Nissan Leaf Nismo RC Concept

Nissan Leaf Nismo RC Concept

Ask most electric vehicle fans to name an electric car best suited to the race track and the chance are the super sexy Tesla Roadster will get mentioned long before the 2011 Nissan Leaf.

But a few months ago NIssan’s motorsport division unveiled its own electric racing car concept based on the humble five-door all-electric hatchback - the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC.

Nissan has already shown us footage of the Nismo RC in an engineering shakedown at the Sodegaura Forest Raceway in Japan, but now the public will have a chance to see the Leaf Nismo RC for themselves at the 2011 Le Mans Vers Le Future, an event taking place as part of the iconic 79th 24 hour race at Le Mans in France this summer.

During the Le Mans event the Nismo RC will be demonstrated twice, first during the evening of June 9th, and one around midday on June 11th, demonstrating the car’s abilities both in night and daytime conditions. 

Lower, longer and wider than the production Leaf, the Nismo RC places the Leaf’s standard motor, battery pack and power electronics in the classic mid-ship race-car configuration, giving excellent handling characteristics, a low center of gravity and must-have rear-wheel drive.  

Sadly, top speed on paper is nothing to get excited about, but the prototypes in testing have already exceeded design expectations, producing top speeds in excess of 93 miles per hour and accelerating from 0-60 in a reasonably brisk 6.85 seconds well before the car has reached race preparedness. 

If you’re unable to attend the Le Mans series, which is located at the Circuit de la Sarthe, some 125 miles from Paris, then don’t worry.  Nissan plans to demonstrate its Nismo RC race car at motor sport events throughout the summer and we expect it to make significant appearances everywhere the 2011 Nissan Leaf is currently sold. 

[Nissan via MotorAuthority]