• Oct 22, 2010
2011 Nissan Leaf – Click above for high-res image gallery

Back in May, CBS Evening News reported that the Nissan Leaf could sprint to 60 miles per hour in five seconds. We knew that their report missed the mark, but by how much? Estimates from nine to as much as 12 seconds began to surface, but those seemed a bit out-of-line as well.

Now, thanks to John O'Dell of Green Car Advisor who timed a 0-60 mph dash during a recent drive in the Leaf, we have at least one unofficial result: 0-60 mph in seven seconds flat. To put that number in perspective, 0-60 mph runs in the Chevrolet Volt have been clocked at 8.8 seconds, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV takes nearly 12 seconds and the Tesla Roadster accomplishes the feat in a mere 3.7 seconds. Okay, so the Leaf is reasonably quick, but how fast does it really go?

O'Dell, the senior editor of Green Car Advisor, writes:

On an 82-degree Tennessee afternoon, with another writer in the passenger seat, I hit 92 mph on the highway, going up a slight hill all the way. I still felt as though there was a little bit more to go, but lifted my foot at 92 because I thought I spied a state trooper's patrol car way back down the road.

Mark Perry, Nissan's director of product planning, confirmed that an undisclosed journalist who recently drove the Leaf in Michigan, hit an even more impressive 94 miles per hour, but as far as we know, these are just indicated speeds, not independently verified and repeated. Still, for the sake of comparison, the Smart ED apparently tops out at about 62.5 mph, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV calls it quits at 81 mph and the Volt hits the century mark. So, the Leaf is emissions free, accelerates with (relative) vigor and closes in on 100 before returning to more sane, everyday speeds. Sounds like it can offer livable everyday performance – provided the pure EV's range isn't an issue.



Photos copyright ©2010 Damon Lavrinc / AOL

[Source: Green Car Advisor via Nissan-Leaf]


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  • 46 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think this car is going to be a bigger hit than the Volt. Its simple, attractive, practical,and relatively cheap... everything the Volt is not!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder if this is true. There are a lot of numbers going around about it's 0-60 time. From 6 seconds to 10. If it is.... holy crap. The 0-30 time is probably large v6-like.

      What impresses me is the top speed. It means that the car will still have decent power on the highway for passing or taking hills at high speed ( as in southern California ).
        • 4 Years Ago
        Just because it has a top speed of 94 doesn't mean it gets there very fast. The high speed acceleration could still be poor, there's not enough info here to say.

        All EV's suffer from the same as power drops off at the higher RPM's and since they have no gears, there's no downshifting for more power.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oh no. No electric motor isn't going to hit it's max speed without some real effort. The torque curve is a downward ramp from 100% at 0 RPM to ~0% at max RPM. I would expect the car to start feeling extremely sluggish at 80mph and maybe hit the top speed of 94mph down a hill or with a strong wind pushing it along :P

        I guess the point i'm trying to make is, if it goes 94mph, the power should still be good at 70mph. Good enough to handle highway speeds.
      • 4 Years Ago
      7? felt more like 9 to me.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Technically, it's a great car, the last ting they need to improve on it is its looks. The Prius is exquisite in comparison.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I guess this is the advantage of a HUGE battery: you can drain it faster, too.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sure it can hit 60 mph in around 8 seconds,top out at 94 mph.....BUT....you will run out of charge after that !!! Race it around and you will have only 20 miles on a full charger,then 18 hours to take to charge the car in a household plug !!!!

      WHAT A WASTE !!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        actually @94 mph, you can run 30 to 33 miles depending on AC / heating / e-consumers / how many people seating in the car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I bet it can run like this for what?, maybe 25 miles then you better charge it or call a wrecker. I notice nothing was mentioned about how long it would run on the battery, which is very peculiar......... even so, NO comparison for the VOLT, I want that backup generator to keep those wheels turning!!!!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        If you don't mind the gasoline motor and tail pipe on the Volt, Why not just get a Hybrid or a Diesel if you want a gasoline motor onboard then? Cheaper to buy, cheaper to run, and likely more reliable as well. I thought the whole point of going electric is to eliminate the dependency on gasoline all together?
      • 4 Years Ago
      very nice car , i need one!!!!

      Portugal Prime Minister Socrates first world leader to take delivery of Nissan Leaf
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder if Nissan purposely built in this speed so that the owners can outrun the people who are chasing them and laughing at them for driving this ugly wart.

      It doesn't cost more money to design a decent looking car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My wife's commute is 21 miles each way, mostly freeway. Five months of the year, it's dark or almost so, thus lights on. No garage space and lots of snow, so defrosters and wipers on. She likes the seat heaters, too, and the sound system so she can rehearse her singing for voice lesson, volunteer ushering, chorus and choir immediately after dinner. She often stops on the way home to visit her sick mom or to shop.
      How far from home does she have to start pushing this catfish ugly wart?
        • 4 Years Ago
        No oil changes...what else?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wish it was cheaper and had a bigger battery...and obviously didn't look ugly.

      Its top speed is...decent. But I wouldn't want a car that I would have to plug in every single day.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It'll never be quick enough to outrun its own ugliness.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh wow, thats pretty impressive for this little guy. Wondering what it sounds like, maybe like purring kittens lol.
      Good job Leafy!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @AnalogDan

        Sad, but true.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree about the downloadable mp3 engine note... Jurassic Park theme!!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's faster than a V6 Challenger!
        • 4 Years Ago
        It doesn't sound like purring kittens... that artifically-created noise sounds like a jet engine with bad bearings.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's as fast as my Acura RSX! And it probably beats it handily from 0-30 mph!
        • 4 Years Ago
        The 2010 Insight has a silky growl.
        Why doesn't a road test include the engine sound as a downloadable mp3?
        • 4 Years Ago
        If and when these cars get a longer range with a single charge, like around 300-500 miles, I'll be ready to buy one so then I can flip them Saudis the middle finger!
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