Looking to breathe a bit of excitement into its electric vehicle efforts, Nissan will be putting its Leaf of the race track--if but in name alone.
Debuting at the 2011 New York auto show, the 100% electric Nissan Leaf Nismo RC (Racing Competition) prototype shares little more than its lithium-ion battery technology, general styling cues, and its name with the Nissan Leaf we're familiar with. The RC wheelbase is 3.9-inch shorter wheelbase, overall height has been chopped by 13.9 inches, and there are two fewer doors. However, the racer is 0.8 inches longer overall and 6.7 inches wider than the production hatch.
The battery pack and inverter move to a mid-ship orientation and now send power to the rear wheels, rather than the front, via a high-response 80kW AC synchronous motor that generates 107 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. That doesn't sound like a ton of power, but remember the Nismo RC is using close to a stock battery pack. Also similar to the configuration is the quick charge port that can bring the RC's battery pack to an 80% charge--although the connection is now beneath the rear cowl, rather than on the front bumper.
We'll be seeing more of the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC prototype at the 2011 Ney York auto show later this week, so stay tuned for more photos and details as they emerge.