Nissan Shares Pikes Peak Leaf Experience (VIDEO)

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Ever wonder how it feels to travel the famous Pikes Peak hill-climb circuit in Colorado in an electric car?

While an AC Propulsion powered full-spec race car sponsored by tire firm Yokohama may have set a new electric car hill climb record of 12 minutes and 20 seconds, Nissan was sending one of its production Nissan Leafs up the 12.42 mile course. 

And while Nissan’s Chad Hord - normally found behind the wheel of a race-spec Nissan Titan - completed the course in 14 minutes and 33 seconds, he did so in a car that was essentially the same vehicle you see on Nissan dealer lots everywhere. 

2011 Nissan Leaf

2011 Nissan Leaf

Enlarge Photo

The only modifications? Race seats, roll cage, no headlining, and perhaps a little less trim than you’d expect if you had just ordered the all-electric hatch from your dealer. 

But while the interior may have had a few tweaks to make it safe for the driver, everything else was factory spec. 

Chad reported that during the course the fastest he recalls driving was around 72 mph, with an average speed of between 62 and 65 mph.  On arrival at the top, the Leaf had more than half a battery pack of charge remaining, despite climbing 4,721 feet at race speeds. 

Nissan’s video of the Leaf’s climb of Pike’s Peak is just the latest in a line of videos showing that Nissan’s family hatchback, while primarily a car for suburbia, can still hold its own on the race track.


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Comments (5)
  1. " On arrival at the top, the Leaf had more than half a battery pack of charge remaining"

    Did they drive back down? How much power was recovered?

  2. this is really cool. I wish they had video from camera mounted on the car during the race. that great.

  3. Nikki, please, keep it accurate. For energy left, Chad said he had between three eighths and one half of the battery left (37% to 50%) when he got to the top - which is probably 5 of the twelve "bars" on the dash display. Only after regen down the hill did he get back to "more than half" at 54%. It must have been the techs that told him that percentage, as otherwise that number isn't displayed to the driver.
    Aside from that, thanks for the article and video. Between this Pikes Peak hill climb and passing up other EVs at Refuel, at Laguna Seca, the Leaf is proving to be a very well designed and built car. Go NISSAN!

  4. The video is no longer available--it's marked "private."

  5. @Steve: We've swapped in another copy of the video. The page should update within half an hour.

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