Nissan track-tests electric race car

Nissan releases a video showing track-testing of its Leaf Nismo RC electric race car.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
2 min read

At this year's New York auto show, Nissan showed off its Leaf Nismo RC, a race car based on the Leaf electric car. But rather than just making it an auto show spectacle, Nissan is track-testing the Leaf Nismo RC and looking to start a new race series.

In a video released by Nissan, Nismo driver Tsugio Matsuda puts the Leaf Nismo RC through its paces on a test track, offering positive commentary about the car's performance. Other moments of the video show track engineers removing body components and spraying water on the battery pack to cool it.

Manaki Iwamoto, of Nissan's Motorsports Planning Department, notes at the beginning of the video that Nissan is considering starting a new race series for the Leaf Nismo RC. He suggests that as it is an electric car, it could race in cities or on an indoor track. Referring to the quiet operation of the car, Iwamoto says drivers of the Leaf Nismo RC could communicate with each other while on the track, or even chat with the audience.

The Leaf Nismo RC uses the same motor and battery pack as the stock Leaf, but these components were moved to the middle of the vehicle, with power going to the rear wheels. The body was redesigned and built of carbon fiber, while the car was fitted with an adjustable racing suspension.

Nissan doesn't give any performance numbers for the Leaf Nismo RC in the video, but that could be due to racing secrecy rather than embarrassment.