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Nismo Offers To 'Chip' Your Leaf Electric Car For Better Performance

Follow Antony

Nice vehicle though the 2013 Nissan Leaf is, it's just a little... tame, for some people.

Those people may be intrigued to know that in Japan at least, there's an option to give it a little more performance.

We've covered the Nissan Leaf tuned by NISMO (for NISsan MOtorsport) previously, but the official Nissan tuner offers more than just visual upgrades. Customers can also purchase a reset control module, liberating extra performance from the motor with minimal effect on range.

The 136,500 Yen ($1,400) option gives drivers a little more power, improving acceleration and responses. The tuner has even tweaked the car's Eco mode, improving cruising range when in this mode.

While the performance upgrade is available individually, it's also part of a wide range of NISMO accessories available to Japanese buyers.

A full, aerodynamically-optimized body kit is available, with unique blue highlights to match the Leaf's blue badging. It's available as a fiber-reinforced plastic or wet carbon kit, the latter costing a healthy $10,225.

A sports suspension kit will set you back a further $1,080, the 18-inch alloy wheels another $450, while floor mats, blue-tinted mirrors and carbon fiber accents are also available. These, mercifully, are a little cheaper than the bodykit.

None of this is planned for U.S. sale, and even if it was you'd have to be brave to add a good $15,000 to the price of a Leaf. But we'd welcome the performance upgrade on its own, particularly if NISMO's promise it doesn't affect range too badly is true.

Maybe other tuners will take NISMO's lead and develop parts to enhance the Leaf beyond its standard specification. Could the Leaf become the electric car world's first tuner vehicle?...

[Hat tip: Brian Henderson]

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Comments (15)
  1. GM Performance Parts for the Volt would be welcome, especially a higher-powered charger and software tweaks to bring its acceleration up to the level of a RAV4EV or better (when used with the appropriate tires, of course).
     
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  2. If I am to understand this correctly, using more power for acceleration will not affect range. I think I'll save my money with that science.
     
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  3. The Tesla Model S 85KW and the 85KW Performance have the exact same range and EPA rating. I don't see why a hopped up Leaf would be any different.
     
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  4. http://www.teslamotors.com/models/options
     
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  5. Yes, under the same five cycle EPA testing, the two Tesla sub-models are rated the same (although I doubt EPA tested every variation). I'm not suggesting the EPA rating will be different; of course it won't.

    Actual range autonomy using MORE power in ANY vehicle will be reduced with increased energy usage. There's no magic here.
     
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  6. Simple Newtonian physics says that accelerating from 0 - 27.8 m/s takes the same amount of energy, whether it takes 4 seconds or 4 minutes to accomplish that.

    Range is determined by how much ENERGY you use, not POWER.
     
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  7. Not necessarily true because of heat, inertia, counter-EMF, and something else I can't remember right now. It is known that cars accelerated slowly use far less energy than one catapulted to the same speed by 443 lb-ft of TORQUE! That's why hypermilers abhor acceleration. It's less efficient.
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  8. @Tony: Of course, it affects range. Nobody has said that it doesn't.
     
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  9. How much more performance are we talking about here?

    Getting more performance without losing range? Only if you don't use the performance. That is NOT difficult with electric motors.

    But how much performance are we talking about here?

    I assume it is one of those "over stress" level for the motor where it can take a slight more heat stress for a short duration...
     
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  10. Note: "Two modes" like standard LEAFs (Normal & Eco); where the Nismo LEAF expecting modes are akin to Performance & Xtra-Eco. Speculating the power curve has been re-tuned for each mode. Performance tuning likely provides a more sporty feel to driving experience than a substantial change in actual road test results. (We'll have to wait for real data. ;)

    The VCU (Vehicle Control Unit), re-shaped rear spoiler, & alt. designed wheels (18") are most interesting parts of the Nismo kit IMO.
     
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  11. Great points. But since the writer indicated more power and better acceleration, I assume it would mean more current feeding the electric motor and electric motor would run at an "elevated" state for that increased power output.
     
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  12. Not disagreeing… Depending on driving style, limited use of performance may not effect range much (as EV can regen momentum). Rubber-burning peeformance will degrade range.

    Typically the driving style used for measuring range is not the same driving style used when measuring performance.
     
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  13. I've had custom chips done for every performance car I've ever had, and better performance always comes at the expense of fuel efficiency. I'm sure Nissan has already engineered the Leaf for maximum range, so I don't see how a tune will increase performance while not affecting range.
     
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  14. If Tesla can do it, why can't Nissan?
     
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  15. what does it take to recharge a electric car, another electric car.
     
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