World's Quietest Drag Race? Nissan Leaf Vs Chevy Volt (Video)

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Drag racing is conventionally noisy. Very, very, very noisy.

And while electric drag racing is slowly getting started--and a number of racers have been rudely surprised by the White Zombie, a 1972 Datsun converted to electric power, and lots of it--you wouldn't think of production electrics like the Nissan Leaf as quarter-mile material.

Which is why Roman Mica's video, above, made us laugh.

Mica is the videographer who created the Prius vs Prius hybrid drag race a couple of years ago, pitting a second-generation 2009 Prius against the newer, more powerful 2010 Prius.

In this one, a 2012 Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car and a Nissan Leaf battery electric square up and face off in what the announcer calls "brutal combat," without managing to keep his face entirely straight.

Before the acceleration test, both cars are flung around  a parking lot to measure their roadholding. The Leaf scores 0.87 G, the Volt 0.95 G (though we're not sure we agree the Volt has a lower center of gravity than the Leaf, as the video says).

So what happened? Which electric car won?

Well, one car was quicker from 0 to 30 mph, but the other blew past it and captured the 0 to 50 mph title. Watch the video to find out which was which.

Warning: The Fast Laners seem to have the usual mild bias against electric cars, so there are inter-titles during the acceleration footage saying "Some Time Later" and "Some Time Much Later." You can ignore them.

For Chevy lovers, granted, the range-extended electric Volt is no electric Camaro.

But based on the video, we wonder whether we'll see eager Volt and Leaf owners pairing up at stoplights to peel rubber down the road.

Racing for pink slips, anyone?


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Comments (13)
  1. I'd like to see how they stack up against the devilishly quick MINI E - that's a car that'll light up the front end at 40mph if you're not on the smoothest tarmac! - still missing mine.

  2. I'd like to see the Mercedes SLS AMG E-cell versus the Audi R8 e-Tron.

  3. Now you're talking.

  4. I wonder if putting the Volt in Mountain Mode would have improved its acceleration under full throttle....

  5. There's just one word for the video maker: Idiot! The Volt isn't a BEV like the LEAF. It's a hybrid. So let's see some intelligence and make videos Hybrid vs. Hybrid and BEV vs. BEV.

  6. Let's see both cars with fully charged batteries. A Volt with a depleted battery is not fairly represented.

  7. Actually, it's my understanding that the Volt has been designed to provide identical performance whether operating on the battery or via the range-extending generator. I haven't seen this tested by an independent third party to verify it, but if what GM says is correct, the acceleration should be identical in either mode.

  8. 1:55 video of Volt doing circles
    2:02 "oh my . 0.95 so a little better than the volt
    2:09 image of accelerometer showing "9" (0.95?) IN THE LEAF.

    So which was which?

  9. A Plugin Hybrid vs an Electric Car? Doesn't make sense to me. Let see a Coda Sedan vs a Leaf!

  10. No.. the Volt is not a plug in hybrid.. it is a plug in electric... I drive mine daily without the generator ever coming on. The generator comes on to buffer the battery for the electric motor that runs the car.

  11. Green Car Reports needs to revisit White Zombie. Since converting from lead acid to lithium batteries, their quarter mile record has improved to 10.258 seconds ET at 123.79 mph, with a 0-60 time of 1.8 seconds! Despite the incredible performance at the track, it's still street legal and has a 100-mile driving range.

  12. Was the Volt set to SPORT mode? This does improve acceleration significantly.

  13. Volt RULES! I'm taking mine to the Gainesville Gator Nationals.......That's right Bud. Bracket racing here I come.

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