Nissan to unveil Nissan Leaf Nismo RC at 2011 New York Auto Show

Nissan to unveil Nissan Leaf Nismo RC at 2011 New York Auto Show

Nissan is going to unveil its new racing variant of  the Leaf electric car at the New York Auto Show, dubbed Nissan Leaf Nismo RC will be coming with a lithium ion battery pack and badging from a stock Leaf.

“Combining the talents of NISMO, Nissan’s world renowned motorsports group, and engineers behind some of the company’s Super GT and FIA GT1 race teams, the Nissan LEAF NISMO RC will serve as a rolling laboratory for the accelerated development of EV and aerodynamic systems, as well as a platform for the development of new green motorsports series,” said Carlos Tavares, chairman, Nissan Americas, speaking at the New York International Auto Show.

There are no rear doors; the carpeting, navigation and stereo system are gone; and the battery pack has been relocated to the middle of the vehicle for better weight distribution.

The Car features a 3.9-inch shorter wheelbase, is 0.8 inches longer and 6.7 inches wider. The most dramatic difference is height, with the NISMO RC sitting more than a foot (13.8 inches) lower than the production Nissan LEAF. Ground clearance is limited to 2.4 inches, compared to 6.3 inches for the road going car. And, at 2,068 pounds, the race car weighs in at about 40 percent less than the production vehicle.

The NISMO RC also utilizes a double-wishbone suspension design front and rear and driver-adjustable brake balance. It rides on 18-inch 6-spoke wheels and P225/40R18 Bridgestone racing tires. In preliminary testing the NISMO RC produces 0 to 62 mph acceleration in 6.85 seconds and a top speed of 93 miles per hour.

While the Nismo RC is a different animal than its production namesake, it still carries a familial resemblance, at least up front. Nissan employed LED lighting all around, a driver-adjustable rear wing and plenty of Nismo/Zero Emission graphics to ensure that onlookers know this is no fossil-fuel burner.

however, that it’s considering a zero-emission spec series for the future. With an estimated run time of 20 minutes under racing conditions, the 30 minute quick-charge time (to achieve 80 percent capacity) would make for some leisurely pit stops. When the Leaf Nismo RC is in motion, its 80kW AC motor generates 107 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque; good enough for a 0-60 time of 6.85 seconds and a 93-mph top speed.

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