Tokyo 2011: Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept

By John Beltz Snyder

December 05, 2011

Nissan is expanding its performance brand, Nismo, and the Leaf concept follows the Juke Nismo concept’s debut at the Tokyo Motor Show.
The Leaf Nismo concept’s body has been worked over for more aggressive looks, better aerodynamics, and more downforce. Wheels are two inches larger, with eighteen-inch alloys at each corner.
The electric powertrain of the Leaf is left unchanged for the Nismo concept. It produces about 107 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque. It does 0-62 miles per hour in under 7 seconds.
Scroll down for more details in the press release, below.
12.05.2011 , TOKYO, Japan
Nissan's motorsports division gives the world's best-selling zero emission vehicle the fast road car treatment
  • Nismo Concept shows the sporty side of LEAF
  • Full body kit enhances style and...
  • increases downforce for road hugging performance
  • LED front lighting accentuates sense of motion
  • Second Nismo Concept, following Nissan Juke Nismo Concept
Nismo, the renowned motorsports arm of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., has revealed its second road car concept at this years Tokyo Motor Show. This time it's the award-winning, game-changing, Nissan Leaf EV that has come under the Nismo spotlight.

With 20,000 examples sold globally since the end of 2010 and with two international awards to its name, the Nissan LEAF has proved zero emission mobility is a practical reality. Now comes the Nissan LEAF Nismo Concept to show that electric vehicles can appeal to the heart just as much as to the head.

Central to the Concept is the stylish body kit, which gives LEAF a purposeful new look. But the modifications have been made with more than just fashion in mind - they play a significant aerodynamic role, generating extra downforce at speed to enhance LEAF's handling and grip.

The major elements of the kit are the front aero bumper, rear under protector, rear diffuser, extended side sills and 18-inch alloy wheels. The front bumper incorporates LED lighting which is arranged transversely to accentuate a sense of motion.

The body kit has been created as an extension of the `smart fluidity' concept that shaped the standard LEAF. It harmonises with LEAF's sophisticated design, which endows the car with advanced aerodynamic and acoustic properties, and takes advantage of the design freedoms of the EV layout: with no conventional engine to cover, the hood line is much lower and more streamlined.

Extended side sills and the deeper bumpers front and rear emphasise LEAF's low centre of gravity - made possible by the siting of the car's lithium-ion batteries beneath the passenger compartment - as well as managing air flow over the body for the extra downforce. Unlike the standard car, which runs on 16-inch wheels, The Nissan LEAF Nismo Concept has 18-inch rims with lower profile tyres for added grip.

Nismo has left LEAF's electric drivetrain untouched. One of the features of the potent 80kW AC motor is the instant supply of full torque (280Nm)... and that provides acceleration that is genuinely electrifying. It reaches 100 km/h in less than 7 seconds and can sprint on to a top speed of 145 km/h.

LEAF's lithium-ion battery, which comprises 48 modules, provides a potential range of 175km (NEDC mode) and can be recharged to full capacity overnight from a domestic electricity supply. It can also be charged to 80 per cent capacity in just 30 minutes, using a Quick Charger.

"Nissan LEAF has shown that zero emission mobility is no longer a dream but a reality. The Nismo Concept not only proves the hidden potential of Nissan LEAF but also adds even more excitement and energy to LEAF, delivering a guilt-free yet exhilarating driving experience that can be enjoyed by every car enthusiast," said Hideaki Watanabe, Corporate Vice President, Nissan Motor Company and head of the company's electric vehicle business unit.

The Concept is not the first LEAF produced by Nismo. In April 2010, Nissan revealed the LEAF Nismo RC, an out and-out electric racing car, at the New York Motor Show. Although sharing a similar silhouette to the standard road car, the LEAF Nismo RC has a three-piece carbon fibre bodywork with removable front and rear sections attached to a central monocoque tub.

The chassis has double wishbone suspension front and rear, while its racing credentials are underlined by the large wing bolted to the back.

Lower, shorter and lighter than the standard car and with rear- rather than front-wheel drive, the LEAF Nismo RC does, however, share two important components with both LEAF and LEAF Nismo Concept - the standard 80kW electric motor and the complete lack of a tailpipe.

About Nismo

Nissan Motorsports International Co., Ltd (Nismo) was established in 1984 primarily to look after Nissan's motor sport activities. Nismo currently operates at the highest levels of GT and sports car racing, including Japan's domestic SUPER GT series as well as global campaigns in the FIA GT1 World Championship, the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Le Mans series and the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC).

In 2011, Nismo-developed Nissan GT-R racecars won the driver's and team titles in SUPER GT and the drivers title in the FIA GT1 World Championship, while Nismo-developed engines won LMP2 class at the Le Mans 24 Hours, and took LMP2 class titles in the ILMC and Le Mans Series. Nismo also won the driver and the team titles in the National class of the All-Japan Formula 3 championship.

Nismo connects with its supporters through the hugely-popular Nismo Festival, drawing upwards of 30,000 fans to its annual year-end extravaganza. The festival represents "Nissan Racing DNA" and features the cars and stars from Nissan's sporting past, as well as examples of its current racecars.