Nissan may still be studying where it will field its Leaf Nismo RC, which the Japanese carmaker debuted last April at the New York Auto Show, but that hasn't stopped its motorsports arm from developing the car even further.
"We are intending to highlight the advanced technology and driving pleasure of the 100-percent electric Nissan Leaf by developing this electric vehicle (EV) racer based on it and introducing the vehicle to the world of motorsports," said Manaki Iwamoto of Nismo's motorsports planning department. "Although the specific competition or category is still under study, we are considering how to use this EV racer for various forms of race events."
Iwamoto added that since EVs are silent and have no harmful emissions, the Leaf Nismo RC could be staged in a unique event that's open only to EVs in city races, indoor circuits or even night races. Iwamoto also suggested that since cockpit noise in an EV is also low, drivers may not only be able to communicate with each other during the race on radio but they may also chat with the spectators in mid-race.
According to Iwamoto, although the Leaf Nismo RC looks very different from the standard Nissan Leaf due to its longer and wider body, lower vehicle height and carbon-fiber body, it is technically the same as the base Nissan Leaf as it still uses the same powertrain, proving "the high capability of the original components." For the sake of the Nismo RC's racing orientation, though, the powertrain has been changed into a mid-engine setup.
Check out the video of the Leaf Nismo RC geting shaken down on the Sodegaura Forest Raceway in Japan below.