Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept Debuts
2011 Tokyo Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- A second Leaf concept from Nismo, Nissan's motorsports arm, is unveiled at the Tokyo auto show.
- The Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept was designed for the street, with an aero body kit and larger wheels and tires.
- The earlier Leaf Nismo RC concept was a racecar, with full carbon-fiber bodywork.
TOKYO — Nissan's motorsports arm Nismo has released a second concept version of the Leaf electric car that is not nearly as radical as the Leaf Nismo RC concept racer unveiled earlier this year at the 2011 New York Auto Show.
The latest example, simply called the Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept, is a bit more sedate. As with the earlier racing car, Nismo has left the production 80kW electric motor untouched on the Leaf Nismo Concept. Unlike the Leaf Nismo RC, which featured full carbon-fiber bodywork, the latest Nismo concept is geared more for the street.
Nismo said its intention was to "show that electric vehicles can appeal to the heart just as much as to the head."
An aero body kit on the Leaf Nismo Concept bundles a front aero bumper, rear under protector, rear diffuser and extended side sills, all of which combine to provide additional downforce — although, with only 90 horsepower on tap, one wouldn't think that would be much of an issue with the standard Leaf.
Nismo also added LED lighting up front, as well as 18-inch alloy rims shod with low-profile rubber.
Despite the lack of a power upgrade, Nissan's electric-vehicle director Hideaki Watanabe said: "The Nismo Concept not only proves the hidden potential of Nissan Leaf, but also adds even more excitement and energy to Leaf, delivering a guilt-free yet exhilarating driving experience that can be enjoyed by every car enthusiast."
Edmunds.com says: Nismo should consider taking a cue from Honda's Mugen, which did a nice job of tweaking the hybrid powertrain in the CR-Z.