Tree-Hugger? Nah, This Nissan Leaf Owner Hugs Corners, Beats Gas Cars

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There are some who might say the Nissan Leaf is a bit of a car for wimps. A hippy car. Or even a car for those who don't really think we should be driving cars at all.

Tell that to the guys who take their Leafs to autocross events--and even beat those racing on internal combustion.

Of course, the Leaf isn't an obvious choice for motorsport. Most would agree it's in its element at lower speeds, soothing drivers silently around crowded city streets.

With instant torque, a low center of gravity and front-wheel drive traction though, it seems a few drivers have found the Leaf surprisingly adept at racing between the cones.

There's no great tuning industry for the Leaf at the moment, unlike many cars, but resourceful owners have worked on spring and shock combinations to improve the handling. Further improvements would be possible with better tires, but most of these cars are daily driven so can't be too uncompromising for road use...

Likewise, removing trim and unused accessories would reduce weight further and let the Leaf's 107-horsepower electric motor really get to work.

Even as it is, some Leafs are putting in decent times--the car in the video got around the course in 47 seconds, beating several other vehicles on the day. We've previously even seen near-stock Leafs matching Mustang GTs and Nissan GTRs on autocross events.

And the best thing? After you've kicked some gas-guzzling ass on the track, you can drive home without using any gas at all.

Well, as long as you've not used all your electricity having fun...


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