan Leaf Nismo RC First Drive – Motor Trend

Posted in cars with tags , , on September 7, 2012 by SpenceG

nissan leaf nismo rc
The Nissan Leaf Nismo RC might be powered by the same 107-hp electric motor that propels the consumer-oriented Leaf, but that’s where the similarities end. With its purpose-built carbon-fiber body, monocoque chassis, race-tuned suspension setup, servo-less brakes, and powerless steering, the Nismo RC is a race-ready EV on steroids.

Nismo has created about a dozen Leaf RCs. Equipped with a huge Super GT-style wing and sitting ultra-close to the ground, it certainly looks the part, but does it drive the part as well? To see if the hype is real, we jumped behind the wheel of the experimental race car at Nissan’s Oppama Grandrive proving ground, about one hour south of Tokyo.

The spec sheet tells the initial story. The RC is nearly 7 inches wider than the standard Leaf, but 13 inches lower, and, at a featherweight 2050 pounds, some 1300 pounds lighter. Though its powertrain retains the stock car’s output of 107 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque, the lower curb weight considerably improves the RC’s power-to-weight ratio. All of the critical hardware — electric motor, inverter, single-speed reduction gearbox, and sizeable 192 lithium-ion battery pack — is located just behind the cockpit, giving the car an ideal 50:50 front-rear weight distribution. The rearward shift also allowed Nismo to reroute the power from the front wheels to the rear.

via Nissan Leaf Nismo RC First Drive – Motor Trend.  Also, check out diecast plymouth road runner superbird.