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Can Nissan make the Leaf sportier with a new mode, like Tesla? Or should the company be taking a more comprehensive approach to building an electric NISMO?

One of the support races for the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar race in Australia was a Nissan showcase in the form of a time attack challenge: at the starting line were the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC, a GT-R and an Altima V8 Supercar. The 80-kilowatt Leaf Nismo RC was given a seven-second head start on the 545-horsepower GT-R and a 26-second lead on the 600-hp Altima V8 Supercar in hopes that it could get around the 3.21-kilometer course first.

It's that time of year where we take a look back at the future of transportation in 2013. We drove electric vehicles on four, three and two wheels. We saw an airplane that can transform into a car and rode an ATV that can turn into a jet ski. We visited a world-class Formula 1 race track and met a world champion Formula 1 driver. So join us for a few more laps around 2013 in our end of the year special.

The Nissan Leaf electric car is notable for many things, but performance isn't one of them. So how is it possible that Nissan's motorsports division could make an electric race car from the same components as the production Leaf? We take to the track in the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC to find out.

Electric cars and the act of hooning wouldn't ostensibly be something you'd think would go well together. But then that's what they said about EVs and racing. With the Leaf NISMO RC, Nissan is setting out to prove those assumptions wrong.

Nissan Leaf Nismo RC – Click above to watch video after the jump

Nissan Leaf Nismo RC at Le Mans – Click above to the watch video after the jump

Nissan Leaf Nismo RC – Click above to watch videos after the jump

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